1. Influencer marketing matters more than ever

There’s no better time to test the impact of influencer marketing on your brand, now that people have to stay inside. You can set very clear KPI’s to track, going from brand awareness to sentiment or purchase intention. It’s the only true influence on the behavior & thoughts of your Gen Z & millennial target audience. Influencer marketing can also re-direct consumers to the e-commerce of your brand. This will become a very important part of your strategy in the next months, as the stay-at-home economy will change the shopping habits of consumers drastically. At this time, your consumers have to find their way to your e-shop and as a brand, you have to think about a way to keep them there. So, make sure your marketing messages emphasize this across all channels. Once your consumers found their way to your e-shop, make sure the right & relevant products for this stay-at-home period are highlighted. No one cares about a new bikini right now, but a comfortable tracksuit is on everybody's wishlist!

2. Social distancing results in online connecting

The COVID-19 crisis has boosted global usage of social media across all platforms, with Instagram, followed by Snapchat & Facebook as leading channels for millennials. TikTok seems to be broadly integrated during this confinement period, being the number 4 most downloaded app in Benelux for the past week. With a 27% increase in engagement, it’s clear TikTok is the go-to-channel for Gen Z.

3. Content on social media shows clear consumer trends

During this stay-at-home period, everyone is craving content. Especially infotainment is the golden nugget nowadays that will hook your followers on every piece of content that you put out on the world wide web. It's about informing people and entertaining them at the same time. It's about realizing that you need to excite a person’s imagination and not just add information to an already full cup, to make an impact. You need to expand the size of the cup by making readers want to know more.

Especially content that touches upon more sensitive topics is warmly welcomed. Think of mental health subjects, self-improvement posts like home cooking, indoor workouts, DIY projects & e-learnings are popular. But also, self-care posts like beauty tutorials & cleaning tips & tricks. People also like to escape from reality with social challenges & binge-watching and the 'support-your-local-businesses' messages - that encourage you to buck up your locals - are highly appreciated.

Influencers

4. Influencers have been fostering their communities with more content

Influencer data platform Stellar compared influencers' posts on Instagram in the Benelux from March with the previous month, February. They found an increase in the number of posts (+9,57%), but surprisingly not so much in engagement. Nowadays, on average Benelux influencers post 6 times/week, which is an increase of +25%. Also, the number of stories went up with 38%, equaling on average 7 stories/day. However, Stellar only noted a slight increase in engagement for nano- & micro-influencers. But in general, the engagement rate remains stable, probably because influencers post more, and followers tend to spread their likes/comments over different posts. Additionally, CreatorIQ, the company behind the influencer marketing cloud for enterprises, also shared some interesting global numbers:

Numbers brands covid shanice

5. Influencer content has shifted to more approachable & relatable content

Influencer content has shifted over the past weeks. All of a sudden, the everyday life has become interesting (again). It feels like we're back at the starting point from where influencer marketing took off. Paulien shared that she gets more questions than ever about her personal life and plans, triggering her to integrate these kinds of topics in her socials. Paulien hopes that influencers continue to share these kinds of content in the long term and I genuinely hope so too.

6. To keep Gen Z inside, their FOMO needs to be redirected to the living room

From everything we’ve seen in the news, it’s clear that the government struggles to keep Gen Z home. From lockdown parties to just ignoring social distancing, Gen Z doesn't really care about the guidelines. It’s contradictory because Gen Z is more on socials than ever. But #blijfinuwkot is not reaching them or hitting them the way it should. The biggest challenge now is to find a way of messaging that appeals to their world to keep them home because it seems that the fear of getting sick isn’t as big as the fear of missing out. Therefore, we need to make them feel like they’re missing out if they don’t stay home. For example, by having their heroes engage in online challenges with them.

7. People expect brands to show up & act human

Research from the Edelman Trust Barometer shows that 84% of consumers think brands need to use their influence to inform, educate & empathize. 65% of the consumers even said that the way brands respond to this crisis will have a huge impact on purchase intention. 71% of consumers even indicated that they'll lose trust & willingness to purchase with brands that put their profits before people during this crisis. Luckily, 29% of the consumers have already started using a new brand due to the innovative & compassionate way they have responded to COVID-19.

Numbers brands covid2 shanice

8. People are reassured by positive brand actions and commitments

Brands need to ask themselves in which territory they have permission to play a role. So, they can use their resources, unique know-how and creativity to make a difference. But they need to be mindful of what’s relevant for people these days. You can’t just sell a product; you need to find meaningful solutions to problems people are facing nowadays. And you don’t have to do it alone. There is power in collaboration, either with your community or with other platforms/brands.

Get in touch, if we can be your linking pin in this new narrative.

Sources

OONA. [@OONA Antwerp]. (2019, October 19). [Facebook photo]. Retrieved from Facebook. | Stellar. (2020, March 3). [Internal data]. | Kiriloff, T. [@tianykirilove]. (2020, March 16). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | Riemis, P. [@paulienriemis]. (2020, March 18). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | Valkiers, S. [@sofievalkiers]. (2020, March 19). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | Verhelst, H. [@helenkookt]. (2020, March 22). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | Riemis, P. [@paulienriemis]. (2020, March 30). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | Edelman, R. (2020, March 30). [Research article]. Retrieved from Edelman. | Peelman, S. [@peelvrouw]. (2020, April 7). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | De Burbure, M. [@museofgreens]. (2020, April 7). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | Riemis, P. [@paulienriemis]. (2020, April 7). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | Terryn, M. [@mathieuterryn]. (2020, April 8). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram. | De Bast, L. [@louisedebast]. (2020, April 9). [Instagram photo]. Retrieved from Instagram.

Spotify Radio Shows

They are not stopping there!

We’re November 2020 and Spotify goes all gas, no brakes on the racetrack!

The streaming platform just introduced radio shows, where creators get the option to implement music available on Spotify into their podcast. Now every host can start their own full-blown morning show!

Power to the people! And most of all to the creators… with its latest move Spotify just opened the door to a whole new market of influencers.

Spotify Podcast subscription

Spotify is considering a new subscription where you can subscribe to Podcasting only. If you weren’t yet convinced about podcasts, this might be your cue start believing.

Eager to know more?

Get in touch!

Shanice Engel
Shanice Engel Associate Partner