14 SEP| NEWS
By Clan Team
COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in the plan for many businesses. With the pandemic having affected the global economy, brands have had to rethink their entire marketing strategies and approach something more accessible to their target audience
COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in the plan for many businesses. With the pandemic having affected the global economy, brands have had to rethink their entire marketing strategies and approach something more accessible to their target audience, and this is where influencer marketing has had an upper hand over other forms of traditional marketing.
With stringent lockdowns in place restricting people’s movements, OOH advertising has taken a drastic hit in the last couple of months, leaving brands to identify alternative strategies to reach out to potential customers. As more and more people have migrated to digital platforms as their go-to place to consume content (be it in the form of video, audio or written content), thanks to the growing number of smartphone users in the country as well as dirt-cheap 4G plans, brands are keen on leveraging the high engagement and reach of digital platforms through influencers. With more people staying indoors due to the lockdown, social media platforms have also seen a spike in ad impressions and user engagement. Adding to the fact that influencer marketing campaigns are far more flexible and cost-effective has further fuelled the migration from traditional marketing to digital. Another upside of using influencer marketing is the reach towards millennials and Gen Z, an audience that is more inclined to buy products through social media, be it through influencers with a major digital footprint, or influencers that cater to specific niches i.e. micro-influencers.
According to the Economic Times, India's influencer market is valued at $75-150 million a year, with most brands in the country allocating up to Rs 10 lakh each for their influencer marketing budgets. But now, most of the brands around the world are assessing the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Paid sponsorship deals are going to dry up and it is the lifestyle influencers who are going to be directly impacted.
The economic slowdown due to COVID-19 has forced a number of brands to cut down on their marketing budgets, which has directly affected influencers and their sponsorship deals. A recent report by Socialbakers has revealed that:
However, there is a silver lining that emerges from this report. Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of Socialbakers says:
“Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, brands are still investing in influencer marketing to reach their target audiences, but with a distinctly different approach. Nano and micro-influencers are now seen as high-value resources, bringing high impact without the big price tag of macro and mega influencers. As budgets remain tight, savvy brands will likely continue to expand partnerships with these smaller influencers as part of a smarter social media strategy in the wake of the continuing worldwide pandemic.”
As brands cope with tighter marketing budgets, the data shows they are increasingly investing in influencers with smaller followings. Over the last 16 months, over 40% of all brand partnerships were with smaller influencers with between 10,000-50,000 followers. The next largest share, which started growing again in 2020, and sharply since the pandemic hit, was micro-influencers with fewer than 10,000 followers. Mega influencers were involved in the least amount of brand partnerships, at less than 3%.
In April 2020, 33.3% of all Instagram influencers cooperating with brands were nano influencers, and 31.9% of all #ad posts came from nano influencers. That’s the highest those percentages have been since June 2019. Of all the brand cooperations that Socialbakers analyzed, nearly 94% were micro-influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers. This points to a belief among brands that positive campaign results can be achieved with smaller, more authentic influencers that are closer to their real public.
COVID-19 might have caused quite a disruption in the world of influencer marketing but going by the reports, micro and nano-influencers were the go-to choices of influencers for brands to work with for their campaigns, pointing towards a shift in trend towards influencers who have a following between 10,000 to 50,000.