So, You Want to Launch an Influencer Campaign – Part 2: Influencers in the Age of Coronavirus

By Julie Schweizer

As we continue adjusting to these unprecedented times, one aspect of the “new normal” we’re all getting accustomed to is the unavoidable time spent on our phones, scrolling through social media as we daydream about a time before social distancing. In fact, according to a recent Matter survey, 63% of respondents admitted spending more time on social media since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And while some brands have pulled the plug entirely on scheduled influencer marketing campaigns, this time has proved to be a meaningful moment for influencers using their platform – whether it’s for activism, sponsored content or organically sharing what they’re doing while they spend more time at home. Fifty-eight percent of consumers who took our recent survey have noticed more sponsored content from influencers during this time, as interest is heightened in specific industries, such as health and wellness, food and beverage, and personal technology. If you’re a brand looking to launch an influencer campaign in the age of coronavirus, it’s important to bear these tips in mind as you kick off your programs.

Authenticity is Key

Personally, I could spend hours exploring Instagram. There are few lifestyle influencers I’ve followed for years and have purchased certain products they’ve posted about, simply because I’ve learned to trust their recommendations based on their real, honest, authentic opinions. It’s easy to tell the difference between an influencer who is really passionate about the product they’re promoting and a social media personality just posting about a new brand to get paid. While promotional content has become a given for influencer content, now is the time when authenticity trumps all. If you’re looking to engage influencers at this moment, first understand the message you want to convey and how it relates to the present day. Once you have your message, allow your influencer partners to determine what they are comfortable with posting from their own, personal experiences, and know that overly-promotional, cut-and-paste messaging during this time could be detrimental to a brand’s reputation. 

Approach Influencer Relations with Sensitivity

With engagement rates soaring as consumers flock to social media, there is a clear opportunity for brands and influencers to keep doing what they do best. However, with this opportunity comes a responsibility to approach content and influencer relationships with authenticity and sensitivity. We are living through a pandemic and historical civil rights movement, and while social can be an easy distraction from the difficult times, you’d never want to push out content that is tone deaf or offensive. With that in mind, now is the time for increased collaboration. We’ve seen that when brands work closely and collaboratively with their influencer partners to create content that is authentic and meaningful, the content resonates much more with audiences. 

Explore Different Content Avenues

As people find themselves with more time on their hands due to the pandemic, they’re tuning in to new channels and types of content. This gives brands new ways to engage with their target audiences in authentic ways, using channels like Twitch, TikTok and live-stream videos. Live content, for example, has become unavoidable when you log onto certain social platforms these days. Matter’s recent survey showed that 55% of consumers ages 18-29 are viewing live-stream content and 50% of respondents said they’ve viewed more live content during the pandemic than ever before. It’s the perfect time to explore and experiment with new ways of engaging influencers and reaching their followers as consumers’ content cravings change direction.

Whether you’re just starting out in the influencer space or want to scale your current programs to reach new audiences and achieve new goals, we’re here to help. Fill out the form below and let’s chat more about building an influencer campaign that works best for you and your brand. We’d love to hear from you!