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How Brand Influencer Marketing Evolved During the PandemicTejal Surve 23-08-2021
As the world is slowly steadying itself from the events of last year and its effects on people in general, we are seeing a lot of trends that emerged during that period and might just be here to stay. Brand influencer marketing is one of these trends that evolved during the pandemic and may continue even after that.
The coronavirus pandemic had the world on a pause. However, because of technology, people were able to stay in contact with their loved ones and the things they liked. It was only the virtual space where people were able to interact with each other.
The situation with brands and businesses was also very similar here. Because of the lockdown, many marketers and brands had to postpone or cancel their marketing efforts. Whereas, many others had to reassess their marketing strategy to suit the prevailing scenario.
Businesses were quick to understand that digital marketing is the only way that they could reach their potential customers. Even so, it could only help them do so much. Brands were unable to give them the feel of a physical store that many people need to make purchase decisions. This is where influencers from their industry become helpful.
This blog will see how brand influencer marketing evolved during the pandemic and how the changes might be here to stay.
Why did brands turn to influencers for marketing?
In the midst of the lockdown when advertising agencies were forced to pause their work and no movies or ad films were shot, a content gap was created. And people turned to social media for information and entertainment.
Many popular influencers created high-quality content for their followers from the safety of their homes. These influencers usually used their own camera and light set-ups to create informational and entertaining videos that were shot at their home. Because of this, they were able to attract more followers during that phase. With their fast thinking and creative content, they were able to fill up the content void created due to lockdown.
Brands were able to see this and leveraged it to promote their products and services to their audience. They collaborated with the influencers of their industry with an audience that aligns with their target audiences and buyer personas. These were mostly long-term collaborations as compared to collaborations that brands used to make with influencers before the pandemic.
Here are some major reasons why brands turned to influencer marketing during COVID-19:
As mentioned earlier, most brands lacked the store feel of their products and services necessary for many customers to make a purchase decision. However, these customers do trust the influencers whom they follow on social media.
Influencers have created their separate follower base with content and engagement. Their followers trust them to give good reviews and recommendations on products and services. Around 40% of Twitter users have made a purchase decision based on a tweet by their favorite influencer. This goes on to tell that people trust influencers and their reviews enough to make a purchase.
Influencers use the products and services to give honest reviews about them to their audience. Based on these reviews, their followers make the buying decisions. That being said, their loyal audiences are also influenced by the sponsored posts and content.
This led brands that are seeking the human touch for their products or services to choose influencers that engage with their target audiences.
Niche-focused follower base
Influencers are from different industries. No matter what field your brand is from, there is a high chance that there is an influencer in that field. There are massive influencers with more than 1 million followers and then there are micro-influencers that have around 10-15 thousand followers. However, the followers that micro-influencers have are very niche-specific and tightly-knit with higher influence.
Hence, the recommendations that they make have more effect on their follower’s buying behavior. Businesses that cater to a specific target audience turn to these micro-influencers for promotions. A recommendation from these influencers can help businesses gain new customers and followers.
Authentic product promotions
Unlike the regular promotions where the brand or business has a say in how to promote the product or service, you need to let the influencers handle it by telling them your campaign goal. This ensures that the promotions are authentic for the audience.
On social media, through the last year, genuine and real content has been gaining momentum. Influencers too focused more on a simplistic lifestyle over luxury. Their content consisted of hobbies and in-home entertainment.
This kind of content is more relatable to the audience and so they are more encouraged to consider trying out the product or service.
Increased audience trust
This is another factor that makes brand influencer marketing an effective marketing technique. As discussed before, influencers have a loyal fan-following that trusts the influencer almost as much as their family members on social media.
This means that if the influencer they follow religiously recommends a brand or business’s product, then chances are that users may not only buy the product but also start trusting the brand.
In that sense, influencers can also help in increasing brand trust among their audiences. However, it needs to be reiterated here that brand trust earned this way can only go so far. Hence, influencers may also choose which brands they would promote based on what is most suitable for their audience.
Higher returns on investment
Brand influencer marketing is a marketing technique that offers your business high returns on its investments. For every one dollar spent, businesses are earning $5.78 in revenue. While this is true, influencer marketing during the pandemic ensured that people still purchased from the businesses through their online store even if they cannot go to their physical store.
Many big and small influencers used their reach to promote small and local businesses among their followers to keep them afloat during these hard times.
How brand influencer marketing has evolved?
While there are not many drastic changes in the way brands and influencers collaborate, one major change that many brands have taken during the pandemic is to keep their influencer marketing collaboration “always-on”.
This means that instead of only collaborating for a time-specific campaign, brands have built long-term collaborations with the influencers. Moreover, these brands are consistent with the influencers they collaborate with on various platforms. Many of them have one influencer promoting their brand across all the major social media platforms.
Even during the pandemic as the marketing budget of many businesses dwindled, there were brands that decided to maintain or increase their influencer marketing budget.
Brand influencer marketing does not only help businesses to promote their brand, product, or services but also can increase your sales and ultimately your revenue. Hence, the changes that occurred during the pandemic are going to stay for the years to come.
What is brand influencer marketing?
Brand influencer marketing is a marketing tactic that connects the brands and their target audience through the creativity and engagement of a social media influencer.
What is an influencer marketing example?
Influencer marketing is about collaborating with social media influencers of your niche to promote your brand, product, or service. For example, if you are a clothing brand that creates loungewear, you can collaborate with an influencer to show how comfortable your clothes are for everyday activities.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
There are many benefits that a brand influencer marketing campaign can offer you. The major ones are:
* Better human connection through virtual channels
* Targeting the exact audience that fits your buyer persona
* Gaining higher audience trust
* Genuine and relatable content for the audience
* Higher ROI
Influencer marketing was the best way to connect with the audience during the pandemic apart from other digital marketing channels. That being said, brand influencer marketing is predicted to grow to be worth $24.1 billion globally by the year 2025.
This shows that brand influencer marketing has evolved a lot during the pandemic. It has flourished and become a key sector for brand promotions on social media platforms along with other social media marketing techniques.
Tell us what you think of influencer marketing and its effects on customers’ buying behavior. Share your thoughts in the comments below. And you find this blog helpful, then be sure to share it with your friends and peers.