Effective use of Influencer Marketing during COVID-19

Effective use of Influencer Marketing during COVID-19

A crisis calls for a new way of thinking. Now is the time to find new solutions to manage the way we work. While COVID-19 may have brought a setback to most businesses, influencer marketing provides a silver lining with new opportunities and different ways of communication. It is, therefore, important for brands and businesses to find ways to keep their products and services alive in the minds of the consumer.

According to the Influencer Marketing Benchmark report of 2020, influencer marketing has continued to grow as an industry over the last few years. It was a $1.7 billion industry in 2016, increasing to $3 billion in 2017. Growth continued to $4.6 billion in 2018 with an estimated market size increase from $ 6.6 billion in 2019 to $9.7 billion in 2020.

infleuncer marketing growth

Influencer marketing is probably one of the most effective tools that can be used during this time. Now that people are in lockdown at home with more time on their hands, it is only natural for them to spend several hours a day surfing various social media platforms.

The benefits influencers provide to brands are:

Trust: Their followers trust their recommendations and that adds credibility to brands they recommend.

Quality:  Influencers also, on their part, value the trust their followers place in them and therefore are extremely cautious about the content they share.

Bridge: When done correctly and with the right strategy, influencer marketing can prove to be a bridge between the brand and the consumer.

There has never been a better time for brands to collaborate with influencers to get forth their message to their audience.

Here are 5 ways brands can use influencer marketing effectively:

Identify your target audience:

An effective strategy requires you to speak to the right people using the right tools. After all, you don’t want your message reaching someone it may not be relevant to. Therefore the first and most important aspect would be to choose the right target audience. Generally, brands prefer reaching out to the audience they have a connection with, who already know, like, and trust their brand. But in times like these things could differ.

As a brand, it would be nice to extend your services to others who may not be your direct target audience. This will help to broaden your campaign, get more mileage for your efforts, and increase brand awareness. This is the time to rise and go beyond what is expected of you.

target audience

Ask yourself the following two questions before deciding on your target audience:

  • What is the objective of this campaign?
  • What do you expect the brand to gain from it?

Based on your audience you can select an appropriate social media platform to deliver your message.

  • Facebook is a great way to reach the fans of your business, moreover, it has a huge user base with over 2 billion users worldwide, 47% being over 35 years of age, as per a research done by Pixel Fish.
  • Instagram has a billion users with 59% between the age group of 18 – 29 years
  • Twitter with around 271 million users worldwide, is a great way to share quick thoughts and generate traffic to your website and offers.
  • LinkedIn is slightly different in the sense that it is designed specifically for businesses and professions. Works better when used for B2B campaigns. So if you are planning to offer something to your clients or other businesses this would be a good platform.

Identify your message:

Any crisis situation is usually tricky and therefore as a brand, it is essential for you to be very careful about your communication. Act in a responsible manner and rework on your marketing plans and strategies thoughtfully, ensuring sensitivity checks around all communications. This is a time of extreme vulnerability and any act of kindness and support will stay with your audience forever.

This is the perfect time to refine your brand and the values you stand for.

While building your messaging strategy, keep the following points in mind to ensure your messaging is effective:

  • Go beyond just marketing your products and services, think about your consumer and the community, understand their needs and situation.
  • Ensure that your message effectively highlights what your brand stands for – the values, ethics, and ethos.
  • Check whether your message will connect with your audience in this given situation.
  • Show your audience you care. Tell them how you are helping them in this situation, offer relief, provide free services, and try to lighten their burden.

Selecting the right influencer:

Influencer marketing has come under scrutiny in the past few years over authenticity of content, measuring processes and credibility. Use specific parameters when choosing the influencer, as he/she will be representing not just your products and services but will be the face of your company at this crucial time. The right influencer can reach your target audience effectively, build trust and drive engagement.

Therefore, to ensure you’re making the right choice please exercise due diligence by carrying out the following checks:

  • Does the influencers feed match your brand’s core messaging? Is the content shared relevant to your business or industry?
  • Will the influencer be able to reach your target audience effectively? Check on the follower demographics and geographical reach.
  • Assess the level of engagement the influencer will be able to generate with your target audience.

Himalaya Arabia is one such brand that effectively uses influencers for their campaigns and to promote their social media-driven content. Picking the right influencer helps them, reach their target audience more effectively. In the recent ‘Moms don’t compromise’ campaign done by Himalaya baby care Arabia, they collaborated with well-known mother influencer @saramouslli. One glance at Sara’s profile and you will understand why she was chosen as the face of the campaign. Her personality, Instagram feed, and engagement matched the brand’s image and vision perfectly. Sara’s Instagram feed is a depiction of a young, modern mom of today, who lives a balanced life and doesn’t compromise when it comes to her little one. As an influencer she tries to keep her posts real with simple, natural makeup which fits well with the brand’s image.

 

Influencer

Creative Freedom:

A key part of influencer marketing is ensuring that they communicate your brand ethos, values, and benefits in their own voice. The worst thing a brand can do is stifle the creativity and change the tone and style of the influencer for a post, as it’s bound to lose credibility with the audiences. The beauty of influencer marketing lies in them communicating your message in a manner that will resonate with their audiences.

Steps that can be taken are:

  • Communicate the brief thoroughly
  • Explain the messaging hierarchy
  • Discuss ideas and possibilities
  • Afford them the creative freedom to create their own content

Add credibility to the collaboration:  

The campaign does not end once the influencer has posted about your brand. It is important that brands ensure that the reach of that post is amplified by sharing and reposting the influencers post. This strengthens the credibility of the collaboration, builds trust and engagement which ultimately benefits the brands and the influencers both.

If you follow these golden rules you can rarely go wrong. They will only serve to get you maximum mileage from influencer marketing.

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