The world has shifted into a strange, “new normal” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world locked down and industries facing regulations, people are learning how to navigate these new uncharted waters. For marketers, CMOs, and business owners, this means shifting their marketing strategy by taking a deep dive into their survival strategy. Is influencer marketing a great opportunity for brands during COVID-19?
Some marketing efforts just aren’t working right now (like experiential marketing). However, a select group of marketing wizards who have figured out how to increase engagement despite the present crisis: Influencers. In fact, many influencers are doing better than ever. Not only are they helping their communities get through difficult times, but they’re also helping people make crucial buying decisions.
It’s no wonder that during the lockdowns, many people stuck at home have flocked to social media to stay connected. According to a Statista global survey, over 40% of the world has spent more time on social media during the crisis.
As brands are struggling to advertise during the pandemic, those who have shifted to influencer marketing during COVID-19 are seeing engagement increase. In fact, according to May 2020, The Age of Influence Report by Influencer and Global Web Index, 47% of consumers who follow influencers say they’re interacting with creators more during the pandemic.
If you want to market effectively during COVID-19, you’ll want to shift your focus to influencer marketing.
Influencers Increase Brand Engagement while Experiential takes a back seat
The COVID lockdowns have been extremely disruptive to industries, including marketing and advertising where work would be at the office. This, however, isn’t the case with influencers since they usually create content right at home.
Many influencers have shifted their content to being relevant to now; focusing on healthy eating, fitness, hobbies, or life advice. This shift has helped Instagram influencers reach an average increase in likes of 67.7% and an increase of 50% more comments, according to an Amra And Elma (A&E) survey.
In a sense, many of these influencers have transformed into “homefluencers” during the crisis since they’re connecting with viewers who are also spending more time in their homes.
Despite the drastic increases in influencer engagement, the cost of using influencers as a means of marketing hasn’t soared. The A&E survey shows that influencer pricing has only increased by 3.1% during the pandemic. This is an incredible opportunity to launch engagement without spending a ton of cash.
Influencers Drive Dependable ROAS
While many of the economic effects of COVID-19 are yet to be seen, it’s certain that many businesses are seeing a decrease in revenue. Any marketing approach you take, therefore, needs to generate real results.
According to Digital Marketing Institute, influencer marketing during COVID-19 generates an average return of over 600%. On top of that, a study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions shows that in some cases, influencer marketing surpasses pay-per-click banner ad ROI by a whopping 1,100%.
With the economic uncertainty, there has never been a more important time to get the most from your marketing budget. Every dollar counts. What makes influencer marketing so attractive to marketers right now is the versatility.
You can invest as little or as much money as you want into influencer marketing depending on your budget.
You can also use an impressive tactic to combine influencer marketing and PPC ads. With the influencer’s permission, you can repurpose your influencer’s user-generated content as PPC ads. This is a brilliant way to lower your cost per engagement, further increasing your overall marketing return on investment.
Increased Social Media Use Creates Opportunity to Build Long-Lasting Relationships
The COVID-19 crisis has led to a massive increase in social media traffic. The A&E survey also points out that content is being viewed at much higher rates. Some niches are seeing drastic increases like cooking (110% increase), fitness (100% increase), and meditation (55% increase).
On top of this, Instagram and Facebook traffic is up a whopping 40% for people under the age of 35. This overflow of new audiences and content consumption provides a perfect opportunity to establish influencer to consumer relationships. Now’s the time to build long-lasting, larger audiences while consumption is up.
Influencers (micro-influencers especially) have the ability to humanize brands, developing trust which leads to long term growth. If there was ever a time to experiment with Influencer marketing — now is the time.