The Platforms And Brands We’re Turning To During Isolation

The Platforms And Brands We’re Turning To During Isolation

With Australia going into isolation, media consumption habits are expected to shift dramatically. In this opinion piece Amplify communications manager Billy Gleeson runs through the brands and platforms set to prosper during this time.

In this new world of social distancing, more people than ever before are turning to online platforms and social networks to escape the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, stay connected, and keep up to date with trends.

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are full of coronavirus-themed memes which provide some much needed comic relief in this unprecedented time of crisis. According to influencer marketing database Obviously, engagement on TikTok increased 27 per cent from February to March 2020, meaning it’s not just screen time that’s increasing, but audience numbers too.

Audiences are looking to creators for content

This change in consumer behaviour and engagement is creating an ideal environment for content creators and influencers.

To capitalise on soaring audience figures, Australian creators like Alright Hey! and Tom Smallwood are producing topical content that pokes fun at working-from-home, using hand-sanitizer, or social distancing, and audiences around the world are lapping it up.

Content that would usually accrue 100k views per post, like a corona-themed TikTok from Tom Smallwood, last week reached 11.7m views and 2.5m likes, just under half the population of Sydney.

It’s the limitations in media options that make this period so unique. Typically, brands have a diversity of options when selecting the best media to reach audiences, be it outdoor, radio, TV or digital. However, for the coming months, digital is surfacing as the key way to reach engaged and attentive eyes.

To meet these new demands, creators and brands are looking to ‘Live’ functions to reach their audience in real-time.

This week, youth talent and events agency Amplify launched ‘Quarantini Time’, an Instagram live stream that allows fans to ask questions and interact with their favourite creators from the comfort of their homes.

Amplify director Alex Reid said this period of social distancing is changing the way brands reach audiences.

“With people unable to leave the house, connecting with online creators has become the primary way brands are able to reach and engage not just young people, but everyone,” Reid said.

“Our creators are seeing a sizeable uptick in audience viewership and engagement. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.”

What can we expect?

Health experts estimate Australia is several weeks behind some of the worst hit countries like Italy. So what can we expect over the coming weeks?

In the days after Italy’s lockdown was introduced, Telecom Italia reported an increase of more than 70 percent in Internet traffic, with a large contribution coming from online gaming.

That means Australia hasn’t yet seen the peak in digital engagement.

How long this situation will last remains unclear, but it’s likely that as a result of this digital-centric period, we will see a fundamental shift in how audiences engage media far into the post-corona future.


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