Influencer marketing is still going strong at the moment even with the shake-ups of COVID-19, and a thoughtful strategy can help associations make the most of the outreach opportunity.
Much of the modern economy has slowed down in recent months for various reasons, but one segment that seems to be moving along without too much heartache is the influencer economy.
Turns out that people still need to buy things during a pandemic, and influencers can still help them make a better decision. And even if they aren’t buying things, influencers still draw in lots of eyeballs. Associations are well-positioned to take advantage of these high-profile figures online, even during a pandemic. A few suggestions to leverage influencer voices:
Focus on education. Influencers are often treated as key sources for buying products, but they’re also well-suited to educate their sizable audiences, notes Sarah Ware of the site Talking Influence. “Influencers have the power to utilize their platforms and can engage in a more personal way with their followers, something these entities typically lack,” she writes. “When it comes to spreading messages quickly and efficiently, social media platforms do the trick.” Ware notes that influencers are a good fit for campaigns related to public health, government, and family services—three areas that have struggled with messaging in the past.
Offer more creative control to influencers. Last year, the U.S. Tour Operators Association worked to teach the public about new REAL ID requirements by hiring a comedian to explain the law, and that comedian, Harrison Greenbaum, credited USTOA for offering him complete creative control on the ads. In an article for Forbes, Alison Bringé of the firm Launchmetrics said that creative control is essential for connection-making authenticity. Citing the example of the fashion brand Pretty Little Thing, she said that they found similar results by taking a similar approach. “Giving these influencers creative control over what they posted as well as their individual looks not only made it more relatable, but I believe is what made it so successful,” she wrote. “The brand was able to build a larger and stronger online community, which we know is crucial during challenging times. ”
Favor smaller influencers over bigger ones. While it might sound attractive to hire a big name to promote your big product, smaller influencers might be a better bet—as they’re often more niche and tightly focused on a specific community. In comments to MarTechSeries, Socialbakers CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak had this to say: “Nano and micro-influencers are now seen as high-value resources, bringing high impact without the big price tag of macro and mega influencers. As budgets remain tight, savvy brands will likely continue to expand partnerships with these smaller influencers as part of a smarter social media strategy in the wake of the continuing worldwide pandemic.”