Sales in influencer marketing was expected to near the one billion-mark in 2020, according to market studies, if the corona pandemic would not have brought advertising budgets to a standstill. Even though there seems to be already a light leading out of the crisis, a full recovery will probably take some time. The current cuts still affect influencer cooperation enormously since many advertisers question whether influencer marketing is in general the right communication measure during the crisis.
If you ask yourself if companies should establish partnerships right now, the answer is a loud “yes”. If you proceed with the necessary decency and sensitivity, you don’t risk getting burned as being present with the right topics and promotions have always a good chance to strengthening a brand.
Currently, content producers should however ask themselves how intensive they want to process the crisis topic on their channels. Both traditional journalists and influencers must find the right mix of topics for their community right now. The advantage of influencers is, however, that they are in constant contact with their fans and followers and can thus obtain feedback much faster and easier.
Competent content consultants during a crisis
Companies should use influencers as consultants since they know best which topics and tonality their customers prefer because they exchange daily live streams with their community and receive direct feedback. For no other advertising format, it is possible to fall so easily back on knowledge and customer opinions, which is why influencers are perfect cooperation partners to help adapt messages and content. Compared to traditional formats, sponsoring the content has the advantage that the influencers are independently creative and take on the full production of their content. As a result, they are quicker with reactions and more flexible to changes regarding customer requests.
Change as an opportunity
Certainly, the Corona crisis brings unexpected changes for influencers, too, and forces many of them to try out new approaches and styles. As a result, they are open to new collaborations and formats—sometimes even for lower budgets since some of their cooperation partners dropped out during the crisis. This could be a good prerequisite for starting a long-term collaboration that will pay off in the post-crisis period, don’t you think? Needless to say, that it is a no-go to exploit the economic pressure some influencers may have to get cheap “airtime”.
Community building instead of sales
Due to social distancing, the number of users on the various social media channels has risen sharply. In the best-case scenario, companies get higher reach and more engagement for their sponsored content when they build new communities in cooperation with suitable influencers.
If you ask what to look out for when starting with influencer marketing right now, the following tips for influencer marketing in times of crisis could be helpful:
1. Adapt your messages and offers to the crisis. Stay away from sales campaigns in the Corona environment - which incidentally does not only apply to influencer marketing.
2. Look around to find out how influencers are dealing with the crisis on your channels. In this way you can get new inspiration and maybe find empathetic and creative approaches that you have not yet thought of.
3. Get advice and use the influencer's knowledge of your topic. Besides, being close to your community gives you novel impulses for your corporate communication.
4. Increase speed and flexibility with a partner who reacts quickly and can offer new content from the first idea to implementation from a single source. Some company got it already right and even started to give selected influencers additional budgets - despite the corona crisis.
5. Think of a time after the crisis. Companies with a large, engaged community navigate crises better. So, lay the foundation now and start long-term collaborations.
The effects of the crisis are still not foreseeable, and we can’t say yet which marketing measures will work best after Corona. However, some leading hardware and software manufacturers don’t think about reducing their exposure to influencer marketing, rather continue to rely on long-term relationships. They know, Corona or not, good relationships always pay off. And we can also only advise you to expand your relationships now, since influencer marketing offers you a flexible way to react to new developments at any time.