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Undoubtedly, the coronavirus pandemic has shaken up everybody’s lives during 2020 and 2021. We have all had to adapt in different ways to the changes and realities of this challenging time. But what effect has this had on influencers? In this post, I will go into detail on how the pandemic has affected the growth of influencers – in good and bad ways. I will also share how influencer trends have changed during this time.
5 Ways The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Affected The Growth of Influencers
1. Influencers have been stuck at home
With lockdowns and travel restrictions in place, many influencers have been confined to their homes and neighbourhoods. This has limited the topics they can cover, because shops, leisure activities and tourist attractions have been out-of-bounds. Travel influencers have been especially affected by this and have had to use creativity to get fresh content on their channels. Many influencers will have adjusted their niches to focus on topics such as lifestyle, home decor and productivity.
2. Some influencers have lost their day jobs
Many influencers don’t rely on their online platforms to make money, or simply are not at that stage yet, so they have another job. Unfortunately, the pandemic has led to many people losing their jobs or having a reduced income. Some of these people will have started a new influencer platform or paid more attention to an existing one as a way to earn some extra money in lieu of their lost job.
3. Influencers have had more free time
With leisure, travel and social activities severely limited, people have generally had a lot more free time. This is a positive thing for influencers because they have had more time to put into their platforms. Many blogs and social media channels have grown massively as a result of the extra time put in.
4. An increased need for entertainment
Influencers have not been the only people stuck at home – their audiences have been too! Therefore, people have been keeping entertained by spending more time on social media and engaging with influencers’ content. Even people who never followed social media or blogs before may have got into it. Because everyone has been in a similar situation, these audiences will be interested in the same topics that influencers are able to cover i.e. home-related topics. Many influencers will have gained bigger audiences over the past year for this reason.
5. Mental health has been affected
A huge downside of the pandemic has been the effect it has had on people’s mental health. Being an influencer can be quite an isolated activity, especially when there is limited opportunity to collaborate with others in person during the pandemic. Therefore loneliness could be a problem. Some influencers may also have experienced health or financial struggles, leading to stress or anxiety. These issues will have affected some influencers more than others, but for those whose mental health has suffered, their creativity and output may, unfortunately, have suffered too.
On the other hand, for some influencers, focusing on their blog or social media channels has been a welcome distraction from their worries, stresses and boredom during the pandemic. I have seen and heard several influencers state that their blog or channel has been a lifesaver and kept them going through the most difficult stages of this past year. When it comes to mental health during the pandemic, I think experiences can differ hugely from one influencer to another.
It goes without saying that physical health has been a struggle for many during this time too, and my heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones.
A mixture of positives and negatives
It’s clear that the coronavirus pandemic has had both positive and negative effects on the growth of influencers. Many have had to adapt to new niches, deal with stress or loneliness and find new ways to make an income from their efforts. However, it has also provided opportunities for many influencers to grow their platforms in new and exciting directions.
Why is now a good time to make use of influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a powerful way for brands to widen their audience, increase engagement and get sales. With many influencers experiencing growth and gaining new audiences over the past year, now is an ideal time for brands to utilise influencer marketing.
As well as a general growth in influencer platforms, there are certain trends that have boomed as a result of the pandemic. If your brand is related to one of those trends, now a unique opportunity to collaborate with influencers and gain more engagement than you would have done in pre-pandemic times.
How Influencer Trends Have Changed During The Coronavirus Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a change in influencer trends over the past year. Some topics, such as travel, tourism and dining out have declined, while other topics such as home, lifestyle and fitness have exploded. Here are 5 recent influencer trends that I have seen everywhere as a result of the pandemic.
1. Home DIY projects
Lockdowns have been the ideal time for people to make some home improvements and complete DIY jobs that they have been putting off for years. As a result, home DIY has been a popular topic among influencers. One inspiring influencer, Julie Story has gained an audience of over 300,000 on Tiktok by sharing tutorials for easy ad creative DIY on a budget. Her most popular video came out at the very start of the pandemic and it demonstrates how she gave her daughter’s bedroom a makeover for under $10! Many people will have tried to recreate this and similar projects during the lockdown.
2. Online socialising
Zoom was almost unheard of before the pandemic, but now Zoom calls have become a regular part of our social lives. Many influencers have been writing about online socialising during the pandemic, for example, I wrote a post on Zoom quiz round ideas. This quickly became my most popular blog post in the winter of 2020-21. I have seen other influencers writing about online date nights, online gaming and online birthday parties.
Online socialising won’t be as prevalent now that the restrictions are lifting and we are allowed to socialise in person. However, I predict that it won’t be gone for good. Now that almost the entire population has worked out how to use Zoom, I think Zoom calls, quizzes and other forms of online socialising will form an established part of our social lives, especially on cold, dark evenings in the winter months.
3. Online shopping hauls
Among beauty and fashion influencers I have seen a huge number of posts and videos showing online shopping hauls. With physical shops closed, many people have turned to online shopping and this has affected shopping habits and trends. There is a far wider array of shops and sellers online than there are on the high street, so influencers have been discovering new brands to buy from and share with their audiences.
Online shopping has given many influencers an opportunity to discover new clothing and beauty brands that are closely related to their niche, for example, sustainable brands for sustainable lifestyle bloggers. Because of the wide range of brands available online, I predict that the trend for online shopping will continue, even now that the shops are fully open again.
4. Home fitness routines
With gyms closed, many people have turned to exercising at home. This has provided a great opportunity for health and fitness influencers to share their own routines and fitness advice. For example, I wrote a post about my experience trying protein shakes for the first time, and how they affected my exercise routines during the lockdown. I have seen so many influencers posting fitness-related topics and I think people will continue to make use of home fitness routines even after the pandemic is over.
5. Local travel
I mentioned earlier that travel influencers have been one of the most highly affected niches by the pandemic. Many travel influencers have turned to sharing local travel advice instead. ‘Staycations’ are a big trend for 2021 as many people are still cautious about travelling abroad before the pandemic is over. I live in the UK and I have seen so many UK bloggers sharing guides to their local areas, or accounts of UK trips they have been on. Posts like these are so useful and inspiring for anyone considering taking a staycation this year.
Overall, has the pandemic had a positive or negative effect on the growth of influencers?
Although the pandemic has limited influencers in the types of content they can create, overall I think there has been a real demand for both entertainment and information during the pandemic. Many influencers will have experienced growth because of this. On the whole, influencers have had more time to focus on their platforms due to staying at home, which will inevitably have lead to growth too.
One of the main downsides of the pandemic has been the effect it has had on the mental health of many people, influencers included. However, for some, being an influencer or engaging with influencers’ content has been a lifeline and a welcome distraction.
I would say that although the pandemic has had some negative effects on the growth of influencers, the general trend has been positive, with many influencers expanding their platforms in new ways and embracing new and relevant trends. I look forward to seeing how these trends will develop in the remainder of 2021!
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected you?
If you are an influencer, how has your growth been affected by the pandemic? Have you created content related to any of the trends I mentioned in this post? If you are not an influencer, have you been spending more time engaging with influencers’ content over the past year? Let me know in the comments below!