The pandemic had disrupted every industry forcing marketers to shift their plans and thrust into an uncertain and swiftly changing landscape. Brands are looking for independent creators than productions due to pandemic restrictions such as sheltering in place.
The industry was in troubled waters as pandemic had put a pause on all the plans, took many industries out of the market, and affected many influencers’ content. Some marketers even continued with Facebook boycotts or social media pauses.
It has been quite a challenging period for influencers. However, the influencer industry is recovering and bouncing back, showing incredible resilience and creativity. Consumers are spending more time on social media interacting with content creators after being cooped up at home. With budgeting constraints and large scale, ad production is difficult, brands are turning to independent creators for a quick, less-expensive, and easy-to-produce creative content. This is providing the much-required boost to the influencer marketing industry.
Numbers Says It All
Social Bakers released the State of Influencer Marketing Report and found out that there is a fall in sponsored content from March to May and a pivot towards micro-influencers. Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers said,
“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.”
Another finding by Shareablee, an audience-based social media measurement company states that branded content from influencers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter was up 21% in July from March despite a decline in sponsored influencers post- 87% on Instagram and 57% on Facebook in April compared to last year.
Influencer marketing has changed in several ways during the outbreak. There is a shift in consumer behavior more towards digital in this pandemic due to the lockdown. The engagement with branded influencers posts grew 5 times faster to 57.2 million total actions in July compared with March, according to Shareablee.
A rise in sponsored posts is seen since July after the volume fell almost 17 percent in March and another 6 percent in April reveals Data from CreatorIQ.
This proves that the industry is still very strong and influencers are quick to adapt with conversion rates increased across platforms in the pandemic. As quoted in Adage, Melissa Rosenthal, co-founder at Circle said,
“Brands took a few weeks to figure out how to position themselves for a new world. Now I’m seeing probably 5 times the outreach I was seeing pre-pandemic. Small brands, large brands, new brands, everyone.”
The pandemic is benefitting the influencers with the increase in viewership as alternate media or sports events have declined drastically. Presently, influencers are the only production houses that are open and can make new, creative, and custom content for brands amidst pandemic restrictions. According to the eMarketer report, followers are looking for more DIY activities and short videos.
Clorox Followed The Influencer Way!
Clorox.Co is getting back to sponsored influencer work after a pandemic pause. Through the Reach Agency, Clorox recently teamed up with YouTube comedians The Try Guys to market its latest scent of Fresh Step cat litter. In the video, the creators open the world’s smelliest foods to demonstrate the ability of new Fresh Step cat litter with Febreze Freshness and Gain Scent covers the odors. The video garnered nearly a million organic views on its first day on August 15. The partnership with Try Guys who have 7.3 million subscribers is Clorox’s third venture into influencer-led demo-tainment.
Clorox shifted the plan of conventional ads to influencer content while planning the campaign in March as the pandemic situation would make it hard to produce ads. Another major decision taken by the brand was to boycott Facebook and Instagram advertising for the remaining year while the project was ongoing.
As reported in Adage, Deb Crandall, director of marketing and studio lead said,
“We have had to ask our partners not to post this on their Facebook or Instagram channels, and we’re not putting any paid support behind it. It definitely takes a channel out of the mix to reach our audience, but that’s why we’re excited about the results we’re seeing. To reach almost a million views without Facebook or Instagram makes us think we’re onto something.”
Finally, brands and creators are learning to operate in the ‘ new normal ’. In the time of crisis, savvy social media influencers are engaging with their followers in a fairly two-way communication that even brands could never have on their own.