CEO of Found group which acquired Disrupt, Tina Judic has been an integral part of Disrupt’s development over the years and has worked closely with their team on a number of Disrupt projects. We spoke to Tina and asked her to predict the 5 influencer marketing trends post COVID-19.
Creating with empathy
The way the world has changed during this pandemic has, amongst many things, shone a light on influencers; who they are and what they endorse. Stripping back the sponsored posts for authentic and aligned partnerships that have increased relevance and context to their audience will see emotion and mindset taking much higher priority. This is why we are seeing a rise in micro-influencers, who are showcasing more authenticity and are more emotionally connected to the audience as they are ‘the audience’.
Coming of age
Such a crisis has shown that the mask of influencer marketing is becoming uncovered, and it’s the time to truly show maturity in the sector. Audiences look for inspiration; they need meaningful connections and to be inspired by relatable and aspirational content. So, influencers staying true to their discipline rather than the dollar signs (e.g. embracing deeper singular brands relationships rather than a sporadic and diverse mix of products or incentives) will demonstrate that they are an authentic and passionate ambassador of their genre.
Guided by their audience
In a time of uncertainty, with mobile and digital use in overdrive, audiences are seeking reassurance from outside of their own circles and adopting influencers as their comfort and escape. Influencers need to embrace this connection with their fans and engage the audience deeper into their content and proposition. We are seeing this reflected in more community participation with influencers working together with their audience, a self-sustaining content ecosystem.
It ain’t all about the money
Well, we all know it is. But we can all see now, in a time of hardship and restrictions, what is truly authentic. Being an influencer is a job and, of course, we all need to get paid. However, if the mindset is to force product with irrelevance just for the money, people will quickly disengage. This also works from brand to creator, whereby the costs of partnering are now becoming more transparent and the hold in which influencers had over brands, products and pricing structures will definitely start to feel the strain. They will quickly need to realise the true value in their perception rather than their following.
They are only human
The influencer space is a competitive market, and the current crisis has seen a huge surge in new creators and platforms entering the market. COVID-19 has, literally, been the launchpad for TikTok – for a good purpose. Of course, they will want to follow the trends and seek further opportunities, but they need to remember that their audience engages with them personally, on their preferred channels for their own entertainment. Should they try to diversify into new areas to gain increased audiences, they are likely to cut ties with the community they have built, and will find it a harder to resonate with new followers across a diluted platform offering.