Covid-19 (Coronavirus) has affected everyone globally. At ZINE, we wanted to look closer at what impact this has had on social media and how this impacts influencers and brands, respectively.
Everyone in the world has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. The chart below highlights the rapidly increasing trend in the number of searches about Corona worldwide.
Number of google searches for Coronavirus globally
From an influencer’s perspective, many have had campaigns cancelled last minute or funds withheld temporarily. Being self-employed always comes with an element of risk, but coupled with a global pandemic, there’s multiple reasons to worry.
From a brand’s perspective, they might be experiencing supply chain issues, an inability to pay staff, issues with rents if they have brick-and-mortar stores as well as many other financial problems. Many small businesses have had to close completely given the lack of customers and no clear idea when this will all be over.
The government have put in place a variety of grants and loans to help the majority of the population in this difficult time.
People are spending more time online
Governments, globally, have issued lockdowns. This means those who can work from home, should. It also means any unnecessary travelling should be avoided. As people find themselves isolated at home, no longer able to enjoy the same things they used to - the number of people who spend their time online has drastically increased.
For brands and influencers, this could mean increases engagement, as each day, the number of people online who view your content increases. People naturally turn to their phones and computers for interaction when they’re unable to leave the house to socialise.
How your brand chooses to promote yourself at this point will be critical in your success moving forwards. Consumers are paying close attention to brands that go out of their way to help others and those who don’t.
Consumers want to know which brands look out for their staff and their customers and who only thinks about themselves. This pandemic is a key point in history where all eyes are on brands. It’s up to you, as a brand to make sure you position yourself in the right way.
Influencers are using their platform for good
During a crisis, we tend to see people utilising the resources they do have to help. This has been especially prevalent with influencers. Many have been using their platform for good. This comes at a time where audiences and consumers are turning to influencers for a sense of normality during this troublesome time.
Joe Wicks, Instagram chef and fitness coach, runs a daily P.E lesson for children (and their parents) in the morning every weekday on his social pages. This is to provide children with exercise lessons at a time where they are not at school. It also eases the burden for parents who may not have the time to fun a full school programme as well as ensure they offer efficient exercise programmes too.
Other fitness influencers are also offering free classes on Facebook Live or Instagram Live for their followers. Often these classes are part of a paid community - but during the crisis, these are made available for free for everyone. For example, you can get access to the Yoga Girl community for free, for 30 days.
It’s not all fitness either. Food influencers find themselves hosting regular cooking classes or sharing recipes online with their followers and life coaches offer free mindfulness classes for all of their followers.
If you’re looking to create healthy vegan meals, @greenandwildco offers free cooking classes on Instagram Live.
Is now a good time to run campaigns for your brand?
With supply chains down and fewer people buying products, brands might wonder whether now is the right time to run influencer campaigns or any marketing campaigns at all.
However, only 8% of consumers thought brands should stop advertising, 92% believe brands should continue as they do. What’s more, only 30% want to see brands offering discounts and promotions. Therefore, if you did plan to run a specific discount campaign, continue as you would. Overall, consumers largely want to see brands operate in the same way they previously would - provided they are mindful of the current climate.
It’s important to note, however, that consumers (74%) largely believe brands should not exploit the situation for their own gain. Almost half (40%) want to see companies making donations of products, such as hand sanitisers or face masks if at all possible. The notion here: if there is something your brand can do to help: you should.
If your brand uses influencer content within paid ads, there’s a really good opportunity to benefit from cheaper ad costs. With fewer brands advertising on paid channels, there are less people bidding on the same audience as you. 55% of brands have postponed or are reviewing ad campaigns, while 60% are cutting or reviewing budgets. This means the cost to advertise reduces which provides you with a good opportunity to run cost-effective campaigns.
If you do plan to run a campaign - make sure you’re sensitive to the current situation. Consumers want to see that brands are empathetic to the global crisis.
Be mindful, that with people facing job uncertainty and no clear indication of when this will end, they may be less inclined to purchase non-essential items. However, running brand awareness campaigns would be a great way to grow your audience and build a loyal customer base for when things settle down.
The new perception of the internet
Prior to COVID-19, talk turned to people spending less time online and more time in person. Now, though, the tables have turned and the world of online, especially social media, has become a critical part of people’s daily lives. Not just for communication but for improved mental health and better access to the world’s news.
Social media is seen in a new light: a positive light. When all this is over, it will be interesting to see how the world of online and offline merge together in a way that’s positive for all.
With this level of global uncertainty, no one really has a clear idea of what will happen. What is certain though, is as a global nation, we must use this time to come together and support each other in any way we can.
COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of community - especially online. If you’re a brand or influencer, use this time to consider how you can support your community - as right now, it’s more important than ever.
If you’re a brand or influencer struggling to cope with the current situation and would like to speak to one of our experts, get in touch and we’ll see how we can help.
As always, together, we’re stronger.
If you need any advice with your influencer marketing campaigns, please get in touch.