This current global health crisis has definitely changed both influencer and blogging landscapes. For bloggers like myself, I had to face a number of challenges. Let me share a few.
First off, because of limitations in terms of travel and movement, I can’t easily attend and cover events. That meant declining famtours or familiarization tours, launches, press conferences, hotel stays etc. I miss those terribly, especially since I love to travel and discover new things. Additionally, we all have to be extra careful in all of our actions – from proper handwashing to wearing face masks and face shields to social distancing.
Secondly, it has also been a challenge to produce content. It isn’t only because of lack of events and travel restrictions. It’s primarily also because we’re in a pandemic!
Virtually all of us have been cooped up in our homes and unless you’re one of those really creative Gen-Zers who are comfortable doing TikTok dances (I am, unfortunately, not) or a gamer or a video creator who can produce content without necessarily going outside, then, yes, challenges await. Take the case of influencer Amy West, for instance. Just like her, I understand Instagram humor and culture. I also know exactly how useful Instagram can be especially when it comes to attracting new customers. I can maneuver my way around Twitter. However, TikTok was (and still is) a fascinating adventure to me. It is also a challenge because now bloggers and influencers alike need to produce content fast (as quick as possible) and in the least expensive manner. In other words, use those creative juices amidst really limited resources and try to entertain audiences while helping them cope with life.
Thirdly, because many companies and brands became, quite understandably, extra careful with their expenditures, it has been a challenge to forge and/or continue partnerships. Some contracts have been put on hold, some gigs have been canceled altogether and some endorsement clauses needed to be altered in order to fit in all of the guidelines of this so-called “new normal.”
Personally, I also needed to adjust some of my rates and requirements. That doesn’t mean I no longer help businesses and brands for free, though. I still continue to help promote gratis – especially small, medium and homebased businesses.
These are just some of the challenges that I face during this current global health crisis, which I’m sure a lot can relate. So the question now is…how can bloggers (and influencers) continue to be effective amidst a pandemic? How can we continue to engage with our audience?
Based on my experience, some of the solutions would include these — aside from realigning with the brands, agencies or businesses you work with and reviewing deliverables, fees and deadlines, try requesting for more creative control. Let’s face it. This “new normal” brings a lot of limitations. Just be mindful of the brand’s goals and see how you can help them without sacrificing your own reputation and integrity.
Another solution would be to offer more “life hacks.” Recent studies show that online audiences tend to look for content that helps them cope with this “new normal.” Think of more creative ways to cook food that’s available in your pantry, for instance, or how to start a homebased business based on your passion. That kind of content is definitely relatable and something your audience will be most likely to share.