Innovating Out Of Crisis: The Impact of Coronavirus On Content And Influencer Industry

As the economic impact of Coronavirus is starting to bite, the first-place businesses make cuts is marketing. Budgets are being slashed, rapidly. Yet, in the midst of the pandemic, the influencer industry is feeling a different wind of change.

As the economic impact of Coronavirus is starting to bite, the first-place businesses make cuts is marketing. Budgets are being slashed, rapidly. Yet, in the midst of the pandemic, the influencer industry is feeling a different wind of change.

As the black swan of 2020 disrupts businesses around the world, brands are awaking to the power of digital media, social platforms and content creators. The three have become essential ingredients to hold the attention of not only potential customers but also existing ones.

Case in point, in Feb, L’Oréal read the writing on the wall and ceased all offline advertising. It then reinvested into online promotion. The impact on the industry is not solely due to businesses innovating out of crisis and shifting to D2C.  How people are now consuming content has brought a fortuitous change, too.

The need for social distancing has led to a massive surge in all kinds of digital content consumption. Nielsen estimates it to be about 60% and the proof of it lies with Netflix’s decision to begin reducing bit rates across all streams in Europe for 30 days.

The move is meant to combat the strain the streaming site is facing with more and more people logging on. It’s not just Netflix; YouTube Gaming has seen a 15% rise in viewers. Facebook saw “big surges” in usage because it is the platform people utilise to connect with friends and family.

I think, uncouth as it sounds, that this is a content and creator moment.

Brands are struggling with the need to engage with the consumer and contain the massive loss that every industry is about to face. So, they are leveraging the one pocket of consumption left – digital media.

The obvious step is to tweak and then use the existing content repository. But there will come a point when that’s exhausted and, for some, it will happen rather quickly.

It is here content creators step in. As influencers, they are savvy at generating content that keeps their audience hooked at home, and that’s exactly what they are doing.

Take, for example, Vir Das who had to cancel his comedy tour due to the coronavirus outbreak. As an alternate, he has been Vlogging each day at 8 pm since his self-quarantine began. This is just one use-case. There’s been a hike in creator content everywhere.

Singers are performing live concerts from their homes. Fitness influencers are doing IG live workouts. Food creators are broadcasting cooking tutorials. And users are joining in hordes because it feels good to be connected, even if virtually.

My recommendation is if you are brand grappling to survive the impact of COVID-19, get creators on board and harness their value right now because, in the coming weeks, the world will be looking for an escape. And that escape is going to come in the form of creators and their content.

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