We know that social media is one of the most important marketing channels of today, and companies are realizing the far-reaching possibilities of the platforms at the latest in the current crisis period. But getting the necessary attention right there is easier said than done. The ones who know how to communicate on Instagram and co. are influencers, bloggers and creators.
Due to the Corona Crisis and the accompanying changes in public life, our communication has moved almost completely into the digital space. Encounters in public spaces are almost non-existent. This has given social networks another decent boost: Now many more retailers are discovering the benefits of an Instagram profile. When no one walks past the store anymore, you have to draw attention to yourself in a different way. However, in order to see long-term success through the use of social media, a strategy is required. Without analyzing the target group and defining clear goals, implementation can come to nothing. Companies face the challenge of generating attention in the feed and delivering content that users won’t “wipe away.” The feed is thus the final opponent and it must be defeated.
Influencers are a big step ahead of companies: they have a community with which they are in constant exchange and know exactly how to entertain it. They are the key players when it comes to spreading trends and relevant topics. They have the power to create hype out of brands and products. This can be seen by the fact that big names on Instagram, such as @mrsbella or @pamelareif, have already caused entire websites to collapse by promoting products. When they recommend something, demand increases massively within a very short time. In addition to the big names of the Instagram world, however, micro-influencers are also increasingly coming to the fore. Although they have a smaller community, they usually maintain closer ties to it. They are perceived as particularly authentic and credible, which leads to followers being very eager to interact. Currently, retailers are also benefiting from the influence of Instagrammers: since the restriction of public life, some influencers showed how they rediscovered their passion for puzzles. A real boom followed, and the Ravensburger company saw a fivefold increase in demand.
Currently, however, we are hearing from all corners that influencers are breaking off their collaborations and campaigns are being put on hold. So is the Corona crisis not leaving influencer marketing untouched after all? Of course not, but it won’t suffer greatly, after all, right now the connection between influencers and their community is getting closer and closer. What moves users at the moment is how others are dealing with the current situation. People look to influencers for inspiration, and overcoming the same problems creates cohesion. The amount of time people spend on social media has probably never been as intense as it has been in recent weeks, and this is also increasing the relevance of influencers. But the interaction between companies and influencers is also becoming closer and more important: Production in companies is at a standstill and new content cannot be produced. It’s a different story with influencers. Their work is not only independent of time but also of location. This makes them the driving forces right now when it comes to providing the target groups with news. Influencer marketing therefore does not have to worry about its existence. That’s because the most powerful transformation of this industry is in the messages shared, but not in the reach of influencers. This remains the same.
Another advantage that influencer marketing brings is its fast-paced nature as well as flexibility. No one can react as quickly to news and trends as influencers on Instagram, TikTok, etc. As autonomous content creators, they can inform the target group directly, make statements, and introduce new products. They now record what they want to share with their community, post it directly to the web, and receive direct feedback within seconds. This makes them faster than all other classic communication channels and the company’s own advertising measures. At the same time, we see that the implementation and scope of influencer marketing is flexibly adapted to current consumer behavior. Prosieben is responding to the increasing relevance and reach of influencers with a TV format, for example, and is bringing influencer marketing into customers’ living rooms: Under the hashtag #InspireMe, the Instagrammer @tamtambeauty presents cosmetic products from the Max Factor brand. The influencer accompanies the broadcast spots on the channel Sixx with contributions on her own channel. In this way, the campaign receives the direct attention of the community and maximizes success with the authentic staging of the products in the context of tutorials as TV commercials. This example shows that influencer marketing is far from finished and that countless possibilities are open.
Businesses that have just jumped on the social media bandwagon should start now by understanding exactly who their target audience is and how they want to be addressed on Instagram. Then the question arises, which ambassador can help to arouse the interest of the users for the brand and the products. The key is to find the right influencers and use them to attract attention. In doing so, companies should rely on the expertise of influencers. They have far more knowledge about their community and how to entertain and appeal to them. To do this, influencers need the freedom to shape the cooperation in the best possible way with creative content. Too rigid specifications can jeopardize the authenticity of the campaign and thus also the achievement of the goal.
Now companies should use the cooperation with influencers to spread statements and position themselves. Through their content, Instagram pros can keep the brand in the conversation, strengthen the bond between the target audience and the company, and inform what’s on offer during the Corona crisis. It is precisely because users now spend so much time on social networks that attention can be increased. At the same time, however, we should also take a look into the future: What needs is my target group developing due to the current restrictions and how can we adapt?
Influencer marketing has been seen by many companies in recent years as a way to bring a breath of fresh air to their marketing efforts. Since they saw great success with others and the topic was on everyone’s lips, they wanted to try their hand at it, too. Strategy? Wrong. We see this tool evolving to make influencer marketing a natural part of the marketing mix and becoming increasingly professional. Accordingly, companies should view influencers as a strategic discipline that makes the brand relevant to customers. Influencers give the brand a face and not only trigger the need for the products in their community, but also convey and explain their purpose. The function of influencers as communicators of the company should be integrated into the overall marketing strategy and aligned with long-term goals.