Whether you’re reading this at home, at work or somewhere in between, I think we can all agree that these are crazy and unusual times. With the shift to working from home for some and total shut down for others, the current climate for any kind of sales or marketing (toilet paper excluded) is changing. Today, I hope to share a few points with you to spark some ideas and to provide a little light reading, after all, marketing should never ‘switch off’, should it?
The Government restrictions on travel and activity have thrown some influencers into a spin – what can a travel blogger promote whilst they’re stuck at home? The jet-set lifestyle they are so accustomed to has just been put on halt, so they’re going to have to get creative! The travel niche is just one of many that have pumped the brakes in light of everything going in the world – think about restaurants and the food bloggers who used their platforms to promote them. If I were them, I’d be promoting cookbooks and food delivery subscription boxes. Below is a great example of Deliveroo running an ad aimed to capture the ‘stay at home’ audience.
View this post on Instagram
Saturday night in for me and the family tonight! I imagine so many of you are doing the same (best place for us all right now!) I have what you all need – a @deliveroo takeaway 😋 If you're new to the roo, check out the bundles where you can order for the whole family for £20 from over 5000 restaurants GET IN! @deliveroo #ad
If I was an influencer in any industry, I’d be taking a real hard look at the content I used to post and analysing exactly what my audience follows me for. If the answer is the clothes I wear, think about the clothes that your audience are going to be wearing now. If you used to promote suits and professional work attire, ask yourself, are your followers really looking to buy a new suit if they’re working from home? Consider deals with companies who produce comfy loungewear, of course taking into consideration their alignment with your style and brand. It’s important that the content shared still feels like the rest of the feed, after all, nobody likes ads that look like ads! You should still be giving your followers relevant content because it’s still you and you are meeting their wants and needs in a changing working world.
Let’s think of a few more examples of influencers adapting. An influencer is known for their sun-drenched, sandy beach, bikini-clad content might want to seek out a partnership with a sunglasses company, or maybe a fake tan brand. Why? Because these products match the audience’s interests. Followers looking for holiday-based content may purchase sunglasses to feel one step closer to their own holiday (whilst helping them through the odd sunny day in the UK too) or could buy fake tan to get that holiday ‘glow’ whilst they’re sat at home wishing they were somewhere tropical.
An industry that has adapted quickly and effectively to all of this chaos is the fitness industry. I’ve seen so many successful pieces of content based around home workouts, it’s truly staggering. Personal trainers who once relied on their gym for income, running face to face sessions, are now taking their classes digital. Whether it be an online group class via Zoom or a one to one session delivered over Skype, fitness instructors have taken to online classes like ducks to water – the most successful example of this is undoubtedly Joe Wicks, more than 800,000 households tuned in for one of his morning workouts. An opportunity for business partnerships and brand deals here would be home workout equipment & clothing, potentially nutrition products too.
So, what does all this mean for businesses and brands moving forward? The important thing to remember is to think ‘audience-first’. When working with influencers, no matter their size it’s crucial that you consider audience interests and their shared interests. Empathise with the consumer by asking yourself “what will this audience be doing now, what will they be looking to purchase to make their life better”. A shift in consumer behaviour and buying patterns will come at no surprise, disposable income will be down across the board as the public start to feel out the situation they find themselves in – for lots of people being furloughed might not allow them to spend as freely as they once could, but with that being said making their home a nicer place to be in these trying times raises an opportunity for us as marketers.
Why not give influencer marketing a try? With more and more people flocking to social media for entertainment and to pass the time, an influencer marketing campaign could give you rapid exposure and if approached with a robust strategy could help supplement your sales. Influencers aren’t just on Instagram, think outside of the box a little. Any platform with ‘followers’ has influencers, so it might be worth exploring LinkedIn, YouTube or even TikTok. Find the platform where your target audience is spending their time, then build your strategy accordingly. I read recently that music streaming was down on platforms like Spotify, but was up on YouTube, and that global downloads for TikTok jumped 12% between March 9th – 13th, really demonstrating the public desire to consumer visual content more than any other.
Now could be the perfect time to use influencers to get your business in front of the right people. Just remember to think audience-first and to consider how your product or service is going to make someone’s life better in the world on lockdown.