How Corona has changed the way I think about influence.
Without a doubt, the influencing world is going to take a hit during this corona pandemic, but it will, I’m sure eventually recover and I think it will be a changed industry. I, for one, and watching very closely how brands and influencers are handling the pandemic and keeping note. This is how I think the industry is going to change going forward, questions I am asking myself and things I will now be considering when working with someone.
1.“How Did You Handle the Corona Pandemic?”
This will be a question I’m going to ask when things are back to any sort of normality, and I think many others will too. How a company treats its employees says a lot about the company in general. For example, the way some fashion brands have said its “business as usual” compared to River Island shutting all of their stories and warehouses until things are safe, says so much about them. I’ll certainly be looking at the brands I work with more carefully in the future, because I believe how someone acts in a crisis says a lot about them. And this also applies to agencies and other influences I align myself with.
2. What Will the Public Think of Us?
There are a few people who have said that influencers are going to become irrelevant after this is all over. And for some influencers, they may be right. But I think influencers have and are having a huge role in getting people to stay at home and spreading the message about personal safety. Influencers have been used effectively in a lot of countries to support the spreading of the vital corona virus messages. So we are either useless or vital and it’s all a matter of opinion, but I hope at least some may view what we do in a different way.
3. An Eradication of the Shallowness?
I’m not sure how many people are going to care about teeth whitening kits after this, in the grand scheme of it all… It really doesn’t seem all that important. In fact, a lot of things don’t really seem that important anymore. Especially things like weight loss tea. I’m hoping this makes some influencers think differently about what they are doing and what they are promoting. I think luxury and very privileged influencers will have to tread very carefully in the weeks and months after this ends because your latest Chanel haul while sitting in your huge house and talking about how difficult it is you can’t find hummus really doesn’t sit well.
4. The Public Keeping a Close Eye on Influencers
I think it’s going to be pretty hard for us all to return to normal life after the corona pandemic, and I think that influencers who go traveling straight after the ban has been lifted might be up for scrutiny. In fact, I think a lot of use will be up for scrutiny. We are privileged to have so many people follow us and they are watching how we behave. We have to read the mood of the nation and the world we live in and feel into it rather than ignore it for our own needs.
5. A rethink of the brands I work with
To be honest, there’s a lot of brands and agencies which have handled this pandemic extremely badly. And they’re going straight on my list of companies to never work with again.
6. What is Appropriate Content
“What type of content should I be posting right now?” is a bit of a hard question to answer. I’m obviously still posting my travel photos as a form of escapism but making it very clear that everyone should stay indoors with my captions. I think there’s a fine line of talking about the pandemic too much and talking about it too little, and it can be very easy to fall into one of these categories. I also think it’s important that an influencer doesn’t share too many news articles to avoid sharing the wrong information. But I think that is just a personal opinion. And when this is all over and the world is healing I don’t know what will be appropriate then either but if a small part of my thinks it isn’t I won’t post it.
7. Where Do We Go From Here?
I think that’s a question that’s running through everyone’s mind. Even after the ban and things have gone back to normal, I know I’ll be reluctant to start going to events again and I won’t be rushing out to outdoor spaces (like we have seen in China) and I wonder how many influencers are thinking the same.
8. More focus on digital?
I think about the brands I love working with the most and none of them involve a ‘product’ of sorts, they are all things I already have (such as Sky and Adobe), will that be the new normal for me? Plus a few other companies like Miller and Harris for example who quickly reacted to the crisis in a way that was supportive of their employees and helpful to their community.
9. Should We Think More About What We Are Influencing?
What should an influencer really influence? Should they do more than make people want to buy something? OF COURSE! And I think there is going to be more of a demand for influencers who give something back to their community or talk more about a product in a way that’s both meaningful and helpful. Of course, Ads definitely shouldn’t stop and neither should affiliates. But I think we’re all going to have to think about what else we are doing to give back. I know for me it’s made me really think about my community and the noise i make in that community and how valuable it really is.
10. Will money become less important.
Today I received an e-mail from a company offering to pay me for advertising something and my first thought was you couldn’t pay me enough money to talk about that. It was something easy for me to advertise and something my audience is familiar with but it felt so off. Then I was contacted by a small sustainable company that wanted to lend me an item to photograph and show in my feed and I jumped at the chance to help them. I’m finding I’m more and more been pulled to really help and support those businesses that really are struggling and trying their best then to support a large corporation who can probably take the hit. I’m hoping this might make influencers think a bit more about the money they are asking for and whom they are asking for it from. I’ve always worked with charities free of charge but when lockdown eases and it’s safe to post things again I will be doing the same for small businesses that I love. I’ll also be thinking a lot more about the prices I am asking for. Yes, I absolutely believe we should make a living but should we be unnecessary greedy? We must I feel take into account eh changing times.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you think the influencer industry will change after corona.