Thumbs up 👍🏽 , There’s a New Influencer on the Front Line

On the 3249th day of quarantine, I found myself once again thumbing aggressively through my Instagram account in search of social interactions in order to stimulate my brain. Most of the stimulation comes from viewing the “traditional” influencer, if there is such a category, posting some new beauty advice, such as: how to cut my own hair during quarantine or a vibrating belt that will magically give me 6 pack abs without having to do one sit up (ya right). Being that my profession is in the field of experiential marketing, I am always in search of something new, a shift that is compelling and worth a second look, a reason to stop thumbing and take note.

Well, today was that day!

Who would have thought that the dreaded quarantine would have revealed something so significant? That is besides the fact that we are all addicted to Netflix, horrible cooks, and trying to work out at home using watermelons and wine bottles (guilty as charged). Today, something compelling appeared on my feed. Nope, it was not a TikToker, a pet iguana, or even a wellness guru who has the secret to lifelong happiness if we never leave the house again.

Out of all the people who made me stop was my friend, Tina Bijlani, a current resident at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. Usually, I tend to just look at her Instagram posts for the latest happenings around NYC. But her post had a “Thank You” sticker, and a tag that led me to a review two companies (Asics via Sneakers for Heroes) that donated sneakers to her hospital that she was passionate about supporting, followed by a little story and link to the brand website.

This made me think, our healthcare workers are our touchpoint to consumerism in this moment of time. From a marketing perspective, they have the ability to influence in a way we haven’t seen before. They are passionately connecting people to good causes, non-profits, and other companies that are single-handedly supporting essential workers.

Therefore, I want to give a thumbs up to the new influencers on the front line who are spending long days fighting for us every day. Many of whom have decided not to go home at all, sleeping in hotels or their cars to avoid potentially infecting loved ones. This notion has most brands quickly pivoting their strategies to provide the “essentials” to healthcare workers to not only express their gratitude and create moments of goodness but help keep them afloat during this difficult time.

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As a marketing professional, I see this as an opportunity for brands to not only invest more of their influencer marketing dollars towards health care professionals but to create future product lines that cater specifically to this demographic. In return, they can use their influence to make the world a better place and extend their reach to audiences post-Covid- 19. Their authentic personal stories of how a specific product helped them overcome their long hours while on the job are exactly what consumers are looking for during these tough times. It allows the audience to connect with real people on a personal and emotional level. This is a shift in our culture that possibly hasn’t existed before and it is my job to embrace this shift and support the very influencers who are working so hard to keep us safe and healthy.

Example: Exhausted doctors and nurses can give a thumbs up or down review on how a concealer brand or a herbal face mask helped conceal or heal their bruised faces wearing PPE. 

Take it from these brands who have been leading by example:

  • Nike– Donated over 30,000 Nike Air Zoom Pulse shoes, which was their first shoe designed for the healthcare athlete, an everyday hero.
  • Sephora– Launched their Project Care’ program, that will deliver beauty products to 65,000-plus frontline health care workers and those dealing with domestic violence in our communities across the U.S.
  • Dove – Put a new face on “Real Beauty; in salute to healthcare workers through their “Courage Is Beautiful” campaign.
  • Hershey’s: Launched a new Super Hero Milk Chocolate bar in partnership with DC Comics to highlight the real superheroes during the pandemic.

Heck, even some TikTok videos have gone viral for practicing safe handwashing while promoting their products.

As a true fitness and beauty product aficionado, I can’t wait to see where influencer marketing is headed to next.

As marketers, we are on the front lines of inspiring our clients, while bridging the gap between the healthcare superheroes and brands, both on and offline. Whether it’s strategically consulting on projects and initiatives, creating influencer and experiential marketing strategies, or providing out of the box thinking and pivoting during these challenging times. Thumbs up, we got you covered!

If you or a brand want to collaborate, drop me a line!

Author: Priya Shah