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Why Brands Should Still Have a Content and Influencer Strategy Right Now

Apr 30, 2020
Written by Corinne Travis

What’s going on with your content and influencer strategy these days? I'm here to tell you that you should still have one (we'll get into why below) and provide tips and resources to help you navigate the content landscape during this weird time.

Engaging with content publishers through affiliate—an accountable, performance-based channel—makes so much sense in this moment. We’re seeing content publishers and influencers diversify their methods of monetization and the brands they promote to support their overall business and provide more value to their audience. This provides a huge opportunity for CJ advertisers.

How Content Publishers Meet the Need During COVID-19

Content Publishers are seeing growth. And we’re seeing it in the CJ Affiliate network. US content publishers have seen 105% YOY growth (actions) with retail brands compared to 59.4% YOY growth across all other publisher verticals.

Screen time has increased. With everyone at home, you’d be right to assume that screen time has grown. According to Nielsen, media consumption is expected to increase by as much as 60% during the COVID-19 crisis and 39% of social media users polled say they’re spending more time on social media.

Social engagement is a need. Right now, people are craving entertainment, education, inspiration, and support. They yearn for a sense of community and social connection. Influencers are a source for digital connection through relatable and authentic content and they’re seeing a boom on social platforms right now: follower growth is averaging a 10-30% growth rate, Instagram engagement is up 10-30% on average, and Facebook feed reach is up 60% MOM.

Relevant creative is a must. Looking for fresh creative to better align with the times? Influencers are essentially third-party creative agencies and production studios and can execute on-brand content (written and imagery) from start to finish without leaving their homes.

Pricing can be flexible for the right fit. Influencers and media sites can often be flexible with pricing, especially given the circumstances. 48% of influencers surveyed by Fohr.co are reducing their normal rates and the average rate reduction is by 30%. Don’t forget to regularly check CJ’s Placements Marketplace, our hub for all rate cards and media kits for content placement opportunities.

Next Step: Be Sensitive and Intentional with Your Message and Partnerships

Authenticity is key. Partner with influencers and content publishers that are telling stories and fostering real dialogue and engagement with their audience.

Let creators take the lead on the angle. When partnering, lean into the content creators’ editorial ideas to share how the brand is helpful in our new everyday life. They’re the closest to their audience and understand the information their readers want and how they’ll best digest it.

Sensitivity is crucial. Use this helpful sensitivity checklist provided by Ogilvy in their paper, “What Does Coronavirus Mean for Brands on Social Media?”, to evaluate a current or upcoming campaign and any scheduled branded content. Does it pass the criteria?

  • Is there a risk our brand may come across as profiteering or opportunistic?
  • Will this content contribute to a sense of panic?
  • Does this content encourage or depict dangerous social behaviors, like face touching or group gatherings?
  • Does this content make assumptions about my audience’s current lifestyle, situation, or access to resources?
  • Will this content impact the reputation of any partner (e.g. an influencer or another agency)?
  • Should the choice to pause or continue marketing efforts be a joint decision?
  • Is the tone of my content appropriate in this context?
  • Does my content make light of a serious subject?
  • Does my content provide value for consumers?
  • Is my brand in a position to contribute to corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives in a meaningful way?
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When so many consumers are moving to shop online, staying in close touch with our clients and partners to understand their response is essential to maximizing the potential of this channel. Help us, help you—how can we best support your content strategy during this time? Let us know by emailing content@cj.com

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