July 16, 2021

Influencer marketing in a post-pandemic world

In a year of change and disruption the influencer marketing industry has boomed and more brands than ever are looking to connect with their audiences by partnering with content creators.
Vanessa Dassi
Vanessa Dassi

Content & Talent Manager at Brave Bison

It all started with celebrities and a few dedicated bloggers. 

Now, everybody is familiar with the definition of influencer marketing and it’s evident that it is becoming increasingly popular among companies who want to build a genuine long-term relationship with customers.

However, it’s been difficult to predict what the situation would be like in the industry after the serious impact of Covid-19. 

Some industries have risen, others have collapsed. 

What about influencer marketing? How is the influencer marketing industry doing in a post-pandemic world? 

We can definitely say that, despite the pandemic, influencer marketing is still very popular – although there was undeniably a major slowdown in influencer marketing spend between March –  July 2020 as the pandemic unfolded. 

However, this was followed by a spike in influencer-led campaigns from August onwards, as reported by The Influencer Marketing Hub in their Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2021

Let’s look at the stats: 

From a mere $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to have grown significantly to a market size of $9.7 billion in 2020. This is expected to jump to $13.8 billion in 2021.

The data coming from the report looks very promising indeed, but despite having more and more businesses investing in influencer marketing, the report also points out how challenging it is for brands to find the right influencers. 

When a brand starts to consider running an influencer marketing campaign, it is fundamental to develop the right strategy and choose an experienced agency that can help find the most suitable creators for the partnership. 

Brands all around the world are choosing Brave Bison to create successful influencer marketing campaigns. As opposed to many other agencies, Brave Bison has a talent agnostic approach. We don’t have a roster of talent that we work with exclusively; instead, we find the best match for our clients, based on the campaign they would like to create and the audience they would like to reach. This allows us to source the most suitable influencers for our clients, as we always make sure to run a deep analysis for every single creator we recommend. 

This strategy has proved successful for many influencer-led campaigns and I would like to share two recent campaigns we produced to provide an insight into how influencer marketing performed during and after the pandemic. 

Producing an influencer marketing campaign during a pandemic: Brave Bison x VOXI

In October 2020, while the UK was about to enter another lockdown, Brave Bison started working on an influencer campaign for VOXI, the mobile offering created by Vodafone, featuring and targeting people aged 25 and under.

We supported the brand with our expertise on trending influencers and we partnered up with a diverse roster of UK-based content creators to bring life to three creative ideas each. The creators positioned themselves as brand ambassadors to celebrate VOXI and challenged themselves to create engaging content, despite the restrictions imposed by the lockdown. 

The final campaign report shows us that we have driven a significant number of people to the VOXI website, boosting brand awareness. Our campaign reached more than 8 million people and generated more than 3 million impressions

Impressive numbers, considering that the campaign went live in the middle of a pandemic.

Overall, the campaign was a huge success and it helped reinforce the VOXI brand identity among the desired audience even during these challenging and unpredictable times.

The encouraging data coming from the VOXI campaign presents a valuable takeaway to be considered when discussing the future of influencer marketing in the post-pandemic world.  

Indeed, Hootsuite and We Are Digital revealed in their new Digital 2021 report that consumers are paying more attention and interacting more with social media ads, globally, as a consequence of lockdown. The new report states that 1.3 million new users joined social media every day during 2020.

That’s 15 new users every second.

There are now 4.2 billion social media users around the world, representing year-on-year growth of more than 13 percent (490 million new users). The number of social media users is now equivalent to more than 53 percent of the world’s total population.

This is a huge opportunity for businesses who want to reach consumers with entertaining and creative content while promoting their products and services.

Many brands like GymShark, Pukka Herbal, Under Armour and Proctor and Gamble acted fast and didn’t waste any time. Like VOXI, they decided to invest in an influencer marketing strategy during, or right after, the pandemic. 

Having explored what an influencer partnership can look like during a pandemic, I would now like to delve into the following case study, which is a good example of a successful campaign in a post-pandemic world.

Producing an influencer marketing campaign in a post-pandemic world: Brave Bison x SMASH LEGENDS

Following on the heels of our successful campaign with VOXI early this year, Brave Bison was commissioned to produce an influencer campaign for LineGames, in collaboration with CollabAsia

The South Korean mobile gaming company wanted to launch their new exciting mobile game called SMASH LEGENDS across different markets in Europe and in the US. We shortlisted the most suitable gamers for the campaign, focusing on creators who are passionate about mobile games. 

We worked together with them to create engaging content that revealed all different characters and modes of the game. We created a “soft launch” campaign, which generated over 2 million impressions, followed by a “big launch” campaign, which generated over 5.5 million impressions and 2 million+ watched hours

Those impressive numbers show us once again what a powerful tool influencer marketing can be when used correctly. 

Talent that featured in both campaigns had better results and the audience comments expressed positive sentiment towards the game. We firmly believe this can be attributed to newfound trust that goes far beyond a one-time sponsored partnership.

In conclusion, despite the many challenges caused by Covid-19, influencer marketing has turned out to be a great tool to reach and connect with consumers during the pandemic. 

Furthermore, the fact that huge numbers of new users joined social media every day during lockdown – and that people are interacting more with social media ads on a global level – is a good indicator of the potential that lies within this strategy. 

Is your business already benefiting from influencer marketing? Or would you like to learn more about the incredible impact of influencer-led campaigns? 

This is the right time to do it. 

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