Overnight, brands have had to revisit how they market their products and analyze what products would be appropriate to advertise within the COVID-19 climate. The most obvious change on the digital front is the increase in home data usage.
In a survey conducted by GlobalWedIndex, as of March 2020, increased viewership can be seen in video streaming, news coverage, and broadcast television. Sample sizes on a global scale were asked about their data activities while at home due to COVID-19. Outside of watching pre-recorded and COVID-19 content, 32% of participants spend more time on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) With increased traffic on various social media platforms, visibility is easier to achieve alongside content that is consistent and stands out. It is important to note that although more people are spending more time on these platforms, without proper planning and consistent content rollout, messaging is still subject to falling flat.
Before we discuss Influencer Marketing, there are several important steps and questions you should ask yourself:
- How can consumers benefit from your product or service?
- Have you revisited your content strategy to reflect the ever-changing climate?
- Is your message on-brand and genuine?
In “How To Pivot Your Content Strategy During A Crisis”, Fajr Muhammad reminds us that companies should ask very important questions such as:
“Are we monitoring our response channels to learn what is troubling our audience most?”Fajr Muhammad, Content Strategy Manager
This crisis will not last forever, but you should provide messaging that shows your audience how you responded during this time. How you’ve demonstrated empathy during this time can lead to a favorable or unfavorable aftermath.
I received this message the day most people received their stimulus check in the United States, which for some, might have been the first sign of governmental aid.
If your business spans through varying countries, take heed of constant changes in those countries. All messaging isn’t good messaging and isn’t necessary at times.
- Should you reset your KPIs? The answer is yes. They should be on a short-term cycle in order to account for a changing environment, throughout and post-COVID-19.
COVID-19 SEO & Digital Marketing Resources | iPullRank ( 50:14 mark)
The webinar gives insight into the importance of resetting and measuring KPIs during this time.
Insight is Invaluable
Once you’ve taken the time to reevaluate your company’s advantages and the current roster of influencers, you can start to implement your content strategy. You may think you’re getting the most out of your partnership with a big-name celebrity, but the reality is that alongside high-profile influencers, is a persona of aspiration, not inspiration attached to them. In an attempt to echo the message of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, actress Gal Gadot missed the mark. Many people saw her star-studded “Imagine” collaboration as tone deaf especially while only on day six of quarantining. Let’s retire the classics in a time of crisis moving forward, temperature-check our audiences, and think before we post (or even repost).
Although not a micro-influencer, stunt woman Zoe Bell is a great example of staying authentic, having fun, and temperature-checking the digital climate. She got together with a number of actresses and stunt women to bring us the #BossBitchChallenege. Since the beginning of May 2020, it has garnered a whopping 2.6 million views and counting.
I usually look at the comments of videos because…. and I couldn’t even make this up.
People remember everything you post and when they can’t remember, the internet will help them.
Micro-influencers have more of a true-to-present authenticity that will be invaluable to reflect the tone of your company. People are looking for brands that motivate and add value to their lives. Post-COVID-19, we’ll remember the actions of companies as consumers and how much of an impact their actions had on our personal lives and communities.
A popular hair care company, “Curls” has done a number of activations, and their most recent will include four micro-influencers hosting their virtual hair care-based Q&A Masterclasses. As we take a deeper look into the event we’ll notice: the class is adding value to Curl’s audience by catering to the fact that the majority of people are still unable to visit the salon. The classes are even based on specific hair types. They are using their products (product promotion) and the session also includes a free giveaway for attendees (encouraging further engagement). In general, they’ve done a great job during this pandemic in different instances even going as far as to include free N95 masks with purchases of their products.
Are Influencers Worth the Investment?
Creativity is at its peak. The reality of maneuvering production at this time and post-COVID-19 is a task in itself. Other entertainment mediums such as movies, television shows, and television ads are at an indefinite halt. Pre-recorded paid and streaming advertisements may be looked upon as tone-deaf. Many, if not all, influencers are a one-stop shop. They will produce brand content from start to finish.
