How Have Influencers Changed in COVID-19?

#LetsContinYU Series

By William Griffiths

Companies often use Social Media Influencers as part of their marketing strategies. Influencers are high-profile people, including celebrities, with large fanbases who emulate their lifestyle – the celebrity endorsement of the digital age. Influencers are used by brands to promote their products or services by recommending them to their fans on their platforms.

As the world grapples with the enormity of COVID-19 and the impacts of social distancing, consumer behaviour is changing. Influencers have had to pivot their content during COVID-19.

They’ve started to walk back from a lot of the aspirational travel and luxury and how to live your life away from home and pivot to how to live your best life at home. Influencers are posting content including at-home videos of working out and cooking with their family.

“More importantly, influencers have pivoted to giving back to community,” Mangala Rao-D’Sa, Digital Marketing Instructor York University School of Continuing Studies. “They are drawing light and focus to members of the community who are really giving back in COVID-19.”

For instance, Canadian Actor, Comedian and Social Media Influencer, Ryan Reynolds, has been using his social media platforms to help promote benefits and charities that are supporting people and organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19 to his massive follower base. Aviation, the Gin company he owns, is currently donating 30% of all bottle sales to United States Bartender Guild, to help support out-of-work bartenders.

How will brands engage with Influencers post COVID-19?

Due to Quarantines, Lock-downs and Physical Distancing, many companies have not been able to offer their customers the same kind of experiences.

Post COVID-19, brands will be engaging Influencers to around optimism and hope. They will have Influencers help welcome customers back to places they couldn’t go to during the pandemic.

To hear more from Mangala on how influencers are adjusting their output during the pandemic, read these recent articles she was featured in over at Canoe.com and The Toronto Star.

Mangala also appeared on Global’s The Morning Show earlier this year to speak about the social media influencer industry.

Mangala Rao-D’Sa

Mangala Rao-D’Sa is an instructor for York University’s School of Continuing Studies Certificate in Content Marketing. She has a reputation for building iconic brands through fully integrated marketing and brings marketing, innovation, and digital product teams together to build great businesses and deliver a superior customer experience. Currently an independent strategy consultant, Mangala works with Indigo Books & Music Inc. Previously she held marketing leadership roles at Roots, Pepsico Canada), and Post Consumer Brands. She has also worked at Reckitt Benckiser and started her career at The Nielsen Company.

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