4-5x surge seen in influencer marketing during the COVID-19 period, say experts
The COVID pandemic has severely disrupted businesses across the world, however, these tough times have not deterred brands from continuing to create engagement with their consumers. With most media platforms witnessing a slowdown, brand activity is witnessing a tremendous growth on digital platforms.
Even as well-established brands continued their marketing and advertising activities through various routes, news age brands, too, have been seeing great traction during this period. Mostly digital natives, new age brands have been involving social media influencers to create engagement and relevance during times of lockdown and social distancing.
It is an interesting study in successful use of influencer marketing by the new age brands. Adgully’s premier property, #TwitterChat, highlighted this aspect in its latest discussion on ‘How is Influencer Marketing helping new age brands grow in India?’
Joining the discussion were:
Rohit Sakunia, Co-Founder & CBO, Art-E Mediatech (@rohitsakunia)
Unmisha Bhatt, Chief Strategy Officer, Tonic Worldwide (@unmisha)
Sagar Pushp, Co-Founder & CEO, ClanConnect.ai (@captainsagar)
Aarushi Sethi, Director, Pollen (@AaruSethiSays)
Anunay Sood, Co-Founder & CEO, Groundwork Solutions LLC, Dubai (@anunaysood)
At the outset, the speakers were asked to trace the growth of influencer marketing during the COVID-19 period and the key trends they have witnessed in recent times.
Unmisha Bhatt began the round of answers by saying, “Influencers and content creators have been in demand during the lockdown period. With increased screen time and the ability to create original content during lockdown, brands are investing increasingly on influencers.” She further added, “At the same time, there’s also an increased call for authentic following and quality of content, with campaigns that are blended in larger brand narratives and that sound authentic.”
According to Sagar Pushp, “A 4-5x surge in influencer marketing has been seen during the COVID-19 period. Marketing had to continue, traditional advertising was rendered unfeasible during the lockdown. Influencer marketing emerged not just as a viable, but also a highly lucrative option for brands. Brands are inclined towards influencers because of the ‘intent quotient’. With influencer marketing, a brand’s TG is actively following the influencer to consume your content.”
“Unlike a paid ad that isn’t voluntarily subscribed to, influencer content is user-initiated. Brand recall and purchase intent are much stronger in this case,” he affirmed.
Rohit Sakunia observed that there was a bump in the initial lockdown period due to the shutting down of production houses and lack of marketing content at a time when screen time was at its highest. “The only way out then was alternate ways of promotion. Influencer marketing (IM) became that. So, the format was an instant hit. The good thing for the format was that the initial months were followed by the festive season. And IM is always at a decent level around the time of Dussehra, Navratri and Diwali. People look for authentic content and ads don’t fit into that genre. Hence, the timing this year also worked,” he opined.
“From being a PLUS ONE option in every digital marketing mix, Influencer Marketing has now become THE ONE option in every campaign during COVID-19. At the beginning of the year, we saw people move to more live formats across platforms. This pandemic has led to a staggering rise in the consumption of digital content. Discovering the right products is mostly influenced by the people we know and trust. What better way to find brands than from the recommendations of real people with similar lifestyles?” asked Aarushi Sethi.
Anunay Sood remarked, “The initial period during COVID-19 was a mess for the influencer market. All ongoing deals were on a halt overnight. As things settled down, the market began booming for influencers. Brands started focussed campaigns and home content creation became a trend.”
Catch the complete conversation on Adgully’s Twitter page @adgully. Follow Adgully for our weekly #TwitterChat happening every Friday from 3 pm to 4 pm.