COVID-19 has taken the world and thrown it on its head. In a matter of months, it has sent society into a tailspin, and while we have come to settle into this ‘new normal’, businesses are maintaining their struggle to connect with consumers outside of traditional methods and in a genuine way. Even the way we consume content has changed.

Although global quarantine is slowly loosening its grip in many provinces, the days of heavy foot traffic walking by your storefront and stopping in to make an impulsive purchase still doesn’t seem to be in our near future. What are brands to do? Wait patiently and hope for a better next quarter?

There might be another solution. Although social media is not a new tool for most brands, with the right strategy in place, and an influencer approach that takes into account consumer’s new spending and consumption habits, it can significantly grow a brand’s awareness, lead generation and sales.

Whether you are a fan of influencers or not, or have successfully (or unsuccessfully) used influencers for your brand in the past, this seemingly never-ending quarantine has brought on new opportunities for influencer marketing you may want to consider/re-consider.

COVID-19 has catapulted influencers back to one of the most effective ways to connect with consumers, but they are doing it in a much more genuine vs aspirational way – something that consumers have missed and is very much appreciated. Content has become much more “real and raw,” making it easier to consume. Plus, an overall slowdown in influencer campaigns over the last several weeks have resulted in decreased noise and a growing need from consumers for brands that provide information and value.

Here is why your brand needs to align with the times and consider influencer marketing right now:

Your audience is on ‘the gram” right now, like right this second

If you are someone who considers scrolling through your Instagram or TikTok feed an important part of your day, you are not alone. Since the COVID-19 outbreak started social media platforms across the board have reported an increase in users, with Instagram seeing an astonishing 40% boost specifically within the 18-34-year-old age demographic. With so many eyes on social media right now it’s a great time to consider how your brand can align with influencers to broaden your consumer base, tell the story of your product or service and help increase overall awareness.

Campaigns on hold mean open season for small businesses

Along with COVID-19 came a whole lot of uncertainty, and chances are Q2 strategies you set in place were gone before they even got started. Many brands that had influencer campaigns set to launch this spring were forced to place them on hold, impacting their business, the influencer community, and significantly cutting down on the sponsored content being generated. With this slowdown in content, influencers are open for business and may be more willing to partner with new brands outside of their typical collaborations. This also means there is less noise to cut through to have your message be heard, something important for small businesses typically competing with bigger brands and their even bigger budgets.

The people want value, and they want it now!

With not much else to do, quarantine has given birth to new content trends and everyone and their mother seems to be on social media these days. Gone are the days of feeds filled with product images captioned with an influencer’s seal of approval. Right now people are less comfortable buying whatever brand of shampoo @{insert influencer} pulls out of her PR package. Consumers want to know what value the brands they invest in will bring to their lives. Some of the most engaging content on social media today organically tells a story, informs and exemplifies how the product or service can benefit them, all of which can be done through “authentic” influencer marketing.

With the coronavirus forcing the world to adopt new thinking and new ways of living, brands must consider how their business can assist people through their current challenges vs capitalize on them. Therefore, working with real people of influence to amplify your brand’s message may be an effective way to inform consumers of what you have to offer.