In recent years, there has been an explosion of the number of brands going from product-centric to customer-centric. With the rise in social media, brands have employed many techniques to get closer to their customers. Out of this need rose social media influencers. They are users with followers on various platforms who work for brands on a contractual basis.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many brands to rethink their marketing strategies. With many brands slashing their budgets, many influencers have seen a dip in their incomes.
Many brand deals are put on hold; influencers are considering mixed-compensation models to increase their ROI. Many campaigns are cancelled, but the ones that are running got more engagement owing to increased social media traffic. There has been an increase of more than 75 per cent in the number of likes and impressions on sponsored posts on Instagram according to Influencer marketing agency Obviously.
Anish Dalal, CEO of Sapphire Apps said, “We’re at an interesting point where brands are in a limbo where they’re kind of waiting to see what happens before they start spending their budgets as normal.”
How Are Influencers Adapting?
Many influencers are switching their revenue strategies to focus on consulting, teaching or coaching their followers for making money online. They are now employing alternative strategies to make money in addition to contracts. They are taking up consulting contacts for companies as freelancers to share their expertise in the domain.
Many influencers are performing “collab houses”. Collab houses are a way for influencers to make videos on YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat by collaborating with other influencers. They live together in the house for the duration of the campaign often.
With stay-at-home orders in place, many influencers are creating content at home. They have shifted from high production values and focus on the home economy. They are focusing on what their followers can relate from DIY make-up to staying fit.
There has been a surge in online activity – e-commerce and ecommerce courier services in India are no different. As there has been a surge in online viewership, influencers are leveraging this viewership to promote their brands online. There has been a rise of beauty influencers with their namesake brands on the shelves of beauty outlets – both online and offline. They are using this time to get closer relatable to their followers.
According to Kantar, social media engagement has increased by around 61 per cent as compared to typical usage rates. People are consuming content at an unprecedented rate, but brands are reluctant to spend money on branding. This is a missed opportunity for the brands to create user engagement and increase brand awareness. More than 63 per cent in the age group 18-34, as surveyed by Edelman, trust an Influencer. Influencers earn trust by advocating the brands they believe in and ultimately clock sales.
In these trying times, brands need to be closer to their customers and stay on top of their customers’ mind as a responsible brand.