The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted almost every industry and sector on a global level. Influencer marketing is an industry that has been particularly affected and brands, agencies and individual influencers have been forced to quickly adapt to a new normal.
The physical restrictions implemented through lockdown measures combined with brands taking the opportunity to review their communication and digital strategies have resulted in many influencers feeling uncertain about the future. As contracts have been placed on hold or cancelled altogether and the means to create normal content have been removed, influencers have been employing their creative skills to leverage their influence in new ways.
Many influencers are inherently adaptable and flexible, which is why we are seeing the evolution of influencer marketing taking place already. So, let’s take this opportunity to take a closer look at what has changed and explore how the landscape might evolve in the future.
The Rise of TikTok
In March 2020, TikTok was installed more than 115.2 million times . Alongside millions of everyday users, thousands of influencers have also started creating TikTok content. Short-form content is entertaining and easy to digest, which partly explains the platform’s popularity. Combine that with its large library of music and comprehensive selection of editing tools and you’re left with a tool that supports influencers to express their creativity.
In response, more brands will consider investing in TikTok marketing campaigns in an attempt to connect with an entirely new demographic whilst also still engaging their current audience.
Nano and micro-influencers were already experiencing a rise pre-pandemic but COVID-19 has the potential to provide those influencers with smaller followings with an additional boost throughout this year and beyond. As marketplace uncertainties have made decision-makers increasingly wary of investing in big budget campaigns and the trend towards authenticity grows, smaller influencers with a more engaged following are proving to be highly attractive to both brands and marketers.
Unpolished Over Aspirational
Today’s influencers are markedly different from those who were sharing their passions online in the late 2000s. Over time, many influencers have become less relatable and more focused on creating aspirational content. As access to professional photographers and editors has become more difficult, influencers have been embracing the joy of unpolished content to which a larger percentage of their audience can relate and engage with on a more meaningful level.
Moving forward, content that looks, feels and, importantly, is authentic is therefore likely to consistently outperform highly polished content that could be interpreted as vacuous or overtly materialistic.
In the face of a global crisis, many influencers have used their platforms to provide more value, help and support to their communities. While some have lent their voices to the #clapforcarers  campaign and shared the #stayhome  message, other influencers have gone a step further and offered their support to charitable organisations and initiatives. This has awakened a collective sense of responsibility amongst many influencers and highlighted the impact they can have on meaningful causes. With this in mind, it is likely that many influencers will be more selective when considering future campaigns, which will almost certainly lead to the creation of even higher quality, more valuable content.
One thing is certain; influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere and influencers are likely to make more of an impact in new, powerful ways.
As with have seen with the global coronavirus pandemic, there are myriad challenges facing modern businesses today. With new technologies and processes constantly evolving, management teams and decision makers are facing additional obstacles that must be overcome on the path to success. Here at RC&A, we have an industry-leading team on hand to help you attract top talent and assuage the resourcing burden facing the digital arm of your organisation. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your business.
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