While brands have reduced ad spends, those that are able to sustain during these times are turning to influencer marketing
By Gautam Madhavan
The past few months have proved quite challenging for the advertising and marketing industry. Undoubtedly, the repercussions of the pandemic, even if it subsides, will keep affecting consumer behavior in future. The new way of life which fosters the ‘stay home economy’ has dared us to adopt newer ways of connecting with consumers.
While brands have reduced their marketing budgets, those that are able to sustain during these times are turning to influencer marketing. Influencer marketing has always been a more personal form of marketing; now, it is emerging as the most effective tool.
Influencer marketing has itself changed due to the pandemic. Content creators are trying to make innovative content from their homes. Their content has become more regular; collaborations are happening over video calls; the popularity of live sessions has increased; and engagement on stories and videos has seen a hike. Brands are incorporating these changes as well. They are opting for sit-at home challenges, live shout-outs, promotions on IGTV, online collaborations, story shout-outs, etc.
Even though times are tough and budgets are restricted, the viewership of various digital platforms is peaking. YouTube has seen a good jump in its viewership in the last few months. Hence, campaigns that are going live are yielding high results. Dettol’s #HandWashChallenge is a good example: it became one of the best ever campaigns on TikTok, recording overwhelming reach. The brand was able to engage with the audience by using a challenge, while simultaneously creating awareness about the global threat that is currently surrounding us. While FMCG products are still receiving good circulation, brands like PepsiCo, Emami and Parachute are utilising the current situation very well.
This current scenario guarantees a lifestyle that has everyone confined to their homes; so people will rely more on e-commerce and digital media consumption to keep themselves and their families entertained and educated.
Top of mind
An interesting and profitable factor that marketers need to consider is that they have the scope to open a world of possibilities, and be hopeful of great success in terms of revenue and lead generation. The very idea of adopting a social message along with promoting the brand in an indirect manner is a good move. If your creativity can click with the audience, then you will be remembered. Keeping the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ principle in your mind, get your influencers on their toes to fabricate brilliant content visuals. Their professional and emotional acceptance amongst online consumers cannot be denied. Hence, utilising your influencers is of paramount importance since they are key in weaving you back to your consumers’ minds in these times where traditional advertising has become least important.
So, the time is apt for brands willing to yield fabulous gains to club collaborations with strategy, potential leads and expertise of influencers. Like most businesses, influencer marketing is also bearing the brunt of the pandemic. Budgets have been reduced in most cases. The decreased budgets of various campaigns have led to a reduction in the number of influencers and their payouts. However, a few brands like Dettol, Emami and Pepsi are still putting in the required budgets to conduct their campaigns at a good scale.
At this moment, people want to be entertained. Influencers who command high engagement whether through IGTV or YouTube, and are able to entertain the audience, are ideal for any brand at the moment.
The author is founder and CEO, MAD Influence