This article was contributed by Nick Veneris, Marketing Manager @ Refersion
Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have definitely changed the economic landscape. Advertisers have had to change tactics to follow these trends, and influencer marketing is no different. With events being canceled and budgets being tightened, how is influencer marketing poised to survive the shift? One of the key benefits of working with influencers is how they can react to new market conditions.
Since influencer marketing is based on a relationship with the customer, this type of affiliate is particularly sensitive to the needs of the customer. A few influencers made an awkward transition by tactlessly promoting products with pandemic-related hashtags, but most quickly pivoted their approach to meet the needs of the consumer.
DIY content is particularly suited to staying at home, both for the influencer and the consumer. Home craft projects, new ways to use common items, and in-home activities are the new basis for marketing when everyone is confined to their homes. Influencers will need to maintain this new perspective as audience expectations evolve in the aftermath.
Influencers have a direct line to their followers. They can relate to them on a more basic level than can a company, demonstrating in a personal way how the products and services offered can change their lives for the better.
Influencers aren't immune from stay-at-home orders. They may have different accommodations from some of their followers, but can still relate to cabin fever, getting knocked off the gym routine, and having screaming toddlers running about.
Being real people, influencers can stand with their followers and relate to their struggles. They're people stuck at home just like we are. As they put their creativity to use, they are helping their followers solve problems and stay connected to the world at large. Virtual events, community chats, and Q&A can all make communities come closer together when many people feel far apart.
How are influencers adapting?
By changing both their content and approach to fit the current circumstances, influencers are adjusting to the new normal. By focusing on more live-streaming and interacting directly with their viewers, influencers are connecting more directly with their audience than ever before.
As people become more jaded about marketing tactics, only the most genuine avenues remain effective. Personal testimonies, product reviews, conferences, and tutorials are gaining traction as stay-home activities for both influencers and their audiences. But these intimate glimpses into the lives of influencers have an added benefit: a sense of things being genuine, instead of perpetually staged.
People want the real deal. Forget slogans, hard sales tactics, and scripted endorsements. Consumers want to know how a product will change their lives. And when their favorite influencer gives them a peek into their lives, and how the brand has impacted them, engagement and conversion rates benefit.
Since the economy has taken a downturn, many consumers have changed their spending habits. Focusing more on necessities or essential supplies as prices change unpredictably can mean less disposable income. Influencers have taken a hit in some realms as their audience changes their spending priorities.
While brands are pulling back on ad spend to keep their business afloat, influencers are having to make do with less. But with everyone stuck at home, people are spending more time interacting with digital media. This shift may never fall back to pre-pandemic levels. Since people have more time to browse their favorite social media outlets, now is the perfect time for new influencers to build their personal brand.
By curating valuable content first, and focusing on sales second, influencers will be able to nourish their communities, strengthening their hold in the industry. Once the lockdowns end and people start to go about business as usual once more, they’ll take those social relationships with them.
So even if you’re not garnering a lot of conversions right now, remember that times are tough. Focus on networking with influencers and fans, building your reach, and improving your content base. Stay relevant to the lives of those who may be hurting economically and don’t drift out of touch with people’s everyday experiences.
Switching to digitalInfluencers can help your company lead the way into the digital revolution. With more and more people curtailing physical interactions, virtual experiences are more important than ever. By integrating with new technologies, you can continue to serve your customer’s needs. That’s why Refersion is such a valuable tool in your influencer marketing efforts. With access to the Marketplace and other tools, our affiliate marketing software will help you succeed along the way. Refersion has what you need to keep your program moving forward. The future of marketing is digital, and we're here to help your company succeed.