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It may be hard to imagine that an asset as powerful to the fashion industry as influencers could perish. Until today, these media personalities have become the focus of major firms to promote their products through advertising strategies. Only last year the brands invested more than 8 million dollars in influencer marketing. However, now, due to the coronavirus crisis, the situation could change. Will the pandemic be the end of influencers?
After the state of alarm, the main companies in the fashion industry had to cut costs to alleviate the crisis. The budgets for influencer marketing were the first to be reduced. In April, sponsored content on Instagram fell by 85%. Similarly, the price of paid publications fell by up to 30%.
Let us now recall the agreements recently signed on the future of the fashion industry. There is no doubt that the current crisis is changing the economic model on which most companies were based. If in the past they devoted a large part of their capital to advertising and visibility on networks, they are now turning to new strategies. This implies new, more responsible and sustainable forms of consumption. Far from it are the contracts of thousands of dollars for a publication in Instagram.
In “normal times” what companies paid for was visibility, status and reputation with their brand and customers. Now the situation is reversed.
New strategies and influencers 2.0
The new lifestyle caused by the pandemic has generated new and lucrative business strategies for brands and the fashion industry. The new normality brings with it new working models. This is the case of the Jacquemus At Home campaign, carried out through FaceTime and practically without costs.
On the other hand, Marc Jacobs has chosen to involve his employees in advertising campaigns on social networks. Thus, we have been able to see how the team works during the pandemic. Ganni has also followed a similar strategy. Basically, the brand has transformed its entire team into Ganni’s new image. These 2.0 influencers are certainly more authentic because of the direct relationship with the brand.
One brand that has never hired influencers is Glossier. During store closures, the firm encouraged its employees to become the face of its Instagram profile. This initiative was incredibly successful in China where InTime store workers joined the cause. In about an hour, the store sold more than 27,000 products, according to a report by Fung Business Intelligence.
Confinement has certainly opened up new horizons for influencers. It is increasingly common (especially these months we have been at home) to see how they diversify their business. Thus, collaborations with different brands, not necessarily from the fashion world, have increased.
Although the end of the influencers still seems far away, this crisis is accelerating their decline. It is in their hands to reinvent themselves and prove themselves indispensable to the industry. Otherwise, their existence will perish. Little by little we are all moving away from the idea of a perfect feed, from discount codes and crappy, banal junk food promotions. We don’t care if any influencer has sponsored the latest LV bag as much as the bag design. Now we are looking for a commitment to the firm, to feel involved and to see that what they offer really fits with us and our tastes. What do Instagram’s followers matter? Honestly, we no longer believe in this profession. We do believe in the fashion industry and its new strategies.
Besides, who better represents the spirit of each firm than its own ambassadors?