When in-person plans have to shift online, brands have to adapt and find new ways to connect with customers and partners. Many companies that work with influencers use them for a variety of in-person events like product launches, master classes, and more. If these events are canceled, brands have to adjust the way they connect with both their audiences and their influencers. While digital events have unique challenges, the technology and tools available to marketers today are highly adaptable.
So, what does a digital-first influencer marketing strategy look like and how can you make it successful?
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram released live stories features in the last several years, allowing users to stream live video directly on the platforms. Live streams are fun and exciting for viewers because they bring a level of authenticity that’s not always present in pre-recorded videos. Influencers often use the live feature on their own accounts for product videos, big announcements, shout-outs to followers, or sharing an update on what’s going on in their life.
Instagram Live has become hugely popular as people are turning to social media to find personal connections, especially during quarantine. The rise in popularity makes Instagram Live a great platform for brands to leverage influencers. Fashion brands were some of the first to start live streaming and fashion is one of the industries best known for partnering with influencers.
Live streams can be a good way to announce a new product or drive sales, but they’re highly effective at building community and boosting engagement. Going live may not be a one-to-one replacement for in-person events, but it’s an excellent alternative when a live, in-person event isn’t possible.
Live streams are also versatile: you can stream an interview, a virtual workout or tutorial, a master class, and more. For brands that are just starting relationships with new influencers, they can be a great way to announce a partnership and show the new influencers some love. As you plan your content strategy, make room for live streams and work with your influencers to strategize how to get the most views and interactions.
A key part of running influencer campaigns is getting your product into the hands of influencers. Many brands and marketers handle shipping product in-house–from ordering the product to packaging and fulfillment. The benefit to doing it this way is that marketers can send unique, highly personalized products to influencers. However, it’s often not scalable and if supply chains or shipping processes are disrupted, your entire gifting program can fall apart.
Luckily, there are options to digitize this part of the process, too. With a platform like Octoly, brands can centralize and automate their gifting so all they have to do is confirm which influencers should receive products and track the shipments.
Adding in automation helps streamline the gifting process and helps brands scale their influencer marketing programs. It may not be quite as personal as a handcrafted gift basket, but influencers will still receive their products and your influencer campaigns can keep running.
Private video calls
Influencer marketing is so successful because influencers are seen as more authentic than glossy marketing tactics and their content is more personal. When in-person events or meet and greets aren’t an option, video calls can be an effective alternative. Unlike a live stream or public YouTube event, video calls are more exclusive.
Some brands have used video calls to host Q&A sessions featuring a panel of experts answering top questions and sharing product demonstrations. If you choose to host one of these events with your influencer community, make sure they have the product at home to test it along with the panel. Invite-only video calls are a great way to build relationships and foster a sense of community. They also give brands and influencers a chance to connect on a more personal level even if they can’t meet in person.
In an increasingly digital atmosphere, there are still lots of ways to have fun with events when you’re meeting virtually. From online happy hours with brand-specific (or brand-inspired) cocktail recipes to branded video backgrounds for attendees to use on the call and beyond, there are so many ways to use video calls to further build relationships and brand awareness.
While virtual work arrangements are becoming more acceptable out of necessity, the capabilities of today’s technology help us do more work online. In-person events, product launches, and meetings aren’t always possible, but pivoting to online solutions can keep business rolling. For brands and influencers, it’s all about building relationships with each other and with your fans and followers. From invite-only video calls for influencers to launch a new product or live-streaming Q&A sessions and interviews for fans, brands can adapt their influencer strategy to fit the digital landscape.
Request a Demo
Octoly makes it easy for brands to build authentic text reviews and amazing influencer content with product seeding campaigns at scale.
Here’s how to utilize influencer UGC in your next social media ad campaign. There’s no denying that social media has changed the way we consume ads. With many growing tired of traditional advertisements, it’s time for brands to get more creative in order to connect...
Here are the family content creators you should know about. While many of us are familiar with the old saying “mother knows best,” this rings true across the influencer space also. Whether you’re launching a mother’s day campaign or looking to further position a...
Influencers are a powerful force that marketers can use to reach a larger audience, launch new products, and increase brand awareness. But before developing a partnership, brands have to reach out to influencers to get the ball rolling. Starting off your influencer...
The best social media channels provide a way for users to find community with like-minded people. This is something there’s no denying that the past year has taught us the importance of, with many turning online to feel more connected during lockdowns. This means that...
Step aside, big PR unboxings — sustainability has arrived. Influencers are becoming increasingly more conscientious about the ecological impact they have. This includes both their own consumption patterns and the products they use. From fashion and travel influencers...
You’ve invested in an influencer marketing program — congratulations! Influencer marketing is a powerful tool that brands can use to launch new products, reach new customers, and build a community of loyal fans and followers. Brands are slated to spend up to $15...