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Achieving success at anything in life has often been associated with the mindset of survival of the fittest. While that notion holds some merit, former LSU business professor Leon C. Megginson wrote in 1963, “It’s not the strongest nor most intelligent of the species that survive. It’s the ones who are most adaptable to change.” If there was ever a quote best suited for navigating today’s landscape, this is it.
For years, the need for relatable content has been on an upward trajectory as consumers are much savvier — and warier — of sponsored content. Having been a powerful marketing tool for quite some time, influencers are gaining more traction during the age of Covid simply because they can create a sense of community. Responding to messages, giving opinions on products and participating in live chats … their accessibility sets them apart from traditional marketing methods. Not to mention, they have the most priceless commodity — trust.
“Too often, I see influencers and celebrities align themselves with brands they would never use, and this inherently causes suspicion among consumers,” Alex Dermer, co-founder of Get Engaged (a full-service media marketing company based in Georgia), told me. “Normally, companies have to cold call an agency and go through the lengthy process of submitting an offer in hopes that they can get a high-profile individual interested in endorsing a brand or product. What differentiates us, is that our company was created by relationships on both sides — with the talent and the brands. Having a personal understanding of talent and direct access to all parties involved gives us an edge in selecting the right influencers and creating authentic campaigns. When content looks organic and feels like it belongs, clients experience higher returns on their investments.”
Influencers are excellent communicators and, through their true-to-life content, form loyal relationships with their followers. It’s safe to say that their credibility and authenticity are what allow them to motivate product sales. “People are smart and don’t want to feel like they are being sold to. Especially in our virus-conscious world, companies need to realize this or they become irrelevant,” emphasizes Cam Fordham, another co-founder of Get Engaged. “Being able to understand marketing from a consumer’s perspective helps us to stay ahead of the competition.”
Consumer behavior is changing and advertising is following suit
Unsurprisingly, we are witnessing some of the biggest marketing trends in history. The days of captivating billboards and glossy pics may eventually fade into the background as our lives are more intertwined with the Internet than ever before. With revolving stay at home orders, people have turned to social media and shopping online not just out of necessity, but in order to stay sane. It’s evident that the birth of Covid has accelerated the future of digital marketing and e-commerce.
It’s no secret that since the dawn of time, consumers have wanted brands to treat them as friends. What has changed is, well, basically everything. With stress levels at an all-time high, people are seeking more interaction and a dialog with the brands they choose. Digital marketing offers just that. Unlike it’s traditional advertising counterpart, digital offers a two way conversation that has the ability to become a part of a consumer’s life
“Once considered a hard sell in the past, most companies have embraced online marketing as consumer behavior has rapidly changed,” Fordham told me. “Apps like TikTok and Triller allow companies direct access to Gen Z, who account for 40 percent of consumer spending. Social media is definitely the next generation’s billboard or television.”
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