Influencer marketing has always been a powerful technique for building trust, educating your audience, and creating new connections. But it is especially relevant now as an appropriate channel for sharing your values and creating a sense of community.

With lockdown firmly set in, and many people furloughed, it’s no surprise that, in times of crisis, we flock to social media to stay connected. In fact, almost every social media platform has reported an increase in users since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, with Youtube recording a 15% increase in website traffic, while WhatsApp usage has surged by 40%.

But, what does that mean for influencer marketing?

With marketing focuses shifting, and the ideal brand tone now becoming one of solidarity and honesty, influencer marketing is more important than ever and can provide real value to marketers. In fact, since the lockdown began, there has been a 72% increase in #ad content by influencers.

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As we continue to socially distance, influencer marketing offers a sense of community that many are missing.

Every successful influencer has built up their own unique community of loyal and engaged followers – ideal for brands to tap into. Often, when we’re marketing a product or service, our main goal is to create a community around a business or brand. With influencer marketing, this hard work has been done for you. 

Influencers are involved with their audience and regularly engage with them – whether that’s by answering comments or questions or participating in influencer live chats. They, therefore, are best placed to understand their audience, their habits and how they’re feeling about the current situation. Not only do these social listening insights present the ideal findings to allow businesses to build content that best services their audience, but also helps contribute to a sense of community, which is 

Influencers can help to educate your audience.

Audiences have a lot of trust in the influencers they follow, making them ideal for sharing key messages during these difficult times. In March, the United Nations published their ‘Global Call to Creatives: An Open Brief from the United Nations’, which called for creatives, influencers, celebrities, talent networks and media owners to create shareable content that can be used to help spread essential public health messages. 

Influencers, celebrities and public figures all got involved, creating and sharing handwashing videos and reminder messages to their audiences. This makes it clear that influencer marketing is crucial at a time where more traditional marketing methods are becoming redundant.

 

Influencer marketing acts as an extension of your brand.

With so many businesses now jumping online, brands need to continue to come up with fresh ideas to connect with their target market in an increasingly saturated marketplace. As most businesses are now working from home, that means many potentially can’t access the equipment they need to continue with their marketing efforts. That’s where influencer marketing comes in. Influencers create content for a living and regularly think outside of the box. And being stuck at home hasn’t dampened that ability. By working alongside influencers, your business can continue to create high-quality content, despite not having access to your premises and tools.

As we adapt to the new normal, marketers need to recognise that the market has changed.

As we’re now all confined to our homes for the foreseeable future, many companies have started to pull their more traditional advertising. In the current climate, it makes sense to transfer these budgets into digital marketing efforts. At the end of the day, we’re all looking for a distraction to the challenging times we’re living through, and influencer marketing offers just that – the ability to escape while also creating that connection that many might be craving at a time where we’re far apart.

4 things your Influencer Marketing strategy needs to include during COVID-19

 

    1. Ensure your content and messaging is useful – people are deliberately seeking out content they find helpful that offers advice, while the number of solutions-based content being produced by influencers has risen, no-one wants overly fabricated posts or unattainable images at this time, they simply want honesty.
    2. Practice empathy, and be human – working with influencers who are trusted, and already have a loyal community, can be a great way to highlight the issues that are important to your brand.
    3. Find new ways to connect with your audience – it’s no longer enough to churn out the same content, instead, brands need to consider how they can best reach customers, you can do this by creating more interactive content, hosting webinars, and online events to communicate more directly.
    4. Think about the futurecreating strong relationships with influencers not only offers brands the opportunity to continue creating, and sharing, high-quality content, but provides a solid partnership that you can benefit from after the pandemic.

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