Can influencer marketing thrive despite the recession?

If you need a sign to get started in influencer marketing, this is it. Lauren McFarland of Journey Further tells us he can solve multiple business challenges at once.

As Henry Ford once said, “stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” We know from previous economic downturns that companies that continue to advertise at the same or even faster rate achieve higher post-recession growth rates than those that cut budgets.

Most companies are probably discussing how they can spend smarter without increasing their budgets. But influencer marketing is a channel that allows companies to stretch their budgets further and get more for their money.

Influencer marketing offers brands an affordable way to connect with their audience. Money spent on influencer marketing will generate more ROI than the same amount spent on TV.

Meta reported that branded content ads have a 31% lower cost per purchase, compared to typical ad campaigns, so we know that influencer content generally performs better. We also know that people trust people, not brands. Smart brands will consider how they use influencer content beyond the influencer channel.

Some of your competitors will reduce their spend across all channels and they will slip into the minds of consumers. Take advantage: Be there for your customers and partner with influencers who create content that resonates with them rather than angering them.

How to thrive (not just survive)

The landscape of influencers is huge; most companies are already getting into influencer marketing, whether through giveaways, brand ambassadors, campaign activities, or an ongoing approach. However, companies and teams responsible for the activity cannot simply dabble in and expect to see success. Instead, brands need to ask themselves if their current strategy can thrive and survive a recession.

An effective way to do this is to perform an influencer audit. By integrating your influencer team with the strategy and analytics teams, you can understand who your key audiences are (or should be), where they shop, where they spend their time, and what motivates them.

Despite declining levels of disposable income following a recession, a big benefit of influencer marketing is that it allows businesses to be nimble. So, if you’re planning to change your product or services to be more affordable to customers like Boots and their new everyday range, influencer marketing is a great way to build awareness for your brand.

Having an influencer’s seal of approval will give gravity to your product while earning consideration and loyalty from your target audience.

Show you’re listening

At a time when it can be difficult to retain and attract new customers, working with influencers could create an opportunity to better understand your customers. Influencer marketing is not just about posting product photos in exchange for money. Try working with a group of influencers, preferably ones you have existing relationships with, and ask their audience what they would like to see more (and less of).

The information you receive can then feed your strategy and your customers will be more loyal because they are listened to. Likewise, if they feel they are being ignored, you will be ignored.

Influencer marketing is not like other channels as it provides solutions to an array of business challenges: creation, reach and content for branded channels, allowing brands to stretch their budgets. Think carefully about how and where this content should be used, and make sure you have permission from your influencer partners to do so.

Finally: Influencer marketing is not just about brands or agencies. Influencers are humans, so when it comes to negotiating deliverables and terms, remember they can feel the pinch too.

About William G.

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