How to utilise authentic influencers: post Covid-19 recovery

As business begin the recovery process post COVID-19, marketing strategies will be crucial to their overall success and research has suggested while organisations cut their ad and marketing efforts spend, they are still wanting to work and willing to spend on authentic influencers.

During uncertain and trying economic times, businesses must be strategic in their marketing efforts.

Businesses across the country and the globe are fighting to survive as they begin the recovery effort following months of lockdown and uncertainty.

Over the last few years, the influencer marketing space has grown rapidly. In 2019, it was an $8 billion industry and was projected to hit $15 billion by 2022.

READ OUR PERSPECTIVES: What makes an influencer? 

According to the 2020 June Worldcom Confidence Index report, influencers are the most popular audience for Chief Marketing Officers attention right now and a recent survey shows influencers are thriving as sources of news, advice and reassurance during the Covid-19 crisis.

Authentic influencers have a unique ability to humanise a brand and create conversation, appeal and demand for products in the context of real-life. During uncertain times, this has become increasingly important as followers seek normality, assurance and guidance.

Now more than ever, followers are peering deeper into the personal lives of influencers and building stronger connections with them as a result. Therefore, any brands influencers choose to align with become even more important to their followers than pre-COVID and it is critical these brands find influencers of what people feel and value right now.

We are seeing a shift away from the traditional promotion led campaigns with the focus of these influencer marketing strategies is shifting to brand and reputation management.

Consumers want to engage with content that is authentic while being cognisant of the current challenging circumstances so brands and influencers need to be building trust and presenting hopeful and inspiring messaging.

READ OUR PERSPECTIVES: 4 Ways to measure authentic influence on social media 

So how do brands choose authentic influencers to work with?

The following are four key defining characteristics business leaders should look for when choosing influencers to engage with:

  1. Expert knowledge: they have an expert level of knowledge or professional background on the subject matter. Authentic influencers who know what they are talking about and share educated, accurate and relevant information have a much more attractive offering to users wanting real information from a trusted source.
  2. Creates behaviour change: influencers that have the ability to evoke emotion and influence behaviourare the influencers your brand wants to work with. Influencers who are seen to be authentic in their content are far more likely to evoke behaviour change in their audiences. A good indication of this is when influencers share their follower’s posts that they have been tagged in.
  3. Strong character/beliefs: influencers have the ability to voice their thoughts and ideas to a large audience and often use their voices to comment on trending issues that are important to them. When done well and sensitively, influencers who make a stand or talk publicly about an issue create a deeper sense of authenticity and build trust with their audience.
  4. Trusted source of information: influencers must be a trusted source of reliable information on the topics they speak about. If an influencer does not have the trust of their audience, they are not going to influence their actions or behaviour. It is critical to do your research when working with influencers as they need to be able to back their claims up if questioned.

During uncertain and trying economic times, businesses must be strategic in their marketing efforts to make the most impact and get the best dollar value. Partnering and working with the right influencers could help your business thrive in your post COVID-19 recovery.