Can influencers in the wild survive the pandemic?
For the past decade, social media influencers have enjoyed a meteoric rise in the marketing world. But now, as the coronavirus crisis continues to sweep the globe, influencers are scrambling to consolidate their corner of the internet amid a pandemic.
Whilst they tend to be sneered upon in the mainstream media, influencing is a legitimate, and often lucrative, form of income for thousands of Australians. In this new economic era, many influencers have lost all of their paid work. So can the influencer marketing model survive?
Mamamia spoke to three Australian influencers about how coronavirus has affected their work. And for all them, their businesses are struggling.
"I’ve always wondered whether the 'influencer industry' could last, but I never thought the travel industry was at risk," Laura McWhinnie, who runs @thisislandlife, tells Mamamia. "As a travel content creator, all my content is based around the trips I take, so to be grounded has been really hard. I’ve spent 10 years growing my blog and social channels, and now it’s on hold indefinitely which is quite unsettling."
Laura adds: "Since the travel bans came into place in March, I’ve had zero paid work.
"I’ve had quite a few brands wanting me to work for free or contra (in exchange for product). It’s difficult because I understand their position in the current economic climate, but at the same time, my business is struggling too... As much as I wish they did, free bikinis and fake tan aren’t going to pay the bills."