COVID-19, #BLM and the upcoming election changed the appetite for influencer culture. We’ve seen influencers of every category and niche – from foodies to travelers to fashionistas – shift their content to reflect cultural moments, remain timely and sensitive, and reconnect with audiences. Needless to say, the price for those who failed to adapt proved more costly than ever.
What this shows is that instead of being influenced through empty celebrity worship and inorganic partnerships, we crave influencers who foster a sense of community and like-minded values. From a business perspective, we know “real life” content can spark a domino effect and help drive real ROI for our clients.
For example, nurse practitioner @TheKatieDuke gave fellow healthcare workers a glimpse into her lab coat essentials and recommended Nozin®️ Nasal Sanitizer®️ antiseptic as an extra shield of protection for people in high-risk environments. Because her followers are professionals like her, it naturally made the content and call-to-action to learn more and purchase product on Nozin.com more relevant, resulting in 98% of all site traffic generated by the influencer campaign.
Despite those who believed the pandemic would be the end of digital influence and influencer trendsetters, new data shows that we’re still scrolling, engaging and spending:
- We’re as digitally-engaged as ever: Instagram reported views on IG Stories increased by 21% in March; Business Insider Intelligence found that 79% of brands predominantly tap IG for influencer campaigns
- We’re still spending despite a recession: When polled via IG Stories, 43% of the Refinery29 audience said they had bought something they’d seen on the app during lockdown; in fact, brands are set to spend up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022, per Business Insider Intelligence estimate.
- We’re more open to “people like us”: Demonstrating true level of influence, 84% of all influencer activity belongs to micro influencers (50K – 250K followers), who receive active/robust engagement relative to their community size
Love them or hate them, there is still an opportunity to work with influencers and create sponsored content that sticks among consumers. The key is to keep influencer campaigns in check with the current reality in three ways:
- Go beyond the numbers: Reach is important, but it’s not everything. When vetting, look at what the influencer stands for, how they use their voice/platform, what more they can offer, etc. to help identify the right fit, create engaging content, and find added-value opportunities
- Build trust and authenticity: It’s all about quality content that matches the audience and the brand story. Sponsored content from an influencer who is transparent is better received than when it’s not disclosed. Weed out influencers who seem opportunistic, aren’t brand-safe, or don’t take the utmost care and sincerity with sponsorships
- Aim for inclusivity: It’s not a one-size-fits all when it comes to creating content. Influencers are useful mouthpieces and an extension of your brand, so be collaborative and creative. Consider carefully every type of audience when curating feeds and connecting the dots
Influencer marketing is more than just a one-off opportunity for mutual gain – it’s also a way to lean on each other and make a difference. Take your influencer campaign to the next level by reaching out to us at [email protected]. We’ll show you how rbb’s team of award-winning influencer marketing experts can help make it happen.