What Will Influencer Marketing Look Like Post COVID-19?

What Will Influencer Marketing Look Like Post COVID-19?

For Social Production

The Future Is About Authenticity.

What Will Influencer Marketing
Look Like Post COVID-19?

June 23, 2020
What Will Influencer Marketing Look Like Post COVID-19?
For Social Production

The Future Is About Authenticity.

What Will Influencer
Marketing Look Like
Post COVID-19?

June 23, 2020

“The pandemic has simply sped up a realization that was going to hit regardless of social distancing and lockdowns.”

 

Think back to February 2020 for a moment. Sure, COVID-19 was in the headlines, but it certainly wasn’t the lead story. It wasn’t even declared a pandemic until March 11th. And yet, months before articles surfaced about the fallout influencer marketing would face during and after lockdown, we predicted that 2020 would see a change in the influencer scene. 

 

Obviously, some of the predictions were based on the drawbacks on influencer marketing that had emerged in the previous few years. Namely, the unreliability of an influencer’s follower numbers, the millions of fake accounts, and the vastly inflated prices for posts by people simply doing it for the money.

 

But before the pandemic hit, there were rumblings of change beyond those problems. Budgets for influencer marketing were being combed through and reduced, and faith in the influencer marketing sector as a whole was wavering. Remember the Instagrammer with 2.6 million followers who failed to sell just 36 t-shirts? That set off red flags for brands and ad agencies everywhere. 

 

The pandemic has simply sped up a realization that was going to hit regardless of social distancing and lockdowns. Namely, if you want to do influencer marketing that works, you need to rethink your strategy. 

 

 

How to approach influencer marketing beyond COVID-19.

 

To look at the future of an industry that’s in turmoil, it’s important to break down the problems and offer long-term solutions. In our opinions, the following three steps are key to evolving your influencer marketing strategy.

 

Step one: Embrace honesty.

 

Let’s start with a word that is the key to real influence. That word is authenticity. Millennials above all are rejecting fakeness like the average person rejects Mockolate.  They don’t fall for pre-prepared lines. They don’t buy the “oh, I just love this brand that is paying me $250,000 to say I do” crap.  They certainly don’t trust anyone blindly because they’re rich and famous. 

 

What consumers want is the real deal. Honesty. And to get that, you need to bypass the major influencers and celebrities that have millions of fans but very little credibility beyond their fame. 

 

Micro and macro influencers are ideal for spreading a message that has genuine feeling and a love of the brand behind it. These are the people with thousands of followers, not millions. They connect with other staunch fans. They have sway. Their opinion matters. They don’t have to be paid a ton of money; most of the time, a few freebies from your brand are very well received because they already love you and what you do. And with a crowdsourcing tool like Cinebody, you can tap into these fans through social media, ask them to create authentic content (even from home), and spread it far and wide through your network and theirs. 

 

 

Step two: Pivot. And keep on pivoting.

 

Influencers who are doing well right now are succeeding because they have adapted. Just like print shops who started making masks, or liquor manufacturers who now produce hand sanitizer, these influencers saw their revenue streams drying up and acted quickly. 

 

Some savvy creators saw the need for live content, especially with so many people feeling isolated, and live streaming became their new business model. Instagram Live saw its views skyrocket 70% in April, and that tells you everything. Digital Brand Architects (DBA) even created a TV Guide for live influencers, partnering with chloédigital to launch Your Live Guide

 

Step three: Spend smarter.

 

As we all know, budgets across the board continue to shrink in every category. From film and video production, to ad spend and talent acquisition, there’s less money to do everything. And the answer here is obvious: you cannot spend your way out of a bad situation. 

 

One of the ways many agencies and brands kept on putting out content during the lockdown was through footage captured by people at home through User Generated Content. Some were influencers, others employees or customers, but the footage not only resonated with consumers way more than the polished stock video ads, it actually cost a fraction of the price. 

 

By removing high-priced influencers from your spend and tapping micro influencers, you can reach more people with less money. And moving forward, that will be key to your influencer strategy.

 

To sum up…influencer marketing may be changing, but it’s not dying. It’s just adapting.