Higher Standards, More Competition: The Post-COVID Influencer Reality

Women holding mobile phone with social media notification icon
SHARE
THIS



As markets begin to emerge from lockdown restrictions and return to the workplace, influencers are adjusting to a changed world of social media usage and connection. Weber Shandwick Australia social media strategy director Mollie Fearnon explains in this piece.

Upon being impacted by the pandemic, video usage on messaging apps in most markets had a tendency to climb. In many, it more than doubled.

In some ways, it’s unsurprising. However, it’s a development that reflects a much broader shift for social media usage and the influencers, communicators, and brands that rely upon it. As COVID-19 separated us physically and geographically, it simultaneously fostered a greater need for connection, escapism, and expression than we’d ever had to contend with before – and things have changed.

In addition to more video calling and messaging, for example, content creation and consumption has similarly risen. Global Web Index found that over 80 per cent of consumers are consuming more content since the outbreak. Many have joked about the influx of new podcasts birthed under lockdown – but it goes much further. Digital content platforms of all kinds have seen boosts in creation and consumption.

It’s not likely to go away, either. Weber Shandwick’s research into recovery habits and intentions in China have revealed that, even months after lockdowns have been lifted, many of the habits and priorities developed under quarantine continue into recovery. Even as stores and centres re-open, many consumers will continue to be careful, remain indoors, and focus on the hobbies and passions developed under restrictions.

For professional content creators and communicators, it represents a new world.

Audiences for influencers, for example, have only grown larger. A number of major platforms reported usage had increased by over 40 per cent. The combination of increased screen time for consumers and new voices on content platforms has led to increased engagement from audiences – with nearly 80 per cent of influencers reporting higher engagement from their followers through the pandemic.

As businesses begin to re-engage with their stakeholders, it represents substantial opportunity. However, it also represents heightened risk. With increased audiences has come increased scrutiny and sensitivity. If a mistake is made, it can echo much further for influencers and brands alike. An evidence-led strategy informed by data and social listening, therefore, is more beneficial than ever.

As an industry, we’ve long since moved beyond simply picking an influencer with a sufficient following or jumping on a rising trend. But, in a post-COVID reality, there are even more factors to consider in developing successful social campaigns. The type of content, for example. Our larger and more engaged audiences are no longer as interested in distractions or aspirational aesthetics; they want something practical and substantial.

Whether it’s recipes, workouts, or tutorials, consumers are prioritising content and creators that support them in their personal growth and well-being. It’s consistent with emerging trends in China and Singapore that indicate consumers have returned from lockdown and quarantine with a new commitment to invest more in their own security, stability, and comfort.

It’s a tendency that’s already driving a new trend in content in terms of solution-based work. Increasingly, new influencers are delivering tutorial-style guidance with a focus on self-help, mental health, or wellbeing advice. The growing need for connection and heightened competition has also seen investments in more collaborative work between influencers and between influencers and their audiences.

To truly succeed in engaging stakeholders in a post-COVID influencer ecology, it’s these movements that brands, communicators, and creators will need to leverage – and leverage with greater strategic precision. As we all continue to reach out for greater connection, we’re reaching for deeper, more engaging content. Higher standards, greater competition, wider audiences, greater risk – it’s a new world.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

influencer Weber Shandwick

Latest News

PHOTOGRAPH BY NIGEL WRIGHT. 
WRIGHTPHOTO1@MAC.COM

THE MASKED SINGER S3. EP5

THIS PICTURE SHOWS: EPISODE 5 REVEAL…MAHALIA BARNES















.
  • Media

Tuesday TV Wrap: Masked Singer Reveal Falls From Monday As Pavlova Is Uncovered

The Masked Singer’s big reveal saw a slight drop off in audience from its Monday night episode, netting an average of 654,000 viewers. That’s a decrease of 49,000 from the previous night where, as you are sure to remember, the dancing pinata was revealed to be Lote Tuqiri. Last night was the reveal of a […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ray White Unveils New “Proudly” Campaign For Spring Selling Season
  • Campaigns

Ray White Unveils New “Proudly” Campaign For Spring Selling Season

Australasia’s largest real estate agency has released its biggest brand campaign ever. The spring campaign, “Proudly Ray White”, was created to help service the more than 730 Australian offices under the leading group’s umbrella. Spearheaded by Ray White marketing manager Todd Alexander and brand manager David Williamson, the campaign was inspired by Ray White’s rich […]

Channel 7 Reporter Attacked With “Urine” While Reporting!
  • Media

Channel 7 Reporter Attacked With “Urine” While Reporting!

