Covid-19 has not been kind to any of us, but for an industry that’s built on documenting lives outside of themselves, catering to audiences who want reviews on products, to learn from their experiences and follow hyper-specific interests, the influencer industry was one of the hardest-hit, yet flexible, in Pakistan.
How did influencers like Muzammil Hasan Zaidi, Amtul Bajewa and Amber Javed find their footing in the reality of Covid-19’s restrictions?
Finding your Authentic Voice
One of the fundamentals of being an influencer is creating content that’s relatable, but more often than not this means churning out content that already exists. But will that help you grow?
Amber’s advice is to find your passion, be hyper-specific, and present your own unique voice to your audience. When you are your authentic self, that’s when people will be drawn to you and your content.
For example, in a niche as particular as Travel, where your audience is made up of people who follow you for content that’s specific to travelling, how do you pivot, midst-Covid?
For Amtul Bajewa, the answer lay in moving into her office. What kind of content can you make when you’re living in a space that has no kitchen, no bedroom, no basic necessities? Hilarious, relatable, and engaging content, if you’re Amtul.
Develop your Expertise
For most of us, social media is a form of entertainment that we use to get away from the stress of our daily lives. We want to consume content that’s funny, that’s light-hearted and that will distract us from the mundane.
For Muzammil, this means touching upon serious topics like female empowerment, gender roles and leadership by packaging them in a localized, comedic narrative, making it easier for his audience to consume.
Convert Hobbies into Content
For those of us wanting to utilize all the free time that Covid-19 has graced us with by teaching ourselves how to do something useful with our hobbies and passions, our guests had very easy advice.
Start with Google.
As basic as it sounds, start with Google and learn everything there is to know. Turn yourself into a hub of knowledge about your passion and create content even if you think no one’s going to be interested in it.
People will flock to topics that break the monotony. And luckily, or unluckily, the most variation we have in the influencer industry is Beauty, Lifestyle, Fashion and Food.
So really, the possibilities are endless.
Ethics of Influencer Marketing
Many brands realized that social media and e-commerce was where all their consumers were gathered when the world closed down, and there was a lot of business to be made for influencers, but here lies a unique dilemma: should they promote something they’ve never used, or don’t believe in?
It goes both ways.
If a product won’t resonate with your audience, if they won’t be interested in buying it, then they’re not really the right audience for it, and shouldn’t have to consume content that’s not catered to them, but if given the creative authority to promote something using the influencers’ own style, there’s more chance of the audience veering towards it.
The influencer industry is growing rapidly and many of them feel like family, so here’s hoping that the industry keeps creating valuable, relatable content that’s going to help our economy and society grow.