Lockdown is easing across America and as retailers go back to “normal” business, their digital strategies and partnerships also start to reignite. Influencers have been a regular tool used by brands and stores to boost their sales and KPI’s for a few years now, but we can’t help but wonder: is the influencer market operating as usual in a post-COVID context?
Yes, influencers proved to be useful even during quarantine, helping businesses to navigate the crisis and promote their online sales and services by collaborating with digital personalities. Online sales used to make up around 5% of overall sales for retailers but this has shifted. In fact, Europe had a 129% increase of online sales in the past few months. The new levels of safety that online shopping offers vs. physical stores will definitely impact the market through the current recession.
After watching things unfold since COVID-19 first appeared in the picture, we can expect the following trends to dictate how influencer marketing will function from now on:
- Influencers need to be validated beyond their following: ROI > KPIs; while engagement is important, the effectiveness of a campaign will be measured eventually by the impact in revenue instead of just how successful a post is. With businesses being more careful with their budgets, a strong ROI (Return On Investment) will be vital for influencers to build lasting relationships with brands.
- Giving brands a (more) human side: according to Forbes, consumers spend around 50% of their time on social media on their mobile devices since quarantine started. Influencers have the ability to start conversations with these customers (when they have credibility, of course), and they can be really helpful in giving any brand a more human/relatable side based on their insights and personal experiences.
- Going audience-centric: knowing your audience is a basic rule for social media success, choosing the right influencer and the right channel to speak to the right audience can be tricky, but it’s what will guarantee positive results ultimately. It’s all about making tailored messages to fit specific platforms, audiences and goals, using the ideal speaker to do so. It’s not (all) about picking an influencer based on their following.