Are influencers and paid social media channels helping brands bring in more revenue during Covid-19?
The last couple of years have been anything but predictable. Among other things, the marketing landscape has undergone a significant change due to the worldwide pandemic, with social media channels and influencers gaining overnight relevance.
With everybody – business owners as well as consumers – being confined to their homes, adjustments such as adopting remote work culture, developing online engagement strategies and so on, have become extremely crucial. Now, more than ever, business organisations need to become familiar with the changes in audience behaviour and brand communication in these critical times.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing involves employing content creators of a specific niche to improve brand awareness, increase traffic and enhance a business’s overall reach.
These content creators already have a similar target audience. They can market products and services across different channels such as blogs, social media, digital or print ads and TV, letting the business expand its reach across an ideal audience and create brand awareness.
Top benefits of influencer marketing
With a considerable shift in demand, it’s the consumer’s need for products and services that remain constant. Hence, in order to stay afloat in the current situation, organisations need to focus on creating a market strategy that appeals to the consumer, and influencers might just be the best option right now.
Spreading positivity and providing an escape
Influencers can be very creative and positive in their approach. They create content that can provide an escape to the audience by letting them adopt new hobbies and habits while simultaneously improving their online presence.
At the same time, influencers can be positively entertaining as well. Music videos on TikTok or skits on Instagram can give a daily dose of humour to an audience, while subtly marketing the product or service.
Of course, both the influencer and the brand have to be responsible and ensure that the consumer remains satisfied.
Getting the message out
In addition to staying home, spreading the word about best practices for personal hygiene like washing hands and stopping the passing of false information is an excellent way for brands to market their products while helping consumers.
For example, Elf Cosmetics used TikTok for making a hand-washing remix. Email is also another tool that small businesses pick to contact their clients. Although there are a lot of options, getting an email service with good inbox security and management can be difficult, so it’s important to make the right choice!
Another approach is to create content emphasising the importance of staying healthy and fit while being quarantined. This can include gym equipment, mindful and relaxing exercises, or eating healthy.
A good businessman knows the importance of having a loyal customer base. While there are cases of fraud in influencer marketing, a majority of influencers are very particular with the brands that they associate themselves with, which makes them reliable and trustworthy in the eyes of their audience.
Brands can bank on this trust to help enable the sales of their products or service. There’s a reason why brands like Rolex and Mercedes-Benz pay millions of dollars each year to a celebrity like Roger Federer. Studies show that brands enjoy greater visibility when they’re endorsed by a prominent celebrity, especially one with an ethos that resonates with the target consumer.
Greater reach without an increase in budget
The full extent of the side effects of coronavirus on the economy isn’t yet fully known, so organisations need to market their products or services judiciously and effectively. The chosen marketing strategy must generate robust results.
According to a study, influencer marketing can generate nearly 600% return on an average. This makes it incredibly potent despite giving marketing managers the flexibility to invest according to their budget and pay the influencer on the basis of their engagement metrics.
Another factor here is the ease of repurposing PPC ads. With the permission of the influencer, user-generated content (UGC) can be repurposed to not only lower cost per engagement but also increase the overall ROI for marketing. Businesses can make use of an expenses tracking tool to keep track of how much they invest in their advertisements.
Is recruiting influencers a good investment during Covid-19?
While there is no doubt that email marketing is more effective at sales generation than social media platforms, things are changing in the age of Covid-19. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have seen nearly a 40% increase in usage, with double the views on live streams.
For brands, figuring out an effective way to market their non-essential products against the backdrop of the pandemic is proving to be a little tricky. After all, sticking to the usual marketing strategies might make them look ignorant, but at the same time, using pandemic-themed ads can seem opportunistic. Acknowledging what the consumers are facing without being overly overt about the current situation can be the right approach.
This is where a select group of content creators known as influencers can help. Influencers understand the art of social media, which helps them create interesting content. Most of them have a large and loyal following, with many of the followers trying to mimic their lifestyle choices. Brands can tap into this desire of consumers.
Reportedly, Kylie Jenner gets around $1.2 million for a single post on Instagram. For most brands, of course, this can be a big amount to pay upfront. But then, if even one percent of her 181 million followers purchase about $100 worth of merchandise of the brand promoted, the total revenue for the company would nearly hit $181 million – that’s how valuable hiring an influencer for a business can be.
Even if there isn’t the budget to hire big-shots like Jenner, micro-influencers are an option too. Micro-influencers have tens of thousands of followers with higher follower engagement and are open to promoting products or services in a more personalised manner, plus they’re more affordable. Even reaching out to YouTube influencers who produce authentic content can be beneficial for boosting revenue and creating brand awareness.
All these reasons have made influencers an integral part of doing business today. It may seem unbelievable that an influencer who posts selfies and creates videos can help generate revenue during coronavirus simply by offering a discount, but it’s really happening. The quarantine era caused unprecedented spikes in social engagement with nearly 83% increase in usage. In other words, now is the best time to capitalise on an influencer‘s popularity.
The bottom line
Influencers and paid social media are definitely worth the investment. Understandably, building an effective influencer campaign will involve trial and error, and there are certain risks and dangers too. But, in the end, the pros outweigh the cons.
A brand can widen their reach and boost traffic through influencers, as well as broaden their audience to people from around the world. Working with the right influencer who is aligned with a brand’s voice and products or service will help establish brand equity and trust, which can be very beneficial in the long run.
The editorial unit