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A content shift in influencer marketing

The rise of COVID19 has done a reset for all the brand marketers. There is an accelerated need for influencers to reach out to their audience more than usual. While some advertising budgets have been stopped, communication from these influencers has become essential. Social distancing and fewer collaborations with brands have changed the course for the kind of content that these content creators regularly produce.

Revamping their current strategies

While brands are taking their time to adjust to the new times, social media content creators have not slowed down. Their regular aspirational content has transformed into authentic ones. Influencer Marketing’s popularity can be strongly attributed to the content authenticity of influencers on social media.

Greenroom talked to some of the content creators who have decided to shift their content focus. Aswathi Balakrishnan, a fashion blogger strongly believes that this dip in brand marketing is temporary. “I have been completely focussed on creating more content. My followers are still looking for positive energy from social media. The idea is to still create authentic content and do what I love doing. I am also taking this time to experiment a lot with my niche demographic. Since I have been posting more gardening related posts, more people have started reaching out to me and the engagement has increased noticeably. In a few weeks, brands will come back looking for different marketing strategies and I know I will have a lot to offer them then.”

A post shared by Aswathi Balakrishnan 🧿✨ (@aswathibalakrishnann) on Mar 26, 2020 at 11:06am PDT

Travelling may have taken a hit but her content now centers on routines and normalcy presenting an incredible value to her audience. This allows the audience to feel that she is still “on brand” with her regular content.

Chennai based blogger Subhiksha Venkat tells us how she is using this time to interact with her audience more. She says she sees a direct increase in comments and direct messages from their followers. With so much free time on their hands, there is also an influx of new followers looking for fresh content.

“Recently, I have been creating as much content as I can from home and the response from the audience is more than usual. I am completely focussing on them by doing live sessions and interacting with my audience. This pause mode is helping me gain insights into what my audience actually wants.”

Direct selling is no longer the norm. Brands can no longer afford to be pushy and have to be subtle with the assurance that sales will happen after the lockdown period. There is no precedence to this situation and it is essentials for brands to follow audience insights consistently. The marketing rulebook is still adapting to the current circumstances by studying consumer behavior. Brands like CureFit have done an excellent job in terms of making their service available online for their consumers.

An appetite for content

Some brands have successfully adapted to the current situation. They’re catering for the audience not only with services that seem relevant in the current conditions but also gets them out of boredom by making it more entertaining. The “new normal” for brands is constantly adapting to consumers’ wants and needs which can be temporary. 

Talking about relevant ad campaigns to Nisha Ganesh, a TV star and online influencer, “I think it the best time for brand marketing and perfect for OTT. With us staying back at home, everyone is trying to learn new things, challenge themselves, and looking for more content online. This time has made the digital world’s tasks even more challenging. For example, the Bru Dalgona campaign was a relevant one in recent times. I have personally tried making the Dalgona coffee and my audience loved it. So many of them responded not only through comments but tried it and tagged me and the brand.” 

A post shared by Nisha Ganesh (@prettysunshine28) on Apr 7, 2020 at 3:45am PDT

The content focus on Instagram is now more towards routine and normalcy – fitness, cooking gardening and other influencer live sessions one can pursue from home. Charity and NGO organizations’ appearance is also on a rise on influencers’ feeds.

A post shared by Yasmin Karachiwala (@yasminkarachiwala) on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:56am PDT

TikTok which has been seeing incredible growth for the past couple of years with over a billion users has seen a 22% spike in their app usage in the past month. Not only are the existing users spending more time on the app mindlessly scrolling through content, but there is also a 12% influx of new users. New content creators have popped up with more audience availability as well. 

TikTok influencers are leveraging their social clout by making content that is also educational and inspirational for their audience. While entertainment has been the main focus on this platform, there is a new trend of educational and awareness campaigns coming out.

The bounce back

Brands also need to focus on the revival phase and need to start planning the next steps. The insights gained over the past couple of weeks in terms of content, relationships, and other factors can attribute to effective solutions in influencer marketing.

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