We are halfway through the year and the world we live in now has drastically changed. In a country where offline channels have been traditionally king, we’ve seen a massive shift to digital platforms in a span of months across industries. This is the year where the common Filipino became more aware, more empowered, and relatively more informed. Under this new equation, where do influencers lie?
As a vast number of Filipinos use digital platforms, influencers and celebrities have also followed suit. Such platforms for the past years are not even confined to the traditional Facebook and Youtube any longer. New emerging social media platforms such as TikTok has seen a rise in the past year and this was highlighted in previous months as most people, including influencers, were stuck at home. This presents an opportunity for brands to tap influencers more with their strong presence in these platforms where their loyal following are expected to follow them. This is further punctuating the point that influencers will continue to drive content and steer market perception towards a brand. Such pivot in strategies for an influencer is a trend that will likely continue in the new normal we are in.
Brand and influencers, after all, have always been working as a tandem. Such partnership goes a long way back even in the days of radio and print. This continued on in the days of television and even in what emerged as a trend of brand placements in soap operas and music videos. It has been a classic textbook case in marketing about soap and shampoo brands tapping or sponsoring soap operas to drive their message across audiences. This has transcended to liquor and apparel brands who use, up to this day, hit athletes and personalities of the time. There were also several instances when car companies partnered up with movies and musicians. This is evident in James Bond movies for Aston Martin and Jaguar partnering up with Sting for his Desert Rose music video to break into the mass market.
This symbiosis between companies and celebrities will likely continue with digital platforms. This partnership may take many different forms but will remain unbroken. What’s interesting with digital platforms is creativity in producing new types of content are limitless. This will boil down to an influencer’s creativity and authenticity in creating the necessary content brands need.
Such authenticity and creativity are needed especially in the new normal. In this time of crisis, getting influencers could mean more savings for brands compared to hiring full-fledged ad agencies. Influencers have a direct following who are loyal customers and rely on influencers as a benchmark and provide some semblance of normalcy.
So, what’s next for influencers? The rest of the year is gonna be interesting. With smarter and empowered audiences, influencers should maintain authentic content in the New Normal. This year opened a new set of opportunities for influencers who provide relatable content and made marketing more exciting.