The Founder of MOCAPP Influencer Marketing Platform on How Covid-19 and Instagram Updates are Shaping Influencer Marketing

Kate Karnaukhova

Kate is a content and community manager at HypeAuditor. For cooperation opportunities feel free to contact me on LinkedIn.

We asked Florin Grozea, the founder of MOCAPP Influencer marketing platfrom, to share with us what he thinks on the changes happening to the industry today and how the platform responds to the decline in the number of campaigns with influencers.

How does your company deal with the uncertainty? 

As an influencer marketing platform, may you please share how your company is adapting to the shrinking demand on influencers? Obviously there are uncertainty in several activity areas and COVID-19 did not bypass us either, the professionals who work in Influencer Marketing. Although we all go through difficult times, from my point of view this is a great opportunity to prove that, first and foremost, WE are humans; I am constantly thinking at different solutions through which we can help brands during this period.

We are about to launch a new service called MOCAPP Barters which will focus on creating non-paid collaborations between brands and relevant influencers; in this way we help clients with over-stock, but also the influencers – who are becoming more and more creative in this period and who want collaborations.

Influencers of which categories and with audience of what size are still employed by brands for campaigns? 

From what I have seen lately, we are mainly talking about influencers from tech, food, tobacco, fashion & beauty. It is clear to everyone that all of them are affected, no matter their category/ main niches, but I think the hardest hit is for micro and nano influencers. They are less visible and the brands that still have the resources to implement influencer campaigns are obviously tempted to choose those with larger communities. 

Have creators started registering more on the platform? If yes, to which categories do they belong and audience of what size do they have? 

I am happy to say that yes, every day we have new influencers in the platform. There are many bloggers and vloggers, actors, singers or lifestyle content creators.

Talking about the region in which you operate, have you noticed the decrease in the overall ad spend? What other changes have you noticed in the way brands work with influencers? 

Honestly, this is something you can’t ignore during these difficult times. To name just a few changes happening in Romania: many budgets have been cut, most projects are put on hold and many companies are being forced to apply for technical unemployment. In advertising, in general, the most affected are the ATL and BTL agencies and, of course, the freelancers. And more specifically, in digital, we can say that things are slightly better, but I still see many brands that are afraid to be as present in online as they were pre-coronavirus.

From my point of view, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can do right now: to not communicate your products and services. What I noticed, on the other hand, is the empathy from influencers and their pro-bono involvement in many civic campaigns. Clearly this virus has managed to bring us closer and change the way we relate to life, but it is important to keep track of what will happen after we return to that normal state we now crave. 

Do you see that brands are experimenting now with the type of sponsored content? If yes, which content is it (is it lives, videos or other approach)? 

There are less campaigns, of course. But the sponsored video content is still the most preferred type of content in the Influencer Marketing industry. 

Do you think the current changes in the usage of Instagram will impact influencer marketing in long term and if yes, how will they influence the industry? 

Currently there are a lot of changes rumored to be made by Instagram, changes that hadn’t been 100% rolled-out in our country, but the most talked about I think are the following two. First, I’m talking about the update referring to removing/hiding likes on accounts all over the world. They say the reason behind taking this measure is to create a more safer environment so we, as users, will feel free to post content without having in mind the social validation that comes along with it. This update has been partially rolled-out in our country, the change hasn’t been implemented on the great majority of our Instagram accounts. I think it will definitely create some buzz at the beginning but for businesses there are other important metrics for measuring the ROI.

Second, I’m referring to IGTV monetization. I know this feature is available for select channels only, but this one represents a huge step forward for Instagram. More influencers will be tempted to spend time on the platform, because they will have the chance to monetize it (the same way they are doing it now with YouTube) and they will be driven by this opportunity. This will definitely have an impact on Influencer Marketing and the way marketers are planning their digital budgets as well.

Instagram is already ahead of other social platforms thanks to its features (like Insta Stories), appealing visuals and friendly ad formats, but this way the platform will become, sooner rather than later, the King in this chess game, being chosen by more influencers and becoming, this way, clearly more used than the other social channels.

As you already know, Instagram is being considered the fastest-growing products out of all Facebook’s social products, with an amazing engagement rate, therefore I have no doubt when I’m saying it will continue to remain one of the most used social platforms during 2020.