As the world becomes far more sensitive to brand being tone deaf, it’s more important than ever to get marketing messages right.
With more and more people stuck at home and using the internet, an increasing number of people are turning to their favorite influencers to get information and pass the time with content they love. These influencers are finding ways to help their followers cope with fear, but they’re also helping them to make critical buying decisions.
As a result, brands are turning to influencers in their industry to help them deliver relevant messages to keep audiences engaged during this difficult time.
It’s a balancing act trying to juggle the weight of social responsibility while still maintaining financial sustainability under such unknown circumstances, but partnering with influencers is one of the best options to raise brand awareness, engage potential customers, and thrive during economic disruption.
There’s Still a Place for Digital Marketing
At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of brands dropped off the radar. Either they were too scared to make a faux pas (like the infamous KFC incident) or they just didn’t know how to speak to their customers when their priorities had completely changed overnight.
But here’s the thing.
The brands that continued to communicate with their audience in sensitive ways began to thrive. They gained a larger slice of the market share and their brand voice started to get heard above the rest. For many brands, the struggle lies in marketing in an appropriate way while still keeping the business afloat.
Digital marketing is still key in doing this. But, instead of ads targeting people who are no longer interested in buying, brands are getting creative in how they engage with their audience.
Utilizing Influencers is More Important Than Ever
As a result, many are turning to industry influencers. These are people that already have pre-built audiences and a certain level of trust amongst their followers. Because of this, consumers are far more likely to buy into what they’re saying.
We only have to take a look at the sheer number of brands partnering with influencers to share relevant messages about COVID-19. Take E.l.f Cosmetics, for example, who teamed up with iLL Wayno and Holla FyeSixWun to create a catchy hand washing remix on TikTok.
This campaign achieved two things for E.l.f Cosmetics:
- It exposed their brand to a much wider audience
- It boosted trust with the brand through sensitive and very relevant messaging
It’s not just for “viral” gains that brands are partnering up with influencers during this time. There are a number of other benefits that come with using this marketing technique:
- Engage Target Audiences
People are stuck at home consuming far more content than they were before. This means there are endless opportunities for brands to engage with their audiences, and yet many just don’t know how. Especially not since the whole world has been turned upside down and they’re not sure what will resonate with their people any more.
Influencers know these people and what they want, and can therefore help brands create content that’s both informative and fun.
The Czech Republic’s tourism board ran an event with more than 100 influencers taking part. Naturally, the tourism board has taken a hit with the lack of travel, but they created a virtual beer-tasting session and quiz for travel influencers who then shared it with their audiences.
Consumers were able to take part with a chance to win prizes and get involved in the festivities, leading to an increase in brand awareness for the tourism board and something to keep them front-of-mind once travel is allowed again.
- Raise Brand Awareness
There’s a major opportunity for brands to gain a competitive edge during this time simply by showing up and creating content. With so many brands going quiet, the stage has become emptier and is in need of people to speak up and continue performing.
While influencer content also helps sell products, it also works really well at creating and maintaining a presence for brands. Brands get seen by people who would otherwise not have seen them, and the trust that followers have for influencers is automatically transferred to the brand.
- Continue to Generate ROI
It’s a scary time for brands. Many don’t know if they’re going to come out the other side of this, and others are worried about losing everything they’ve worked so hard for.
Influencer marketing is key to continuing to generate ROI in a sensitive and relevant way. Getting eyeballs on your brand then leads to people getting curious about what you’re selling.
And, when you’ve got an influencer with a pre-built audience vouching for you, it becomes far easier to market your products. This is especially important now when consumers are more hesitant than ever to part with their money.
What Are You Waiting For?
With the buying landscape practically tipped on its head, there’s never been a better time to tap into influencer marketing if you haven’t before. Having access to a pre-built audience and sharing engaging content through a trusted source can not only keep your brand’s presence consistent during the COVID-19 outbreak, but it will also ensure you gain a competitive edge at this tricky time and continue to bring in much-needed revenue.
About the author:
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.