by Toluwanimi Onakoya
The Coronavirus pandemic has left the world staggering in its wake. Having affected 158 countries, the effects of the virus have left a mighty mark on the world’s economy. Large scale quarantines, social distancing and travel restrictions put into action have made business marketing restricted.
No one is going to see the billboards and posters in the streets, in the mall and at the bus station. Despite the roadblock Coronavirus has caused, brands have found new and innovative ways to latch on to media trends to remain relevant in this pandemic. Some of them include;
Insta Live Sessions
There has been a great surge in brands looking to IG live for promotion and consumer engagement. Some have sponsored discussions with invited notable guests, or held competitions and training sessions. Even fashion brands have set up fashion shows on the virtual platform.
This surge has caused mentions of IG Live on platforms like Twitter and Instagram to increase by 526% from March 8-15 2020. The feature also allows for instant customer feedback where consumers can comment on their thoughts towards what is being displayed in the moment. Personalities like Tory Lanez have capitalized on Insta Live with a segment called “Quarantine Radio.”
The variety show consists of a mix of hits and banter with an endless array of fans carry out twerking challenges. The program drew in more 350k viewers per session, catching the eye of several brands. It signaled a new turning point for marketing and promotion for businesses.
Social Media Influencers
Brands have turned to social media influencers for promotion as well. They are effective because people listen to people that they look up to. If they see their role models doing something, they’d want to do it too. If they see that their role models endorse a message or brand, they’ll want to associate with it too. People are on the lookout for what these influencers have to say. Brands engage influencers that appeal to their target audience and sends the brand’s message directly to them.
Since most people are at home quarantine, they are looking for ways to stay entertained. They are spending more time looking at their screens, searching for amusement and ways to keep occupied. Social media influencers can easily engage an already primed audience and get them to focus on a brand.
A brand partnering with influencers paints the brand as “one of us.” It sends a great message of solidarity to the consumers. However, a brand reaching for other forms of advertising can paint the brand as “unable to read the room.” Using social media influencers during this period can give brands an authentic feel, that is why they opt for it. The likes of Dimma Umeh, Sisi Yemmie and Adegoke Pamilerin Emmanuel (@ThePamilerin) are being contracted more than ever to push businesses.
Social Media Challenges
Brands are hopping on the use of social media challenges to promote their businesses now more than ever. An instance is the viral TikTok dance challenges. Musicians are collaborating with TikTok creators to help debut their music and to create viral TikTok dance challenges to keep the song on the airwaves and help it rise in charts. Brands are also engaging content creators to exhibit subliminal advertising in their videos; strategically wearing or using some of their products when partaking in some of these challenges.
The coronavirus pandemic has rendered a large chunk of traditional means of advertising near-ineffective; specifically outdoor advertising. This, in turn, has forced brands and businesses to look to various trends for advertising and promotion in this period. It begs the question; would this style of marketing continue after the pandemic is over?
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks