This time was difficult for many influencers, finding out how to keep their audiences interested and engaged in the content they are creating in a world that isn’t as exciting as it was before. Now that the world is slowly getting back to normal, a lot of content creators must wonder, what are consumers’ expectations post-pandemic?
Changes in the content creation during the pandemic
When the pandemic started no one knew what to expect – what will happen in the influencer marketing world? How long is it going to last? How will it change the approach to content creation? Suddenly the whole world stopped and people had to adjust to the current situation, including influencers. They were often used to constantly being on the go, travelling around the world, attending events. All of a sudden they didn’t have the opportunity for the content creation with beautiful landscapes in their background during the sponsored trips or in the most instagrammable locations during the PR events.
This shift was a big challenge for content creators who had to figure out how to create attractive content for their audiences while the whole world was on hold, trying to save the population. There were different takes on that topic, every influencer was trying to find their own way, however, there is one thing that most of the influencers had in common: ‘showing your real self’.
Influencers started to connect with their audiences more than ever on a personal level, sharing their feelings, weaknesses and problems they were facing during these hard times. They were trying to give some support in many different ways. A lot of them found a new wave of creativity, discovered new hobbies and inspired others with it. It was all about being authentic and staying connected with each other.
Sharing the knowledge
A lot of influencers decided to give to their audiences, one of the most precious things they own, their knowledge. We’ve been seeing fitness influencers organising online workouts, cooking personalities doing live cooking, yoga teachers arranging web sessions and meditations, and stylists educating on fashion history. Influencers used their ability to bring a little joy in people’s lives, it was all about connecting with others during the virtual meetings.
Brands also realised that this is something really appreciated by consumers, and started to invite influencers to host live sessions on their social media accounts.
Discovering new platforms
The platform that became the most popular during the pandemic was TikTok. A lot of influencers locked at home joined the app and started creating videos and challenges using trending sounds. While creating at-home content on TikTok, they showed themselves from a different perspective in comparison to what they may have been known for previously. Suddenly influencers weren’t just posing with a poker face, but showing themselves in a funny, approachable way.
Connecting with the audience
We’ve been observing that a big group of influencers decided to connect closely with their audiences. They were sharing more of their personal issues and got into the dialogue with their audience. We’ve seen on a daily basis, influencers using the Instagram question box feature to check in with their followers, asking how they are, and often replying with advice. They became more than just a person on the other side of the screen, they really tried to connect and talk.
A big part of the content creators community took an action to help during the pandemic, using their reach to make an impact. We’ve seen influencers sharing stories about healthcare workers, current situations in the world, important issues and they were trying to do their best to help in a way they can and support fundraisings for a good cause. A lot of people were educating others on what you can do to help and how we can collectively make the world better.
Post pandemic content
Now that we are slowly getting back to normal life, the question is, if the shift that happened in the content creation world is set to stay, what are consumers expecting from influencers?
It is noticeable that many creators want to stay connected and show more authenticity to their audiences. Even if on their main channel they went back to classic production, they may use Instagram Stories or TikTok accounts for more natural and funny content. They’ve realised how important it is to be in a closer relationship with their followers and how precious it is to be connected with them. And the consumers really appreciate it.
We can expect to see more and more of the content created in a genuine way. Brands are also giving the content creators more freedom because they understand that they know their audience and their needs best. People value authenticity and spontaneity and want to live in the moment. Influencers are shifting away from a perfectly planned feed, what counts is the moment and what inspires them in the now, and not what will look good with the other eight pictures around it.
I believe that the biggest change in the influencer world that happened over the pandemic is to become more authentic. And this turns out to be what the consumers appreciated the most. The pandemic removed the distance between followers and influencers and showed that social media influencers are just regular individuals facing the same problems as we do. It brought us closer together, allowed us to actually connect with the influencers and exchange knowledge. We were in this together.