During the most critical moments of the pandemic, we were faced with the absence of the “looks of the day”, fashion events, incredible trips and hot spots. In such a scary scenario, showing off the latest workout routine or skin care product made no sense. Influencers with millions of followers were involved in controversy for having parties in their houses in the midst of a pandemic, or even for their anti-vaccine and anti-mask-wearing stances. As a result, they had follower cancellations and, the biggest fear of any influencer, breach of contract with brands.
It was the moment when we saw the following question arise in a market that seemed solid and safe: does detachment from reality in favor of entertainment still make sense? In the report published by Pinterest in December 2021, slowdown, the ultimate enemy of that commitment, was outlined as a sure trend for 2022. According to the survey, searches for a simpler lifestyle connected to nature increased by 95%. Internet content consumers became more attentive to what their influencers were posting, whether they were aligned with events in the world around them, and how they were expressing themselves about certain events.
The rise of new voices
The pandemic led to irreversible changes in the market for content creators, and very quickly, it was even when microbiologists, doctors, sociologists, psychologists and other professionals who until then had not had representation on the network gained positioning on the Internet. In other words: if before the influencers talked mostly about fashion, beauty and games, now the guidelines have changed and expanded.
We saw very quickly this growth of influencers who took advantage of their social networks to bring free and quality content about their specialties in a democratic and accessible way; also an era of influencers who represent a greater mission of solidarity and change in the world. The era of likes is over and the era of engagement has begun. And engagement is more than “I love it” or “beautiful” comments on posts. When we talk about engagement, we refer to followers who identify so much with a certain influencer or brand that they are true fans. They comment on the posts, they save the content because they think it adds value to their lives, they share it with friends because they really believe what is being said. And this is the biggest social media dream of any company, isn’t it?
Given this context and to support companies, we have listed 5 tips that brands should have when working with content creators in a post-pandemic world:
1. Less can be more
Today we hear many people say that likes are the metric of vanity and that they do not necessarily convert into sales for brands. Of course, the more followers an influencer has, the more people will see their brand. But what good are so many followers, if only a small percentage is really interested in the product or service you are selling? Therefore, before signing a contract with the influencer with the most followers in your industry, try to meet the smaller influencers. His follower base is almost always faithful and, therefore, the chances of consuming a product indicated by that influencer are much greater.
2. Be part of the influencer routine
Find a name that actually uses your product or service and loves your company. The logic is very simple: if he is a fan of your brand and already consumes it, his followers will see the ad more naturally. The followers know very well the tastes and routines of the influencer and will immediately realize if the association with a certain brand is authentic or just for money. If you think it is the second option, the losses will be for the content creator and for the image of your brand. The more integrated your product or service is in the real life of the influencer, the greater the chances that your followers will buy. If you have an influencer in mind who isn’t already aware of your product or service, offer them a free trial before joining. Let him see the relevance of your brand in his life and only then propose a deal.
3. Disputes: do your best to avoid them
Our society has never been more polarized than it is right now, and associating yourself with controversial names can turn your company into a villain. It may seem basic, but it’s a more common mistake than you think – and we learned this in the pandemic. So before partnering with an influencer, really research their life and ask the controversial questions that need to be asked. Political direction, opinion on geopolitical conflicts, how he views science, technological advances, how he feels about minorities: don’t be afraid to ask these questions. Also, never forget to do a thorough research on the episodes that involve the life of the content creator and coldly analyze if it has the potential to become a problem for your company in the future. Likewise, if there is a dispute in the future, it is convenient to cancel the contract and clarify the reasons for your consumers.
4. Create your own influencers
Who better than the people who work in the company itself to talk about it? So just like the new voices that appeared on social media during the pandemic, your company can also create new niche influencers. If you analyze it calmly, you will surely identify employees from strategic sectors who, in addition to being fans of the brand, have a great ability to influence people. If that person knows how to communicate well and has a good command of social networks, even better! The public loves to see who is behind the company logo and it is up to your company to identify these talents and propose them to be brand ambassadors.
5. Updated content creator
Social networks are a living organism and the rules of the game change rapidly in them. The best example of this is the change that Instagram has made to increase the reach of videos and decrease the reach of posts. Look for a content creator who is aware of these changes and who is not afraid to take risks with new formats. Your business needs to understand the algorithm game and know how to use it to its advantage. Understand if the influencer to be hired understands the continuous changes in the networks and knows how to navigate well between the different tools available on social networks. This is essential to the success of your business in the online world.