To pinpoint changing social trends caused by COVID-19, Quinn Thomas conducted in-depth interviews with over 20 online influencers. In particular, we gauged shifts in traffic, engagement, and which types of content have been the most and least popular. Our top three takeaways:
Wholesome content wins
Influencers are finding that posts with the following imagery and content are most popular:
- Outdoor visuals – photos in nature, parks, landscapes
- Candid/behind-the-scenes content – makeshift photo shoots, how they stay busy at home
- Quarantine activities – stay-at-home crafts, spring cleaning, virtual learning
- Mindful/mental health – positive affirmations, virtual therapy sessions
- Sentimental photos – pre-COVID adventures and gatherings
As brands plan the creative direction of their marketing campaign, they should think through how to incorporate these themes into their social imagery.
Conscious brands take the cake
Influencers continue to seek out partnerships that align with their brand, but are prioritizing brands that are being sensitive to the current COVID-19 climate. They are avoiding sponsored product giveaways and similar promotions, which can come across as insensitive.
It’s important to reassess all marketing and communications to ensure messaging and imagery are sensitive to the current climate. Additionally, if a brand typically engages in giveaways and similar promotions, they should pivot their approach. For example, sharing a product review instead.
More people are online
No real surprise here, but more people are on their devices due to minimizing social exposure and increased unemployment rates, which in most cases, has led to an upward trend in followers and traffic. While they didn’t share specific stats, influencers saw an increase in post engagement across all of their social platforms.
This is great news for influencers! And brands looking to partner with them, because it means they can reach a larger audience. An increase in metrics may also lead influencers to raise their paid partnership rates, so it’s important that brands check in with influencers on compensation expectations ahead of any collaboration.
The basics of engaging with online influencers are still similar to pre-pandemic times. However, there’s an opportunity for brands to shift their approach to online influencer partnerships that aligns with social sensibilities during COVID-19.