As the pandemic continues to evolve, brands are leaning into influencers and user-generated content to fill the void left by the cancelation of in-person shoots. In addition to digging up stockpiled content produced pre-coronavirus, brands are sending their products to influencers for capturing social media content and product imagery as they launch new items.
After social distancing orders forced maternity fashion brand Storq to cancel a mid-April shoot of its new products, the brand approached influencers and people whose images they liked on Instagram, under the hashtag #28weeks, used by women who are 28 weeks pregnant. Using guidelines and a mood board set forth by Storq and CEO Courtney Klein, the 10 women they selected shot photos on their phones and cameras. Most of the resulting images were usable and thereafter posted to Storq’s Instagram.
Storq’s remote content creation process proved to be a cost-effective one. The brand pays anywhere from $3,000 for a photoshoot with one model for a couple of hours to $35,000 for a shoot with multiple models over multiple days. Storq paid the women they enlisted to shoot products at home the same amount as a model via a combination of products they were sent for the shoot, cash and store credit.
In addition to significant cost savings, outsourcing product imagery widened the talent pool from which Storq could choose from. This afforded the brand the liberty to highlight a range of pregnant women and different body types from all over the world as opposed to the limited pool of Los Angeles-based models they normally work with.
Obviously is connecting clients with influencers they have a previous relationship with to create new content and repurpose existing content.
“We’ve seen a sizable increase in the number of brands looking to work with influencers to replace their in-house or agency production team. They get the image rights and it’s completely a content creation play,” CEO of Obviously Mae Karwowski told AdExchanger.
Through Obviously, brands like Ulta Beauty, BIC Razors and Coca-Cola have signed ambassador contracts to produce additional content for their social media and other channels. The agency has seen a 33 percent increase in the number of these proposals.
After getting a taste of remote creative through influencer partnerships and user-generated content, brands may never return to the old, expensive way of doing things. Heartbeat CEO Brian Freeman notes that cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) for tier-one influencers on TikTok can get marketers a fraction of a cent on a cost per visitor (CPV).
For some struggling brands, all creative is on pause, leading them to shift focus from Instagram to Twitter. According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s report on coronavirus marketing and ad spend impact, updated April 29, Instagram saw a 14 percent drop in engagement rate by follower for the week ending March 11 versus the previous three weeks. Though Twitter has only seen a seven percent drop in engagement, 34 percent of survey respondents said they have shifted their preferred social platform from Instagram to Twitter.