How to Effectively Utilize Influencer Marketing During a Pandemic

by Nicholas Courtois, Assistant Account Manager

Influencer events at real estate properties have long been a great tool to promote the interiors, amenities and lifestyle offerings at select properties to key demographics, whether through in-feed posts, Stories or takeovers. During a pandemic, however, safety rules all and it is our shared responsibility to be intentional and focused on the welfare of all involved when planning an influencer event or shoot. Below are some tips on how to safely and effectively take advantage of influencer marketing during the pandemic.

#1: Incentivize your influencer.

In a pre-pandemic world, the opportunity to network, get a beautiful catered meal and experience a new luxury property with their peers is enough to secure participants for an influencer event; nowadays, that’s not the case. It is crucial that you make sure you honor the influencer’s rates for the shoot, and even offer to make any accommodations they may request that work with your goals.

To add some extra encouragement for the influencer, bring in food and beverages from a local shop that they can integrate into their shoot; work around their schedule and accommodate their availability; or inquire about any ideas they have or brands they would like to work into the shoot so that they can meet multiple requests with one opportunity. Things like this show a level of appreciation and gratitude that makes a difference during this time.

#2: Limit on-site participants.

While this may seem obvious, it’s worth confirming that you and your team should follow city or state guidelines for capacity and social distancing and make sure only necessary personnel are present: the influencer, the photographer, and a team member who can guide and facilitate the shoot.

To make sure all perspectives are taken into account before the shoot, be sure to connect with your client to align on the goals of the shoot and determine key shots ahead of time. This way, with fewer cooks in the kitchen, it’s easier to guide the shoot toward the desired end result.

#3: Mask up until showtime.

Another no-brainer – keep everyone at ease and comfortable when planning and directing the shoot by wearing your mask and ensuring that the influencer does as well. Depending on your client’s goals and the influencer’s plans, they can remove their mask for the duration of the shoot. Safety first!

#4: Prioritize exteriors and get creative!

Whenever possible, aim to emphasize the exteriors of the property at which you’re shooting – for example, highlight the building’s intricately-designed façade, roof top views, outdoor lounge areas, or other public spaces. Not only are these amazing property elements that you’ll definitely want to highlight, they also will only become more sought-after during and after the pandemic. Take the opportunity to position your property’s design as uniquely-forward looking and target potential buyers who will undoubtedly be looking for extra access to nature.

With all the technology that we have access to these days, it’s also easier than ever to hold a virtual influencer event. Consider sharing photos or renderings so that influencers can include them on a virtual mood board on their Instagram feed; share videos of a walkthrough that an influencer can transplant on a green screen for a TikTok video; create a “property highlights” reel that an influencer dub over and share with their followers. While having an influencer on location is always great, we have plenty of resources to work remotely and still reach our client goals.

#5: Work closely on copy & timing.

Share key messages, branded hashtags and required phrases with your influencer ahead of time to make sure they have context for the shoot, and so that there are no misunderstandings about what the final post should look like. This gives you the option to integrate other elements of the property or home that you may not have been able to capture during the shoot, allowing you to build the desired narrative. Influencers will be flexible (so long as you follow rule #1!) and adjust the post to meet your goals.

It’s also important to make sure that any posts going up right now are thoughtful and not tone deaf (see: this blog on celebrity social media faux pas). Work closely with the influencer to make sure that their caption is on-message and sensitive to current event, and be flexible with deadlines for posting so that the timing doesn’t come across as careless.

Photos pull our websites, ads, social media, and traditional marketing efforts together. You want to represent your brand in the best light and avoid controversy wherever possible. We hope this guide helps to build your photo-searching confidence and increases your awareness of how, when, where, and why you should and could be using images.

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