Be sure to give direction as to the type of messaging you’d like them to touch upon. Assurance messaging speaks to communicating a sense of empathy that lets the customer know that you as a company are there for them. Purpose-driven messaging serves more to tell the story of the brand. Depending on the product, escapism isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Grubhub’s assurance and purpose-driven messaging speak to common connectors: music, discounts through their platform, food, and community awareness (quadruple value when you sign up for the free show). The biggest beneficiary of this concert is, of course, our healthcare workers. The collaboration between The American College of Emergency Physicians, Grubhub, and musicians Omar Apollo and Masego demonstrates all of the makings of a great partnership. With the social media popularity of these entities and musicians varying, it should encourage healthy participation.
How do you provide a service that relies heavily on visitors when the hospitality industry has come to a complete halt? This purpose-driven prompt (pictured above) offers Florida residents the opportunity to have a “staycation” away from reality for a small discount. People are looking for a resolution that provides them with a sense of the way things used to be. Get creative and listen to your customers.
Content Engagement Goals
Ultimately, a high return on investments (ROI) is a preferred outcome.
Common questions you should keep in mind pre and post-campaign:
- Have you seen increased sales and traffic through your influencer collaboration?
- How long will the campaign last?
- How often do you work with this influencer?
- Have you welcomed and listened to the influencer’s feedback about the product or service?
Longer-term partnerships not only offer more security for the influencer but creates a more credible collaboration for the brand as well. It will show the influencer’s audience that your company is one that is consistent and this can help build trust between your brand and their base which could ultimately lead to cross-promotion.
When looking for influencers, be sure to follow these helpful tips:
- Find influencers whose lifestyles reflect your core audience
- Find someone or a group of people who are effective storytellers and true fans of the brand
- Work with influencers with content already in place – it will help them to make an authentic transition when introducing your product
- Do not limit yourself to one micro-influencer running a specific campaign, feel free to reach out to multiple influencers and small businesses as well. This can show solidarity and lead to cross-promotion as well.
- Use this time to redistribute resources and revisit SEO campaigns. Your fanbase is your best influencer so encourage them to reach out and share.
Where There’s a Platform, There’s a Way
Tik Tok has been downloaded 315 million times in Q1 of 2020, the best quarter of any application. A notable campaign that has thrived on Tik Tok is the Eyes, Lips, Face campaign sponsored by E.L.F. cosmetics. E.L.F. cosmetics hired a creative agency, Movers + Shakers who hired a producer iLLWayno, who worked with his partner, Hollafivesixwun, to make a song with the intention of reaching viral status, and it did. The song became the most successful Tik Tok video in history with 2.5 billion views.
Ultimately, an influencer is anyone with a platform, and the duo used Grammy award winner iLLWayno’s knowledge of how to capture the essence of a song to make Tik Toc’s 15-second time limit, limitless.
Some brands just send products to influencers and let them produce content on their own. In the E.L.F. campaign, Movers+Shakers simple request to have a female performer on the song before it was sent to E.L.F. paid off big time. E.L.F. also teamed up with the duo again to release a “quarantine-friendly” remix, Eyes. Lips. Face. Safe. to promote social distancing among their target demographic, Gen Z. It’s quickly making its rounds on Tik Tok and has been picked up by a number of influencers on the platform.
Can’t Beat an Organic Vibe
Although not a sponsored campaign, the global #DontRushChallenege is organic and notable for its global reach. Created with no intention at all, college students in the U.K. helped put rap duo Young T and Bugsey on the map in the midst of most artists trying to figure out how to get their music heard despite not being able to perform live.
This challenge started on WhatsApp and with popularity, spilled onto Instagram, Facebook, and of course TikTok. The challenge took on a life of its own and made its way through different niches and branched off to create the Nurse’s edition, Doctor’s edition, Teacher’s edition, etc. Essential workers and those of us under strict stay-at-home orders have at least seen one version of the challenge over the past month and if you haven’t, here you go.
- Give credit where credit is due. If you are inspired by a micro-influencer, please tag them.
Has your company found success partnering with micro-influencers during this time? What have your experiences been? Visit our COVID-19 resource center for more information. If you’re still not sure where to start, contact the iPullRank team for help!