THE ROADMAP TO INFLUENCER MARKETING DURING COVID-19

Develop a smart plan of engagement to share brand initiatives

Photo of Mary Frances Foster

Mary Frances Foster

Senior Account Executive

A natural reaction during this COVID-19 crisis is to pull back. We retreat to the safety of our homes, we don gloves and masks and we keep a distance. The same attitude applies to marketing and crisis communications – our reflex is to pause, to be safe.


All of this is a natural product of the fear of the known and unknown.

But while caution is wise during these times, there are still effective ways to communicate and build brand awareness, even during a crisis. One key opportunity lies with influencers. The comfort of trusted voices can help stabilize your brand during difficult times.

Moore has been working with influencers around the country during this crisis and has gleaned helpful tips on when engaging influencers is appropriate and how to guide your brand’s engagement.

A smart plan of engagement can help you deliver key messages to consumers that will inspire confidence in your brand.

Tip #1: Start Over

Did you have influencer engagement plans for the next few months? It’s time to shift, pause or reimagine completely. With more consumers online during this crisis, brands have a captive audience looking to engage in meaningful ways that are sensitive to what families are facing during this time.

In Traackr’s recent article on how COVID-19 is impacting the influencer marketing industry, they outlined that we are quick to point out insensitive content in this environment and understandably so. Showing how your business is helping others during this time, instead of chugging ahead with planned sales messaging is the consumer expectation. Influencers can help carry your corporate social responsibility initiatives through smart messaging.

If you are considering launching an influencer campaign for the first time to promote how your brand is emerging from this crisis, there are few vetting criteria to keep in mind:

  • Brand Alignment: Evaluate the tone, content topics and audiences of influencers you are vetting to determine if there is brand alignment.
  • Engagement: Look for influencer partners who have built an engaged community and don’t rely on follower count to determine who you reach out to with campaign opportunity.
  • COVID-19 Response: How is the influencer responding to COVID-19? If their content in this crisis aligns with your brand, there could be very natural ways to partner.

Learn more about how to identify authentic influencers here: Moore Influencer Whitepaper

Tip #2: Spend Extra Time on Messaging

The most important part of engaging third-party voices during a crisis is making sure you are bringing a valuable message to the marketplace. Once your brand has determined how you will emerge from this crisis, consider using influencers to amplify it. Here are few resources to consider developing to ensure that influencer messaging aligns with your brand while preserving their creative freedom:

  • Key Messages: One-page document with straightforward priority messages without brand jargon. Provide concise messaging with active voice.
  • Brand Tone: Clearly outline the tone your brand wants to strike with all messaging during this time to ensure a unified communication with target audiences.
  • Content Inspiration: Provide visual and storytelling inspiration featuring your new messaging for influencers to consider.

For many brands, it may have been appropriate to pause influencer campaigns over the past few months. However, influencers can also be a phenomenal partner in sharing your new plans, offerings and goals during COVID-19. And it’s all in the messaging. Moore can work closely with your team on developing brand messaging and share your ideas with influencers to get their perspective – remember they are the experts in reaching their followers.

Tip #3: Collaboration is Key

Perhaps the most important part of influencer engagement during COVID-19 is actually talking with influencers. You may be tempted to lock yourself in your virtual war room with colleagues to determine your brand’s next steps online – open those doors! Influencers are boots on the digital ground and can give fantastic insight into what they are hearing from your target audiences and any missteps they have already seen along the way.

Through collaboration you can learn what consumers and influencers need. If consumers are expecting a new policy from your brand, talk with influencers about the tools and resources they need to deliver that message on behalf of your business.

  • Consider polling your influencers to learn more about how they are interacting with your target audiences
  • With trusted partners, discuss potential brand initiatives to gain insight on potential consumer reaction (influencers are still consumers of your brand or product).

Various communities are going to react to messages differently. It is crucial for messaging to reflect a sensitivity to cultural diversity and also how it's crafted in various languages to be properly received. For example, Hispanic community messages should be carefully reviewed by native speakers and community experts to manage proper usage, transcreation and strategy implementation.

Cristy Clavijo-Kish, Miami Influencer & Talento Unlimited Founder

Tip #4: Be Nimble

Over the past few months, you have most likely scrapped components of your 2020 strategic plan in order to respond in real time to COVID-19 updates and how they impact your business. Whether you work with influencers or not during this time, your response should be the same. Launching a campaign with smart messaging and collaboration with influencers must be monitored each day. Messaging or creative that works today may not resonate or be relevant 10 days from now. Be prepared to shift your plans, test out new channels and respond quickly to engagement on influencer content. Set these expectations of flexibility with your team internally, but also with your influencer partners.

Not sure about your brand’s next steps with influencers? Moore is here to help. Reach out to our team to learn more about our approach to influencer marketing during COVID-19.

Learn more about how to identify authentic influencers here: Moore Influencer Whitepaper

Establishing strong allies now with content creators that are already connecting with their audiences throughout the quarantine will allow for smoother transitions as life begins to normalize again.

Cristy Clavijo-Kish, Miami Influencer & Talento Unlimited Founder
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