As the country shifts to the New Normal and eases restrictions around the country, our target markets are also changing. Across the board, these customers are also bringing in new habits that they have been accustomed to in previous months. This sudden shift of habits will dictate how marketing strategies will be laid out for the year and will leave a lasting impression on brands and influencers alike. Companies and celebrities in lieu of shifts also need to be agile enough to pivot their strategies if they want to retain or win new demographics and maintain market share.
One thing that became prevalent for the past months are the emergence, or in some cases resurgence, of new digital platforms for displaying content. Just as everyone didn't realize that money can be made by displaying content on Facebook more than a decade ago, a lot of people suddenly became eager to put their own content online. This time around, it was not limited to traditional online channels like Facebook or Google. People during the quarantine period were suddenly using emerging digital platforms such as TikTok, Twitch, and Pinterest that further blurred the lines between organic and paid marketing. People found various platforms where they could display their own content and give their opinions about everything. Be it product reviews, tutorials, or even the infamous mukbang videos where people just broadcast themselves eating; it was raw and unfiltered content. These contents were relatable to most people since like them, these are ordinary people trying to sell a product or lifestyle to them. A lot of them are not even after the money that normal influencers or celebrities get. Our audience just simply became influencers themselves.
This was evident in the first few weeks of the quarantine sometime in March and in early April. All of us were left with nothing to do and were looking for ways to spend our time. This gave rise to various content on do-it-yourself (DIY) and tutorial videos. Be it for food, beverage, arts and crafts, and home improvement, such content was either revived or made trendy during the quarantine. Such phenomenon gave an opportunity for celebrities to show off hidden skills they have to their audience which made them more relatable. At the same time, audiences felt more affinity to online celebrities they look up to since we are all undergoing the same restricted measures. This trend will most likely not go away as we go into the New Normal. There will be a balance of authentic content coming from both celebrities and the audience themselves. If the product is good, our consumers will say something about it. If it is not, they definitely will air their opinion about it.
If there is one thing that celebrities and influencers have been very good at in this situation, it would have to be the influence and effect they have on the public in general. As mental health issues became a focal point of discussions. Celebrities and influencers are serving as anchors of normality that dictates public perception. They have been these beacons of light and source of inspiration to their audiences which will most likely stay the same even in the New Normal.
So the question here is, will brands still need influencers in the New Normal? Definitely yes. Just as we balance organic and paid marketing, influencers and consumer content will be at a balance that all marketers should keep in mind. Marketing indeed just became more interesting this year.