Over the past few years, influencer marketing has overtaken all different platforms of social media. From endorsements to product placements, influencers have grown to take the worldwide market through travel, events, blogs and audio/visual content. However, as with the rest of the world’s economy, the influencer market has suffered too.
The pandemic brought about a change in the way the world works. Practically, every industry suffered huge repercussions – whether it be the entertainment industry or the service industry, the suffering has failed to cease. Every individual, be it a sole entrepreneur or a well-established business, everyone continues to suffer amid the time of the pandemic.
How have influencers, specifically, suffered during the time of COVID-19?
Influencers are individuals that depend on travel, photoshoots and different fields of blogging to build the content that drives traffic. However, COVID-19 has halted all procedures with complete discontinuation of travel (even if you travel, there’s not much you can explore that you haven’t done a million times before) and has tremendously impacted the payroll for influencers.
Many influencers have spoken up about the drop in payments, which in turn has led to the need to either switch up the genre of their content completely or accommodate with the times and find a new job. According to Business Insider, influencer marketing has almost come to a halt as most of their ad campaigns have had to be postponed due to the cancellation of all events.
If at all, influencer marketing can only continue to thrive through DIY means. DIY, or Do-It-Yourself means of influencer marketing include Facetime photoshoots, Vlogs and much more. Companies like Bazaar and Vogue Italia have initiated stay-at-home photoshoots with models to begin providing the much-needed content on social media.
Since social media engagement is currently at its peak, it’s crucial to think of new ways to come up with content amidst the pandemic. Forbes held an interview with influencers Amra & Elma, in which they spoke about the changes in their lives due to the pandemic. They dived into the details of how they’ve had to change up their content completely by focusing on what’s available within the confines of their homes. From hobbies and stay-at-home activities to the different ways that individuals can begin countering the halts they’re feeling at work, the influencers focus on the changes they’ve had to conquer to make the most of the current situation of the world.
What changes have become crucial for influencer marketing on social media?
Right now, it’s important to understand that commercialising isn’t as important as a relief campaign. Consumers, now, more than ever, want to see brands and companies put forward their best intentions to work towards overcoming the problems at hand.
Although brand awareness is integral, consumers want to see companies put their best foot forward and provide solutions to the current problems. How do you overcome the halt in creativity? What can you do at home to avoid getting bored or overwhelmed? Is it possible to predict the rise in the industries again? If the influencers are suffering, what should they try to do to keep their social media alive?
To keep their social media alive and running, many influencers have taken quite a few steps to ensure they don’t lose the space that they’ve worked so hard to build. These steps include:
1. Doing what influencers do best – Be relatable
If you are an influencer or have recently found your calling in the life of an influencer, you must be well aware of the ground rule to creating an impact is to be relatable. No one is going to feel inclined to browse your content if they cannot relate to it – whether it be video content, an article, or even a picture. None of your followers will feel the need to interact with your content if you fail to give them what they signed up for.
Surely, these needs change over time and as an influencer, it is your duty to live up to the expectations as time passes by. For example, amid the pandemic, for models to do stay-at-home photoshoots and for bloggers to write about the ways to cope up with the presence of COVID-19 whilst also speaking about the different things you can do to keep yourself engaged and entertained at home, is essentially the relatability that influencers need to provide on their social media tools or platforms today.
2. Switch up revenue strategies to make the most out of your time at home
For influencers, until now, the job of creating different forms of content has been relatively spontaneous. Many have relied on events, traveling and brand deals to receive their income. However, as the pandemic came, so did the end of all sources of income.
To overcome this financial distress, it has been extremely important for all influencers to gear up and concentrate on the creation of different revenue strategies to regain their financial stability. Through the pursuit of Youtube revenue and long-term projects rather than easy deals, the social media journey of influencers has expanded into different platforms.
A few examples of the different revenue strategies of influencers as of now include online coaching classes with coordination with Masterclass, how-to tutorials on Youtube and IGTV, experimental makeup tutorials, cooking videos and much more.
3. Those that work together, stay together
If there’s anything we’ve been able to view a little more of amid the coronavirus, it’s humanity. Many individuals have come together to help, stand for a cause and even work together. For influencers, collaboration has been a common concept for a while – a few influencers that work in the same field come together for easy collaborations, allowing them to help each other grow on a journey they choose to pursue together.
While many collab houses shut down due to the need for social distancing, quite a few other influencers chose to stay together during this troubling time before the lockdown occurred, allowing them to overcome the pandemic together. Even now, several creators have the help of their friends due to this decision, allowing them to explore different fields much more easily.
The endnote – are more changes to come along the journey of the pandemic?
There’s no saying of how the situation of the pandemic might turn out to be tomorrow. While everyone might be hoping for the best, there’s always the doubt that the situations might worsen as well. By considering the worst-case scenario, growth will be consistent and smooth once again.
Even though social media platforms have seen major growth in the amount of engagement and impressions on their posts over the past months, brands are still holding on to the budget of influencer marketing. Depending on how long COVID-19 is here to stay for, the influencer marketing budget might reduce over the long-term. Sponsorships and brand deals are beginning to be underway but there’s no guarantee that the contracts and deals will come back to the same budgets anytime soon.
For now, it’s important to focus on recovery and how to bounce back. Social media is flourishing as we speak, use it to your benefit.