Channel 7 reporter, Paul Dowlsey had an energy drink thrown at him and sprayed with what he thinks was urine, while trying to cover the tradie protest over mandatory vaccines in Melbourne.  Protestors, many donned in the signature tradie uniform of neon yellows and oranges, took to the streets in Melbourne yesterday. Hundreds marched through […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
JCDecaux Unveils Mass Digitisation Plans After Snaring Huge Sydney Trains Advertising Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

JCDecaux Unveils Mass Digitisation Plans After Snaring Huge Sydney Trains Advertising Contract

JCDecaux has announces the successful outcome of one of the largest Out-of-Home advertising contracts in Australia, as Sydney Trains appoints the company as its main advertising partner across the concourses and platforms of train stations for a term of up to ten years. The company, still smarting from relinquishing the City of Sydney contract to […]

The Lab Expands Executive Team With Three Promotions
  • Marketing

The Lab Expands Executive Team With Three Promotions

Leading cultural insights and strategy company The Lab today announced the promotion of three senior staff members to executive positions in its Melbourne and Sydney offices. The promotions follow strong growth for The Lab, with the addition of new clients and the launch of its innovative new artificial intelligence and machine learning division, Lab AI, […]

Booktopia’s Alex Huntley On Partnering With SaaS Platform Freshworks And Tackling The Pandemic
  • Marketing

Booktopia’s Alex Huntley On Partnering With SaaS Platform Freshworks And Tackling The Pandemic

Alex Huntley, Booktopia’s head of customer experience, recently appeared at software company Freshworks’ recent digital CX summit RE:SOLVE. During the summit, Huntley shared his thoughts on future-proofing customer service architecture.Huntley sat down with B&T to discuss Booktopia’s partnership with Freshworks and how it has helped their platform develop. B&T: Why did Booktopia first decide to partner […]

Nestlé Oceania Adds The Edison Agency To Strategic Design Roster
  • Marketing

Nestlé Oceania Adds The Edison Agency To Strategic Design Roster

The Edison Agency has made four new appointments in its Sydney office to service the continued growth across key account The Arnott’s Group and the recent appointment to Nestlé Oceania’s strategic packaging design roster. Over the past 12 months, the culmination of strategic and creative work across the Uncle Toby’s brand and continued growth of […]

SCA Launches Smart Speaker Experience Tom & Olly’s Guide To Lockdown
  • Media

SCA Launches Smart Speaker Experience Tom & Olly’s Guide To Lockdown

SCA has announced a new smart speaker experience for the Hit Network, with Tom and Olly’s Guide to Lockdown. A voice-activated way to get inspiration and information on fun activities that can be done at home, the guide is curated to appeal to a wide audience. Smart speaker users will find a range of ideas […]

IPG’s Reprise Appoints New Chief Product Officer & GM, Client & Commercial
  • Marketing

IPG’s Reprise Appoints New Chief Product Officer & GM, Client & Commercial

Reprise Australia CEO Maria Grivas has announced two new senior positions at the digitally-led performance marketing business that is part of Mediabrands Australia. The appointments are Grivas’ most prominent steps since taking her role in June this year. “At Reprise our mission is to help brands build and accelerate customer flow,” said Grivas. “These new […]

QMS’ Jemma Enright Talks The Company’s Plans For The City Of Sydney’s $300M Outdoor
  • Media

QMS’ Jemma Enright Talks The Company’s Plans For The City Of Sydney’s $300M Outdoor

Back in June 2020, QMS pulled off a major coup, snaring the City of Sydney’s outdoor assets away from rival JCDeceaux in a 10 year deal reported to be worth $300 million. COVID has made the changeover and erection of new street furniture challenging, but here B&T chats with Jemma Enright who joined the business […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Two M&C Saatchi Creatives Talk Making Art To Stay Fresh
  • Opinion

Two M&C Saatchi Creatives Talk Making Art To Stay Fresh

M&C Saatchi creatives Sam Rowlands and Jason Leigh talk about their personal creative pursuits, and how it informs their advertising. Then they decided that, as they hadn’t seen each other in a long time, they’d prefer to interview each other… Sam Rowlands — art director/painter/sculptor/fashion designer (as interviewed by Jason Leigh) Sam forgot about our […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Michael Speakman Joins Esports Organisation ORDER As Head Of Commercial
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Michael Speakman Joins Esports Organisation ORDER As Head Of Commercial

Esports organisation ORDER has announced the appointment of  Michael Speakman as its new Head of Commercial. As part of ORDER’s expansion, Speakman will help navigate new commercial opportunities by offering a creative space for brands to connect, level up and deliver partnerships across the gaming ecosystem. ORDER continues to sustain its rapid expansion by appointing a […]