Influencer Marketing

How to Effectively Leverage Influencers

May 20, 2020

How are brands pivoting influencer strategy currently?

Influencers are powerful. To foster trust, credibility, and cultural relevance, many brands are utilizing influencers to ignite sales, form strategic engagement plans, and resonate emotionally with people through establishing value and purpose.

For people of any demographic, a familiar face can be refreshing and relatable, however, influencers can help promote inclusivity and equality among different groups, such as multicultural communities. In addition, younger generations care more about social causes, so influencers can help connect brands and consumers together through an inspiring and purposeful message.

Earlier this year, R3 reported that the overall influencer marketing industry was projected to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from $9.7 billion. Despite recent COVID-related spending slowdowns, there are many reasons to continue to use Influencers, including brand distinction and cost effectiveness. In the current climate, marketers are often pivoting their Influencer strategy to social service.

Below are helpful tips and case studies from brands that have effectively leveraged influencers in marketing campaigns.

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COVID-19 Influencer Marketing: Examples & Best Practices

  • How brands can still do influencer marketing during the pandemic. Advertising Age, May 2020
    Many marketers have put influencer campaigns on hold, but Procter & Gamble, L'Oreal, e.l.f. and Mount Gay are among those sticking with it and adapting. In the example below, Unilever's Clear hair care enlisted soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo in a #ComeBackStronger campaign to turn the lockdown into a self-improvement opportunity.

    • What is the goal of my proposed or current influencer marketing strategy?
    • How does my influencer marketing strategy solve a problem or bring value to the audience it is targeting?
    • Am I providing information they will perceive as valuable in the current landscape?
    • If I were someone who has been deeply affected by this pandemic, how would I respond to seeing this influencer campaign? Could it be perceived as insensitive, tone-deaf or opportunistic in any way?
    • How are we adding value to the community and our audience outside of our influencer marketing? Are we donating meals, money, or time to help our community?
  • Notable Influencers Mobilize Around #HOPEFROMHOME. United Nations Foundation, April 2020.
    The world's first multi-platform livestream fundraising event for COVID-19 relief efforts brought together celebrities, athletes and creators — including Aisha Tyler, Dikembe Mutombo, James Charles, Jeff Ross, The Game Theorists, and Markiplier.

Virtual (CGI) Influencers

  • 5 Notable Virtual Influencer + Brand Partnerships. Virtual Humans, April 2020
    In pursuit of message control, higher engagement, direct access to younger generations, PR opportunities, and new, innovative mediums, brands are turning to virtual influencers to get the job done. Yes – fictionalized, CGI humans designed for social influence are proving a useful alternative to human influencers in executing successful, massive brand campaigns.
    Example: Samsung uses virtual influencer, singer, and activist Lil Miquela to perfectly embody the campaign's tagline, "Do What You Can't."

  • A Virtual Influencer Is Helping to Drive Donations in WHO'S New COVID-19 Campaign. Advertising Age, April 2020.
    Influencers, like the digital creation Knox Frost, are using #Covid19Fund across social channels to drum up support. Other influencers who have already posted for the campaign include Owin Pierson, an LGBTQ+ and mental health advocate who has 136,000 followers on Instagram, and Jasmine Sweet, a blogger who has 55,6000 followers on Instagram.

Multicultural Influencer Example

Influencer Tools & Templates

  • Influencer Marketing Playbook and Toolkit. ANA. March 8, 2019.
    Use this step-by-step planning methodology and set of 15 premium tools and templates to create a streamlined approach to influencer marketing campaign execution and measurement. Includes:
    • Influencer Verification and Fraud Checklist
    • Influencer Contract Checklist
    • Influencer Marketing Platform RFP Template
    • Influencer Comparison and Selection Tool

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"Influencer Marketing." ANA, May 2020.