The role of influencers during the pandemic.
To succeed today as influencers, being tone-deaf is to die while furnishing consumer-centric content is to survive. Accomplished leaders are understanding their audiences’ inner-most needs in order to produce educational, inspirational & relevant content that distracts from current environmental challenges.
Since March 2020, people around the world have shifted their consumption and lifestyle behaviors to match their current circumstances. While stuck at home, e-learning the new type of Chill in 2020. Edu-tainment, defined as Education + Entertainment “refers to any form of entertainment that is educational. The goal of edutainment is to make learning enjoyable and fun.” During COVID-19, we saw influencers marketing educational content instead of showcasing their products to help pass the time during quarantine. American Vogue Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour, now teaches online classes on entrepreneurship while Marc Jacobs teaches Design. To pass time, users with access took advantage of these institutions who were offering low-cost ways to take new skill-based classes.
Furthermore, once idolized for showing off one of a kind outfits on the most beautiful paid-for experiences in the world, influencers are being called on today to help make a difference, empathize with their followers or donate to a cause. Horrific experiences since March 2020 such as the start of COVID-19, BLM movement and the recent Beirut explosion have shifted the influencer narrative.
A recent study by Fullscreen on Forbes depicts that 34% of 18to 34 year-olds say they now watch more inﬂuencer content during and because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To no surprise, influencers have adapted their communications strategies as well. Influencers of all types are realizing that the days of abnormal amounts of travel and wardrobe credits are gone. Materialistic posts are considered so 2019 and as of March 2020, consumers are expecting influencers to use their leading influence for the better. For example, influential people are using this time to make a difference in the norms around consumption topics. For example, ex Victoria Secret model, Shanina Shaik has been hosting talks about health and wellness while others think twice, creating humanized content; “Yes, I create beautiful images but they go along with how I was feeling that day, and how I’m processing the situation. Hopefully, that provides a sense of relatability” says influencer Kristen Bick. Lebanese-Australian lawyer and model in Dubai, Jessica Kahawaty, is notorious for standing up for global causes and human rights around the world- making her not only a fashion icon but also a leader with substance and empathy.
No matter the influencer or brand, content is content. From now on, the way new collections are designed, the methods the services are offered and the way the services are marketed etc. need to be done with extra care and caution.” Brands and influencers must relate to the public during these incredibly unique times, however, in genuine ways. The celebrities that posted their pool-side escapes at their beach homes during COVID-19 shouldn’t be surprised by a drop in followers.