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Influencer marketers come up with new strategies amid changing consumer behaviour during lockdown

Gautam Madhavan, Founder & CEO, MAD Influence, writes how brands can leverage influencers to reach out to consumers

Gautam Madhavan

It’s been over nine weeks since WHO confronted us officially with the global Covid-19 pandemic, which has created a deep impact on every sector of the society worldwide. And so is the case with the retail sector. Brands and retailers or their non-essential physical stores have been shut for an infinite time and even the ones that have remained open have been suffering a lot due to many challenges that fall before them. And all this has ultimately resulted as a change in the consumer’s buying behaviour. So the sector needs to completely evolve and rely the most on creating a strong online presence.

If we think holistically, then this approach of advertising and marketing by brands will hold great significance in the future. Yes, because the consumers are definitely going to relate the brands with the work they are doing today. The empathetic, happy, optimistically created human-centric memories that the brands use with influencer collaboration will leave an impact in their minds as it will touch the audience’s emotional appeal in such tensed times of coronavirus pandemic. 

In fact some brands have gone the extra mile and consumers look forward to other brands as well to initiate the same. What they have done is something which is unique and at the same time worthy of a lot of appreciation as the coming together of public, private and social sectors as one entity for a common societal ground is simply a great idea! Who would have ever imagined sectors like railways collaborating with the e-commerce companies? In itself a fantastic move! The sense of unity in such challenging times is effective, engaging and influencing to the audiences watching all this at home. And this creates even a more subtle impact on their minds since the usage of digital media is at its peak these days when people are constantly online looking for newer and quirky content. Brands such as the FMCG brands LifeBuoy, Dettol and Pepsi have moved forward more aggressively and are spending good budgets on marketing and are doing rather well during this phase. Put simply, times have changed and so is the consumer behaviour and expectations changing rapidly and therefore the influence depends entirely on what we as brands are doing right now. And the great coronavirus crisis is acting as a perfect catalyst to stimulate the success for any brand. An expert in the sector precisely explains, “Rather than create that content themselves – which could be perceived as opportunistic, not to mention a challenge during lockdown – brands should be looking for genuine advocates to create that content and be the facilitators of meaningful conversations.”

Influencer marketers are thus utilising influencers to the best of their abilities to market brands as well as general public interest-based campaigns at this time of crisis. Best examples of this can be seen in the online awareness campaigns done by TikTok and UNDP India #GharBaithoIndia, Lifebuoy #LifebuoyKorona, MyGOV #CoronaWarriors, WHO #SafeHands, Dettol #HandwashChallenge, TikTok #Happyathome, which went viral on TikTok with the help of influencers.

The recent times have witnessed brands allocating a large portion of their marketing spend on influencers who come with a lot of by default advantages, it is a pretty interesting situation to watch how these influencers match up to the changing landscape overnight due to the prevailing virus conditions. No fancy launch events, no perfect shoot videos, just the simple and realistic influencer sway on the audience. Altogether getting the job done from nice to not-so-good houses than others but with the underlying theme of ‘We are all in this together’ the influencers are getting it done with such great pertinence to match up to the sky rocketed online media consumption.

This is the time when undoubtedly influencers have a lot of work but this makes it all the more important that the brands have to choose their influencers very wisely, since they have a lot of pressure to churn out the best content. And of course, there will be the winners and losers! So it's now on the brands how capable they are in grabbing the lifetime opportunity and presenting their brand in the most creative and engaging way.  

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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