Raw Power

COVID-19 has forced brands to reduce their polished principles, and consumers are loving it!

Brands can sometimes seem out of touch with reality as they strive for perfect production. However, one truth the pandemic has uncovered is that raw content has the power to engage with consumers in a much more personal way: it’s somehow more… trustworthy.

It’s no surprise that Britons consumed social media content in greater numbers during the pandemic as lockdowns and furloughs meant that many had more time on their hands as we were forced to desert shops, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

In fact, during lockdown, 67% of consumers expanded their use of Instagram and 47% increased their use of TikTok, with the entertainment app becoming the most used platform for 21% of consumers. 35% also used YouTube more often and 30% upped their usage of Facebook.

However, perhaps more tellingly, sponsored content on Instagram went from accounting for 35% of all influencer posts before the pandemic to just 4% by April 2021, according to a report from Ion.

It seems that consumers are turning away from shallow or tone-deaf content in favour of that which is honest, community-focused and unifying.

Remember the backlash that Khloe Kardashian received for her Febreze Instagram sponcon? Maybe not if you don’t follow one of America’s most ubiquitous families, but it was clearly a step too far; despite the fact that the famous family had been flogging waist trainers, appetite suppressant lollipops, detox teas, active manuka honey and diet pills to their sizeable following for years.

Research conducted by Splendid reported that 43% of UK respondents say influencer content is inauthentic.

Cooped up at home, consumers have been more interested in content that either entertains or helps them with their new daily routines vs. the typical, FOMO-inducing posts many influencers are known for.

L’Oréal’s influencer campaign for its $9 Excellence Crème hair dye is an excellent example of how unfiltered content can have a massive impact. Actress Eva Longoria filmed herself on her smartphone, in her bathroom, using the product to colour her own grey roots. The brand later turned the resultant content into a national TV ad in the US.

From our own perspective, we’ve managed to enhance our clients’ exposure throughout the various lockdowns by generating bespoke content designed to inform, entertain, motivate, and educate. As a result, they’re closer than ever to their communities, with meaningful engagement higher than ever.

Are you ready to get ‘real’ and to embrace a diet of raw content?