Overall, influencers are connecting with their followers in new and unique ways to create engaging content and form deeper relationships. All of this leads to a more personal and direct relationship between influencers and followers which ultimately presents an opportunity for the right brands.
A Place for Brands to Participate
Brands can play an important role during the shift to more personal and direct relationships between influencers and their followers. Deeper connections mean more loyalty, engagement, and trust. Currently, sponsored ads are seeing higher engagement, with one influencer marketing agency reporting a 76% increase in daily accumulated ‘likes’ on posts for IG influencer campaigns in the first half of March.
Within crisis there is opportunity, and for brands that means authentically hearing from and connecting with (potential) consumers through influencers. Moreover, it’s an opportunity for them to truly showcase how they can provide value now and in the long term. According to a survey by Influence Central, 89% of influencer respondents want to work on “feel good” brand campaigns and “philanthropic efforts,” which aligns with how most brands are communicating with consumers at this time.
So, what will the influencer space look like after quarantines end and people get back to “normal” routines in 3, 6, 9 months from now? For one, consumers will continue looking for those close, reciprocal relationships formed during quarantine. They will expect influencers to be responsive to their input and continue being authentic in the content they are sharing. It’s likely that the transparency we’re seeing from influencers is here to stay, as influencers take on even more of a responsibility to keep it real with their followers. Plus, the more casual use of Instagram has put a significant dent in the usual overly curated nature of content on the platform.
Similarly, there is a rebranding opportunity for influencers. By entertaining followers from within the four walls of their homes, influencers have had to pivot out of their established space and deliver diverse content. This has resulted in more unique and creative content from many creators, who will retain these new skills, especially knowing how their audiences respond to and engage with such content.