Social media influencers ascendant as ‘new normal’ takes hold
INFLUENCERS, that powerful demographic that isn’t Generation X or Z but uniquely their own Generation Y have been quietly and very much at a remove from before the dawn of the ‘new normal’, busily unleashing a number of pivotal changes already shaping how all of us are using social media, now and in the future.
While Generation Z is only just coming of age and still very much followers of trends, it is Generation X, the cohort who have had all the purchasing power for quite some time that has had the most to gain, and it has been that band of millennial influencers in a post-pandemic world pointing the way ahead.
While the rest of us have endured lockdown in the months since last March, learning just what it means to shelter in place, millennial influencers have pivoted from their former jet-setting lifestyles as part of an agency team and gone back to their roots; rather than filming in exotic locations around the world they have revisited their bedrooms, but with all the skills they have acquired as paid and organic brand ambassadors, influencing the choices of millions.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed a need for social media to be a source of support, guidance and relevant information,” said Gustie Creative LLC chief executive officer Karen S Herman. “It has become a lifeline in many ways.”
With many events cancelled and businesses closed, the remaining brands have begun either to heavily rely on their existing influencers or have ramped up new influencer partnerships. While advertising budgets have tumbled, brand demand for consumers has stayed the same or in fact, risen and it is here that influencers have begun to fill the gap.
“Brands with existing influencer partnerships have a degree of leverage and a safety net compared to those that don’t,” said Zine.co influencer marketing expert \Jordie Black. “As consumers look to influencers as a voice of authority, brands who leverage these relationships will win.”
As international travel, seeing friends and simply shopping for clothes or even a replacement car tentatively reopens, influencers who have made the pivot to working much closer – or even from within – their homes are gaining new ground as brand ambassadors.
“Brands are struggling for authenticity in this Covid crisis and influencers provide that in a way that other channels fail to do,” said RewardStyle president Amber Venz-Box. “We know consumers are seeking escapism that our influencers provide.”