June 4, 2020
In the past few months, millions of influencers have openly shared their experiences with COVID-19 – good and bad. Marketers must also use this moment to reflect and find ways to develop empathy when trying to meet each of their partners where they are, by asking questions and using digital platforms to communicate more promptly and authentically . During #SMWONE CreatorIQDirector of Partnerships, Jenny Risch was joined by Jennifer Powell, CEO and founder of JP Inc.. and influencer guest, Mary Lawless Leeto investigate this topic in depth and get their expert insights on what works or not and why.
Here are the key findings and insights:
- Being creative can be as easy as going back on the floor
- Don't miss the power of gently touching the range
- Influencers are as aware of their voice in the market at the moment as you as a brand
Different influencers are likely to be affected by this crisis in different ways – Rish emphasized – so take the time to really understand the different types of influencers and the possible shifts in their goals. For example, mega and macro influencers earn a large part of their income as influencers. With this in mind, it is important to have a pre-agreement that outlines our multi-month or multi-year work to build a trustworthy long-term relationship. However, a look at a micro-influencer who is likely to treat this work as a sideline would be more interested in hearing about discounts, product exchanges, and other promotions to keep working with brands.
Some basic practices that Rish has offered to include in your approach:
- Do achieve with empathy. Ask both existing and potential partners how they are doing, even if you don't currently have the budget to work with them.
- Do Be open-minded when it comes to your tasks – your influencers may have new ideas that translate into great opportunities
- Not Assume the business is normal just because they haven't released pandemic content
- Not Get in touch with a partner before you understand their personal and family well-being.
"Influencers are more aware of their voice in the market than ever as a brand," said Rish. As a marketer, you now have the unique opportunity to develop briefings and creative strategies with your partners that are based on the experiences of the influencers and the new things that they try out from a content perspective, that may find resonance and that can bring them organically to life She.
Build trust amidst uncertainty
“The nice thing about working with an influencer is that he is a friend of his audience – and this relationship is special and has a lot of trust. As brands make contact and engage again during this time, it is important to trust this influencer and his leadership to convey the best message, and to rely on this influencer's recommendations, ”Lee said on the subject as it is today looks like building trust and how to set the right tone for a partnership from the start. Powell added that it was crucial for big players like Lee and Danielle Berstein to keep their finger on the pulse. In particular, this practice of social listening leads to a key data resource and helps in providing constructive feedback when discussing with brands which types of content work and which do not.
This doesn't mean brands shouldn't be involved in these conversations, and the gentle touch of the reach shouldn't be overlooked right now. “It is so important for the brand to get to know the talent, whether it is a compensated relationship right away, or just to meet and hopefully enter into a partnership. It has always been an important part of my job for me, especially when I think about a mega or macro influencer like Mary. "
Lee referred to her own story of how she wanted to move her brick-and-mortar business online, adding that it is a one-way street. “The name of the game at the moment is to support each other and meet in the middle. We approached every brand we've ever worked with and asked how they could be supported by messaging and content overall. Many came back to us with gifts and we could take that and support them with stories, stories and contributions. "
Reset to floor level to encourage creativity
Eighty-five percent of Lee's readers have been with her for six years or more. Powell articulated that these statistics are a direct result of their impact as a brand partner and healthy community. “Your blog has always been a passion project – never a job. From the birth of a child to the opening of the store to the construction of a house, it was an opportunity to take brands with them on their journey through life and to exchange their experiences in different phases of their lives. "This is equally, if not more, relevant to COVID-19.
"We haven't noticed how many mothers have followed us, so we've been doing a lot more cooking, baby and fitness content lately and it brings a smile to my face. I look forward to exploring these issues in more detail, because I really love doing these things, ”added Lee.
In order not to downplay the crisis, they both agreed that there was a silver lining. For Powell and Lee, this means using the situation productively to experiment and go back to the beginning of why influencer marketing works and its role in the industry. They plan to continue using new platforms and content approaches for Instagram Lives, TikTok and LinkedIn to control the results of the pandemic today and next year.
"Do you have a multi-layered strategy involving all of these different levels of influencers," Powell said in a final thought.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to support more than 100,000 marketing colleagues who are expanding their skills and knowledge.