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Disruption in influencer marketing during COVID 19

Social media personalities prove to be flexible in creating content that still resonates with the world in a Coronavirus fight back. Influencer marketing is among many industries that have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. With sponsor deals shutting down, trips canceled and events postponed—the influencer industry is going through a curious transitional time.

In December of last year, Greenroom estimated that brands will invest up to 43% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing by 2022. Among other things, this estimate was based on the fact that influencers proved themselves to be highly effective promotional tools. Individuals with a significant following on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook became important voices for brands that were seeking to spread their word.

But under the current crisis, influencers need a content and strategy shift.

Consumers go to YouTube to improve their mood

The vast majority of consumers go to YouTube to improve their mood and find uplifting, helpful, and educational content. The survey also found that respondents felt that YouTube offers more contextually relevant content based on what they wanted to see.

  1. 80% of respondents go to YouTube to improve their mood

  2. 69% find the platform’s content more uplifting than other channels

While 33% of respondents go to YouTube for COVID-19 content specifically, many more are watching a broad variety of mood-boosting videos:

  1. 48% are watching entertainment videos

  2. 48% are watching music-related content

  3. 33% are consuming comedy

  4. 31% are looking at videos about DIY

  5. 29% are feasting on cooking-related content

Fitness influencers are thriving

People who made arguments against lockdowns felt they would devastate every section of the economy. While this is proving to be true for many industries, some businesses are thriving in a socially distant world.

A post shared by Mandira Bedi (@mandirabedi) on May 15, 2020 at 12:19am PDT

Fitness creators are seeing spikes in traffic to their pages. Videos of home workouts have already garnered millions of views on Youtube. With gyms closed, people are flocking to fitness influencers on sites like Instagram and Youtube so they might stay fit during the pandemic.

Source: YouTube

Since fitness influencers often promote their own programs rather than relying on advertisements for revenue, they are surprisingly safe from the adverse effect on the lockdowns.

Live streaming is extremely popular

Influencers have always used live streams to interact with their followers in real-time and generate community engagement. Social isolation has made this form of content even more popular as people are seeking connections digitally.

A post shared by Mahesh Raghvan (@followingmahesh) on May 20, 2020 at 10:02am PDT

A rise was seen on Instagram as celebrities and influencers conducted live sessions. Musicians, in particular, are using Instagram to perform virtual concerts, raising relief money for charity. Live streams are currently the only source of back-and-forth conversations between influencers and those who enjoy their content.

Travel influencers, the worst hit

Traveling from country to country and getting paid to do so is a dream life for many. But those who have been living this dream have been struck by a harsh reality. With countries suspending air travel and companies reluctant to invest in anything new, business isn’t exactly booming for vloggers and influencers who made a living traveling around the world.

A new kind of content is in demand

Brands realize that these are sensitive times. Any campaign that comes off as tone-deaf and opportunistic would be a PR disaster that will haunt them for a time to come. This is why businesses are turning towards influencers for more purpose-driven campaigns.

Shitty picture of a masala that I have fallen in love with over the past few years and makes the base of a lot of Srilankan cooking. ⁣ ⁣ Yes we are talking about the Roasted Curry Powder. It can be used in meat and veg curries, frying eggs and totally elevates a poriyal to another level. ⁣ ⁣ I learnt this in the cooking session I did in SL & it’s been a staple at home since then ⁣ ⁣ Recipe below plus step by step in stories⁣ ⁣ INGREDIENTS⁣ 4 tbsp coriander seeds⁣ 3 tbsp cumin seeds⁣ 2 tbsp black peppercorns⁣ 2 tbsp raw rice (basmati) ⁣ 1 tbsp mustard seeds⁣ 3 tsp whole cloves⁣ 2 tsp, cardamom seeds from green cardamom or 3/4 tsp caradomom powder ⁣ 1 tsp fennel seeds⁣ ⁣ METHOD⁣ Place the rice on a dry non stick pan. Heat over medium heat until the rice starts to turn light brown.⁣ Add the rest of the spices and pan roast for a further 3 – 5 minutes until the spices start to brown, toast and become aromatic. Keep moving the pan to prevent the spices from burning. If you aren’t used to of roasting spices, roast each of them separately ⁣ Remove from the heat and let the spices cool down. Once cool grind & store in an airtight container ⁣ ⁣ Coming tomorrow- Chicken curry with this masala and maybe even a better picture of this masala 🤦🏽‍♀️😂⁣ ⁣ #sinamon #sinamonKitchen ⁣#srilankanfood #masala #spice #spicemix #masalapowder #spices #curry #currypowder #roastedcurrypowder #srilanka #indianfoodbloggers #foodtalkindia #food #foodporn #spicemistress #forkyeah #kitchenbasics #heresmyfood

A post shared by Monika (@monikamanchanda) on May 13, 2020 at 8:45am PDT

With audiences trusting influencers more than faceless brands, they are more effective in promoting philanthropic messages. Brands and influencers are working together to raise funds from people affected by the coronavirus pandemic as well as to pay tribute to doctors who are on the front-line.

Governments and private institutions alike are enlisting influencers to promote social distancing and other precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, influencers themselves are shifting towards more solution-based content. Be it self-help or DIY tutorials, social media figures are finding new ways to help their followers.

Though Ad revenue is down, engagement has spiked

While campaigns are currently on a pause, influencers are reporting more engagement than ever before. Social media usage has increased exponentially with people staying indoors resulting in a dramatic traffic increase for many influencers.

Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok serve as distractions for individuals who are practicing social distancing. In the early days, the same platform saw decreased engagement with Twitter dominating the online world. However, people are back on their favorite social media sites and are showing great interest in organic and non-sponsored content.

Influencer Marketing

When Greenroom talked to other digital creators, the individuals reported an increase in engagement on different social media outlets.

Content creators are adapting to the new normal

Influencers put in a great effort to have a carefully curated feed. Generally, their social media depicts a dream lifestyle that prominently features designer dresses, fancy meals, and breathtaking scenery from exotic locations.

But given that people are not interested in this content at the moment, influencers are thinking out of the box. Instead of stylish halter tops from famous retailers, they can be seen in more casual clothing.

Some have taken this opportunity to discuss issues like mental health and anxiety. Others are going down the memory lane, posting images from events they attended or locations they visited years before the pandemic gripped the world.

Time are tough but there’s a lot of influencing to be done

For influencers, the primary source of income exists via brand partnership and affiliate revenue they earn through tools like exclusive digital coupon codes. Currently, both of these revenue streams are under threat.

But rest assured, influencers aren’t going anywhere and neither are the millions of their loyal followers. While the circumstances have changed around their work, what hasn’t changed is the power influencers wield over big sections of the internet. Social media personalities are proving themselves to be flexible enough to create content that still resonates with a quarantined population. Companies are taking note of this as many brands are still going ahead with their scheduled campaigns.

Inevitably, when things go back to normal, brands would need these important voices to amplify their message on the digital realm.

What ideas do you have for readjusting to influencer marketing collaborations right now? Do let us know below in the comments or visit our websiteFacebookTwitter or Instagram pages to reach out to us.

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