By Emma Harman, Managing Director, Whalar EMEA.
Whilst the case-histories and white-papers point to the rationale behind continuing to brand build through crisis and economic downturn, many of our clients want our advice on how they positively communicate through the voices of influencers, so as not to seem opportunistic or tone-deaf to the current situation.
Working with social influencers provides a timely and culturally relevant way to land a message that is in tune with the daily news. So, how should you be thinking about your influencer partnerships and campaigns during this challenging time?
Realise the potential of influencers. Let them give you a more relatable voice in your communications, let them talk about the initiatives you are rolling out which help and support the wider community.
Create value. Place your brand rather than product at the heart of the conversation and increase brand love through narratives that lift people up: advice, ideas, tips, education and inspiration.
Capitalise on their content production skills. Influencers are experienced and knowledgeable on producing marketing assets from within their homes using animation, illustration, graphics, stock footage etc.
Forget preconceived ideas that all influencers are the same. Embrace the artists, activists, creators, storytellers, innovators, makers and do’ers out there. Be more inclusive and diverse in your talent selection.
Accept (and acknowledge) that life, for now, is different and that influencers know and understand the communities they are talking to. Just because the messaging doesn’t work on your brand channels, it may still resonate well on the influencer channels. Trust them to know their audience.
Listen and learn from the comments about your brand through the influencer channels. Understand real-time worries, concerns and views and use this as critical insight to inform your broader communications.
Go on a journey with them through this difficult time. Build the foundations of a strong relationship that you can continue as time evolves; seeing your gran again, your first night out, sipping a coffee in a cafe, hitting the gym. The talent you commit to now will appreciate your support when they need it most.
We don’t need any more fake news or mis-information. Pre-check all content and captions, do not work with talent in a blind way, always ensure to work with trusted pre-vetted talent who know their audience and are sensitive in their approach.
Have some fun. Encourage emotive content that engages and calls for immediate action e.g stickers, polls, challenges, memes, gamification - content and campaigns that fuel a wide-spread conversation.
Invent new traditions e.g Friday Zoom drinks, Tuesday comfort blanket, mealtime Hang-outs, exercise routines
Plan ahead. If you don’t want to communicate now, get ahead, plan, get creative and get the best talent locked in to ensure your brand comes out on top when the timing is right.
For any questions on navigating the coming weeks, get it touch with Whalar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banner content from @mossonyi.