Like many aspects of business, the influencer marketing landscape has shifted drastically over the last 8 months. One of the biggest results of the pandemic has been to pull back or "pause" spending on influencer partnerships as a result of budget cut backs. Due to this reality, influencers are lowering their rates by approximately 25% to attract new partnerships. Think about it, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in mid-March, many brands halted social media, ad buys and influencer partnerships. Fortunately, for our industry, the reality is that people still have to eat. In fact, fresh produce remains in the spotlight as people are searching for healthy/immune boosting foods to consume.
So, while other industries are essentially being forced to reduce their spend and brand deals, it is time for the fresh produce industry to capitalize on influencer availability and pricing flexibility. With influencers having more available time and potentially lower rates, this is an excellent time for fresh produce brands to lean into this area of marketing for content creation, promotion support, or even testing a long-term partnership.
Source: Later and Fohr
Meantime, while brands have pulled back and paused, consumers continue to utilize social media, email and the Internet more than ever and as a result we continue to see marketing performance skyrocket. People are spending more time on their phones as well, providing another opportunity we can’t afford to dismiss. According to this study, influencers found that their audiences were significantly more engaged during COVID-19 than they were before.
Source: Later and Fohr
In recent posts on The Core Blog, we’ve been highlighting different ways marketers can maximize the increase of potential viewers. In fact, influencers shared that they have emphasized authentic content, user-generated content, over traditionally professional content.
Influencer Marketing Opportunities for 2021
Trial New Partners
During a time when influencers have more availability and some are offering lower pricing, between now and the New Year is a great time to try new partners without a long-term commitment. If you have a promotion coming up or are in need of new holiday recipes and content, connect with vetted influencers that align with your brand, and work with them on a project basis.
Start Agreements Now
As most calendar-aligned partnerships are coming to a close, and with brand budgeting uncertainty for 2021 on the horizon, lock in your influencer partners now! Most of the influencer partners we work with are working on planning their 2021 content, so don’t wait - check their availability now and sign your agreement.
Pro tip: Working with long-term partners can often get you a better rate! Just ask if they have a bundle or multiple-post discount.
Try New Platforms
As a result of quarantine, TikTok has become not only a household name, but in some cases, a family pastime! With more eyes on screens than ever before, and the growing popularity of video content for brands, now is a great time to leverage influencers for branded content on this social media platform. Partnering with an influencer is the perfect solution to having brand visibility on this burgeoning platform, without the time and financial commitment of generating content for an additional channel! Additionally, you can leverage the content created for TikTok in other ways, like Instagram Reels!
Create Authentic Content
Previously, we’ve discussed the value of user-generated content. Influencer partners are the perfect solution to creating this on behalf of brands, while you have the ability to share brand direction. Influencers are sharing content on their platforms, but partnering with them you can guide their messaging, and ultimately how they showcase your brand and product to their audiences, ensuring optimal portrayal. As a result of providing direction throughout the content creation process, the end result is something that will organically fit your feed as well!
Influencers are eager to work with fresh produce companies and are the perfect advocates for assisting in telling our fresh food stories. At DMA Solutions, we believe in the good of food that is grown, and we’d love to help you find a brand partner that believes the same!