The world has shifted into a strange, “new normal” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the world locked down and many industries still facing regulations, many people, including business owners are trying to figure out how to best navigate these uncharted waters.

For marketers, CMOs, and business owners, this means shifting their marketing strategy by taking a deep dive into their survival strategy.

While some marketing efforts just aren’t working right now (like experiential marketing), there are a select group of marketing wizards who have figured out how to increase engagement despite the present crisis: Influencers.

In fact, many influencers are doing better than ever. Not only are they helping their communities get through the difficult times, but they’re also helping them make crucial buying decisions.

It’s no wonder that during the lockdowns, many people stuck at home have flocked to social media to stay connected. According to a Statista global survey, over 40% of the world has spent more time on social media during the crisis.

While many brands are struggling to market their brand during the pandemic, those who have shifted to influencer marketing are seeing engagement increase. In fact, according to May 2020, The Age of Influence Report by Influencer and Global Web Index, 47% of consumers who follow influencers say they’re interacting with creators more during the pandemic.

If you want to market effectively during COVID-19, you’ll want to shift your focus to influencer marketing.

Influencers Increase Brand Engagement while Experiential takes a back seat.

The COVID lockdowns have been extremely disruptive to many industries, including the marketing and advertising business where people are used to going into the office. This, however, isn’t the case with influencers since they usually create content right at home.

Many influencers have shifted their content to be relevant to the times we’re living in, focusing on healthy eating, fitness, hobbies, or life advice. This shift has helped Instagram influencers reach an average increase in likes of 67.7% and an increase of 50% more comments, according to an Amra And Elma (A&E) survey.

In a sense, many of these influencers have transformed into “homefluencers” during the crisis since they’re connecting with viewers who are also spending more time in their homes.

Despite the drastic increases in influencer engagement, the cost of using influencers as a means of marketing hasn’t soared. The A&E survey shows that influencer pricing has only increased by 3.1% during the pandemic. This is an incredible opportunity to launch engagement without spending a ton of cash.

Influencers Drive Dependable ROAS

While many of the economic effects of COVID-19 are yet to be seen, it’s certain that many businesses are seeing a decrease in revenue. Any marketing approach you take, therefore, needs to generate real results.

According to Digital Marketing Institute, influencer marketing generates an average return of over 600%. On top of that, a study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions shows that in some cases, influencer marketing surpasses pay-per-click banner ad ROI by a whopping 1,100%.

With the economic uncertainty that looms above, there has never been a more important time to get the most out of your marketing budget. Every dollar counts. What makes influencer marketing so attractive to marketers right now is the versatility.

You can invest as little or as much money as you want into influencer marketing depending on your budget.

You can also use an impressive tactic to combine influencer marketing and PPC ads. With the influencer’s permission, you can repurpose your influencer’s user-generated content as PPC ads. This is a brilliant way to lower your cost per engagement, further increasing your overall marketing return on investment.

Increased Social Media Use Creates Opportunity to Build Long-Lasting Relationships

The COVID-19 crisis has led to a massive increase in social media traffic. The A&E survey also points out that content is being viewed at much higher rates. Some niches are seeing drastic increases like cooking (110% increase), fitness (100% increase), and meditation (55% increase).

On top of this, Instagram and Facebook traffic is up a whopping 40% for people under the age of 35. This overflow of new audiences and content consumption provides a perfect opportunity to establish influencer to consumer relationships now while consumption is up, in order to build long-lasting, larger audiences.

Influencers (micro-influencers especially) have the ability to humanize brands, developing trust which leads to long term growth. If there was ever a time to experiment with Influencer marketing — now is the time.

For any questions on strategy, or to explore our ShopandShout.co saves our brand partners time and money scaling Influencers campaigns please email us!

brands@shopandshout.com