Influencers make their living through the income from marketing and sponsors. However currently, due to coronavirus pandemic, their primary source of income has taken a hit. So, influencers are changing strategy during covid-19 to stay relevant.
The influencer strategy that was used for brands earlier is no longer as effective now. People who made out of taking brand sponsors and endorsements are now having a difficult time. However, it depends on which community the influencers belong to. The most impacted influencers are travelers and social media bloggers. Now they rarely have the opportunity to go out and even if they do it might be termed as insensitive.
Influencers say that they are receiving lesser chances for brand endorsements as compared to before. They are still trying to remain in the business but making sure that they are being reasonable. It might also come off as controversial if brands still keep on using influencer marketing. So, influencers are surely changing their strategy, and here is how:
1. Influencers strategy: Working for support and philanthropy :
Rather than continuing with their previous strategy of trying to sell more products and getting views, influencers are working for the society. Since a lot of people look up to these influencers, they have taken upon them to engage people and entertain them.
One of the best examples I can think of is the Poet Rupi Kaur conducting free workshops for writing on her Instagram. Her workshops are free and engaging:
Influencers like Rupi Kaur are starting to design workshops and programs for their followers. This way the followers keep themselves engaged. Interestingly this also helps them get better reviews from their followers as well. So, this is one of the strategies that influencers are and can use for self-promotion.
2. No travel:
The only place that people now travel to is either to the grocery store or kitchen. With social distancing norms and covid-19 fear, people are avoiding travel as much as possible. As a result, people who previously promoted travel in social media now are forced to stay home and resort to new things.
Apart from being a job that pays you to travel, this also gives you a chance to gain followers and earn through sponsors. One of the very interesting changes in strategy I saw is influencers are now trying to do something indoors. Just to make sure that they are giving out content to the people.
For instance, we can see Mark Weins who is a travel vlogger has now started making recipes at home. Influencers are trying to find things they can do at home during covid-19.
3. Fitness influencers have more users:
In contrast to travel influencers, fitness influencers now are gaining more and more users every day. With more people stuck inside their homes, they are looking for ways to stay healthy.
As a result, people are looking for more health influencers who can help them. So, the influencers who would previously go to the gym to workout are now working out from home. Since the last week of March, Nike saw a hike of more than 100% of weekly active users in their NTC app. So, this is a chance for fitness influencers to change their strategy and work online.
4. Influencers strategy: Focusing on the long term:
It might be difficult for the influencers that have only recently started out. Without a definite source of revenue, the attractiveness of the business is decreasing. However, there are influencers who look at their long term business and continue making content.
Try guys are one of the perfect examples where they still manage to sell, but in return, they are giving back more. Their plan is to donate to 10 people in return for anyone purchasing their products. This might not help them profit over sales at the moment. But this creates a positive image in the mind of customers about them. This is definitely a strategy for the long-run.
This way the influencers are changing their strategy focusing on long term gain rather than immediate profit. This is helping them give back to the society but still manage to stay relevant.
5. They are giving out more creative content than ever:
One good thing that is coming out of the lockdown is creativity among people. We can see that more and more people are moving towards learning arts and craft during their free time. Similar is the case for influencers who are designing new content.
In fact, they are having to develop creative content which was a lot easier before. Influencers during Covid-19 have lesser resources to act with. This might be a test on how creative one can be to stick on to the business for long. If this lockdown goes for longer, influencers will have to resort to a new creative strategy to exist.
Finally, we don’t know whether in the long term if all the influencers will manage to cope with this change. It now depends upon patience, creativity, and hard work the influencers stay alive during and after Covid-19. However, we can see that many influencers have increasingly started using new and improved strategy.
Most of them are even working for the betterment of society. CSR is a huge part of any business and the same is for influencer marketing. If they can make people believe in the good work that they are doing, they might even come off as better than ever before. The main reason why influencers are popular is that they are helpful and relevant. So, if influencers try to make sure that they are providing content that is either helpful or if they are helping others in a way, it can be a long term strategy for them.