Coronavirus isn’t putting an  end to influencer marketing, but in the new world order, there are new rules and consumers are now placing influencers and the products they promote under a microscope. While this shift is causing influencers to be scrutinized, it’s also forcing a return to the foundations of what Influencer marketing was built on and promised: fostering and serving communities, relatability, trust and  authenticity.   We are seeing the need for influencers to take a Darwinian approach to their strategies, and be truly agile in their practices and messaging. Those who are thriving have had the ability to continue engaging and inspiring communities without exhibiting glamour or lightness, but rather by capitalizing on one of the many privileges they typically boast: having a platform and a voice to connect to their communities to foster positive change and promote education. Influencers are now being challenged to uphold these tenants and to be cautious with the information they arm their followers with; ultimately this pushes ‘unqualified’ and now out of touch influencers under scrutiny and onto the sidelines. So what are the new rules as the influencer landscape evolves?
  1. Connect with your audience using skills mastered, built on value.
    • Production skills, agility (at-home workouts from fitness influencers, shift to lower-price at-home wear for fashion influencers, at-home meals with accessible ingredients for F&B, and their own DTC lines), trustworthy advice, and creating positive change.
  2. Stay away from capitalizing only on exclusive access and gained privilege.
    • This will push followers away and lower the chances of relatability and trust that may have earned their influencer status to begin with, placing them into an unrelatable celebrity tier. There, they will not be able to continue feeding revenue streams (as celebrities have their core means of doing), as Influencers often will lack the primary careers, agencies and PR teams that uphold and protect celebrity status and the responsibility that comes with it.
  3. Nano influencers will have the opportunity to break through.
    • This will mark a deeper emergence of nano influencers, ‘real,’ relatable and creative people that can bridge the gap with aspirational privilege and access which is no longer enough on its own. Along with that, comes an emergence of new truly informed and trustworthily influencers that have been reliable sources for their following over the past months.
 

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