How the #coronavirus situation had an impact on influencers?

Milica Denić

I was sitting in my room on March 3 and had one of the most difficult decisions to make. To go, or not to go to Rome?

At that time, the Coronavirus outbreak spread in the northern part of Italy, Milan, and Venice to be exact. But, on the other hand, I had 5 full, advance paid, days to visit the most significant Rome sights and I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to experience that.

So, with a lot of courage and travel bug craziness, my road led to Rome. In the very middle of an epidemic in Italy, I was taking Instagramic pictures all around the city and simply put, enjoyed. In Rome, particularly, at that time, there weren’t any COVID 19 cases, if you are wondering...

Anyway, the trip was shortened by a day, when they forcedly shipped us back to Serbia and told us to stay in quarantine for 14 days because we “skated on thin ice”.

Since Instagram is just my hobby where I used my knowledge from the area where my real job is: digital marketing and PR, I was hoping to have more time for creativity in a new-born, quarantined, situation.

I was still working from 9 am to 5 pm at the company (from home) and after that, I found myself adjustable to stay afloat and on the top of my creative game, when it comes to Instagram. On weekends, I did have more time to shoot branded IGTV videos and take some nice pictures for my Instagram and that was about it.

At the same time, while I was in my quarantine, the whole country went on lockdown and the situation kind of became a bit dull. I did struggle with the fact that I cannot deliver when it comes to some fashion outfits and that I need to change my whole strategy and make other plans on how to properly present some of the goods from various collaborations.

I want to point out that I do have many international collaborations with brands on Instagram and that I mostly “make a buck” from these collaborations, rather than from ones in my country (Serbia). Why is that?

Well, international brands are more likely to assimilate to a current situation. They have bigger budgets which are equal to more creative and knowledgeable people behind the brands, which is equal to more collaborations. This awesome circle does not apply to Serbia, unfortunately.

We are the country where Lidl pays their influencers in goods from the clothing aisle and Grand kafa sends cups and 400g of coffee for a free post and a story. These are just examples; I don’t want to implicate these brands that they are doing these things.

Social media engagement is up and this is a time for the creators to show what they are made off... my statistics are saying so! Users use their mobile devices while self-quarantining at home, driving Instagram engagement up by 20 to 50 percent, according to some influencer agencies. The audience, kind of, look up to influencers for entertainment and an escape from the quarantine heaviness. That’s why we need to be advocates and hold that burden up high, along with brands to show our fans that we are strong and that we are going to make it, together.

We, Influencers, are being challenged nowadays to expand our content cross-category and lean into performance-based compensation as a safer foundation for them (now more than ever). Only these types of influencers (globally) who are multiplatform, multicategory and multi revenue are the ones that will be benefiting from this.

Until our country recognizes valuable people and urge to work more on their marketing campaigns, we do have our daily jobs to turn to. Instagram is just a cute hobby for some of us, isn’t it?

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