Influencer marketing is here to stay post Covid-19

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, nationwide lockdowns and travel bans have immensely altered the way influencers work. The devastating impact on the entire fashion industry and the contraction of the global economy has largely diminished brands’ marketing budgets and put an indefinite halt on ongoing campaigns. However, as most of the world is currently housebound, engagement on sponsored content is increasing with Instagram usage climbing 40 percent according to a recent report by TechCrunch.

It appears that the influencer currency is still on the rise, but which ones will stay in business and cash in on the new opportunities will mostly depend on their versatility and ability to pull in audiences across multiple content categories. FashionUnited interviewed by email, three notable influencers from the US and Europe on the ways they are creatively producing content during lockdown and which sectors of fashion still have the budgets to spend on influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is here to stay post Covid-19Influencer marketing is here to stay post Covid-19

Gabriella Zacche

  • @GabriellaZacche
  • Based in: Manhattan, New York
  • Followers: 143k

How has the impact of Covid-19 affected your work as an influencer?

The impact of movement restrictions on my work was very significant. Most of my projects and campaigns have contractual requirements to be shot outside or even some degree of traveling. After the restrictions were put in place, I had some event activations I was booked for cancelled until further notice. Even campaigns I had already shot and delivered were postponed with no visibility of a new posting date. I could say with confidence that my work and projects with brands saw a reduction of 90 percent.

Which type of brands are you still collaborating with and how?

Over this past week (At the beginning of April), I began to see brands starting to ‘react’ to this new reality with more ‘working from home’ focused activations. The product placement for fashion went from street style content and spring outfit styling to getting dressed to work from home and lounging inside. Activewear, wellness, beauty and a few lifestyle brands are the ones that are thriving and doing more sponsored posts with all the ‘at home’ content.

In what ways are you getting creative with producing content during lockdown and WFH?

I’m trying to adapt my content to the ‘new needs’ (and new context) that my audience has now. Trying to produce uplifting content in my stories (steering away from the Covid-19 information overdose that we see everywhere), posting working from home outfit ideas, beauty and wellness tutorials, and even makeup tutorials for their Zoom calls. Anything that will be useful information to them and that helps them get through this tough phase.

Are you using any social platforms more that you haven’t used before the coronavirus crisis?

I’m definitely using more IGTV and got started on TikTok.

I hear a lot that this could be the end of the influencer industry as we know it, but my view is that while there are still influencers with an audience group that brands want to reach in an organic way, there will still be budgets allocated for those activations.

Do you think this experience will permanently alter the way you work as an influencer when the economy reopens?

Yes. I believe brands that are now working with much tighter budgets will be more savvy when investing in influencer marketing in the future. I believe we’ll see their focus switching a lot from just the brand awareness that they wanted in some campaigns to being mostly conversion-oriented.

I hear a lot that this could be the end of the influencer industry as we know it, but my view is that while there are still influencers with an audience group that brands want to reach in an organic way (and if they have built a trust with them), there will still be budgets allocated for those activations. Yes, influencers might have a tougher job to do by proving their capability to convert before closing new deals in the future, but I still think influencer marketing is here to stay and is just another form of advertising and publishing - but more authentic than the others.

Influencer marketing is here to stay post Covid-19

Matthew Zorpas/The Gentleman Blogger

  • @MatthewZorpas
  • Based in: London, UK
  • Followers: 186k

How has the impact of Covid-19 affected influencer marketing?

Influencers are more important than ever. As we all stay home, we spend more time online and we are in need for inspiration, entertainment and guidance. Just like any other industry, we are challenged to transition and adapt into a new scenario.

What tips do you have for influencers on creating content during this time?

We can't travel, we can't produce new content with our photographer or videographer, there are no events, shows and red carpets to attend; yet we can revisit our archive, refine them and share some light in this current situation.

Also, we can self produce just like we did at the very beginning, we have the tools and the knowledge to do so. My thoughts are with the industries that are physical, those that are on the frontline and that can't adapt or have a choice to be digital.

Influencer marketing is here to stay post Covid-19

Natacha and Melanie

  • @mocean_
  • Based in: Brussels, Belgium
  • Followers: 125k

How has the impact of Covid-19 affected your work as an influencer?

Travel bans have ensured that all domestic and foreign events that were on our agenda have been abolished and that therefore no new ones have been added. We had some cool events planned, namely we were supposed to go to Paris and the Bahamas for an influencer event/trip in March that we were really looking forward to.

At this time our feed normally would also have been full of colorful Miami and LA content, but due to the quarantine orders it’s now full of creative mirror pics, shot inside-at home.

What about product placement and sponsored posts? Has it changed, how?

Nothing has changed in the way that we produce sponsored posts. Of course, Covid-19 has had a great impact on our economy; therefore businesses have less marketing budget, so we receive a lot fewer opportunities from brands to collaborate with these days.

The businesses that still have budgets for influencer campaigns are sometimes very creative such as in the way they make a campaign applicable even during these difficult times. This also makes it fun for us because it brings some variety to the ‘usual’ content we would normally create while still maintaining our authenticity.

In what ways are you getting creative with producing content during lockdown and WFH?

The first thing we did, when we knew we were about to go into lockdown, was to buy a large mirror. This way, we could still make fashion content while being at home. Self-timer has also become our best friend in quarantine.

Are you using any social platforms more that you haven’t used before the coronavirus crisis?

Not really, we were already into TikTok before so we still use it just as much.

Do you think this experience will permanently alter the way you work as an influencer when things get back to ‘normal’? If so, how?

We believe that when everything is back to ‘normal’, it will not really alter the way we work as an influencer. We will get back to our older habits, but just combine them with habits we learned during quarantine.

We never actually shot content at home, before Covid-19. Now we realized that making content at home is as much fun as creating content outdoors and our followers seem to love it too. Making content at home is also really effective. You can produce a lot more content at home since you can easily switch between different outfits and you don’t need any transportation (which is also very good for the environment). When this is all over, we’re sure we will combine taking pictures inside and outside more often.

Photos: courtesy of Gabriella Zacche, courtesy of The Gentleman Blogger, courtesy of @mocean

 

Related news

MORE NEWS

 

LATEST JOBS

 

MOST READ