The power of the influencerIt’s no secret brands have continuously turned to influencer activations to target and engage the right audiences. However, the pandemic has certainly acted as a catalyst to springboard content creators into the mainstream and prove they can compete with traditional marketing channels. At the height of lockdown, marketers were unable to conduct pre-planned shoots for ATL campaigns and OOH advertising due to various social distancing restrictions in place. As a result, we witnessed many brands adapting their ad strategies. As the most qualified to create high-quality, hyper-targeted content from within their own homes, brands turned to influencers for a solution.A successful example of this was the #HaagIndoors initiative run by Häagen-Dazs in partnership with Secret Cinema. With real-life events cancelled due to the pandemic, Secret Cinema went virtual and briefed Häagen-Dazs to engage audiences in weekly in-home #SecretSofa screenings, encouraging sign-ups to the film club. Nano, micro and macro-influencers were activated to promote events across an eight-week period on Instagram and TikTok. The campaign generated positive brand engagements and created a real community during a difficult period of the national lockdown, with many consumers acting as brand advocates by creating organic user-generated content. Post-pandemic activation will see a huge growth in influencers being brought into the mainstream. Not only will content creators continue to dominate social media channels, but they’ll also be integrated into mainstream advertising spaces due to their influence with consumers, arguably even more so than celebrities. Takumi’s whitepaper found 37% of 16-44-year olds were more likely to trust a YouTube influencer versus a high-profile figure, demonstrating the competition influencer marketing provides more traditional brand endorsements.
Multi-faceted, multi-platformMulti-platform influencer campaigns will be a firm feature of our post-COVID world. Each social platform offers a distinct experience: YouTube allows for longer-form content with high production values; Instagram’s aesthetic edge, e-commerce features and user-interface creates stylised and artistic content; while TikTok encourages a more entertaining approach with its snappy, homegrown and trend-led videos helping it become the most downloaded app in the world.Clearly, there are different marketing opportunities available for brands across the various social media channels and knowing how and when best to allocate budgets to each is the key to a more cost-effective and successful campaign. Using a multi-faceted approach, marketers can reach the consumers that matter most to them on the channels they’re most engaged with.Another trend we’re likely to see is the emergence of influencers who are becoming more and more clued up on the ins and outs of brand marketing. As executive creative directors, they’ll work closely with marketers and use their detailed understanding of their own audience to improve the content’s performance.
Actress, presenter and influencer, @amberdoigthorne, says: “I think it is very important for creators and brands to have a multi-platform presence, as each platform will have their own unique audience. I know that some of my channels have a higher [or] lower age demographic, and so I can alter my content accordingly. Additionally, different types of content perform better on different channels – it’s all about understanding your audience.”