As the world reaches an inflection point with the global coronavirus pandemic, many are wondering how the world is going to look and how it will be different from the one of early March we only just left behind. We can be sure that a time of lively social gatherings has temporarily ground to a halt. Influencers who have made their mark by being visible in their communities have found themselves at a loss.
But influencers across the US are adapting in the face of what some have called an existential crisis for the industry. Many have had to resort to basics like hosting workouts in their living rooms or live video chats, in lieu of their brand ambassador ski trips being canceled. The current pandemic has taken aim specifically at the travel, hospitality and retail industries, which represent the bread and butter of influencers.
Influencer culture may not be canceled completely, but it has reached a critical moment where formerly lucrative influencers are having to prove their continued value for a brand. Many have had their complete schedules for April and May completely wiped out.
It may be hard to feel for influencers who seemingly have it easy, but they play a vital role in the modern marketing economy which derives so much value from social media. The best influencers can create organic buzz for your products and open up markets for your product. It has become a $5 to $10 Billion dollar industry.
According to the Financial Post, half of people ages 18-35 have used the opinions of their social followers to inform a purchase, and 88% put as much trust in an online review as they do an in-person or word-of-mouth review. Social media has so thoroughly entrenched itself in our lives that not even a global pandemic can dislodge it. Influencer marketing is more likely to experience a shift than to outright cease to exist. Instead of travel and foodie blogs, home cooks and health advocates and parenting blogs may command more attention as people spend more time at home.
When eventually lockdowns are lifted, or if they already have been lifted, depending on when you’re reading this article, we will likely find ourselves in a world we hardly recognize. But all the hallmarks of our old way of life will still be there if you know where to look, including influencers.