Staying Creative during the Coronavirus outbreak 0 720

Tough times often require creative ways to get through it, as all tested solutions may no longer apply. Welcome to 2020.

For those working with content, travel, and events, the recent movement restrictions imposed in several countries around the world are forcing people to discover new ways of staying creative, useful, sane and, in some cases, still getting paid even when the world seems to have come to a standstill.

Monica Stott – Travel blogger

Shifting focus

“All of my trips have been canceled or postponed. I had one skiing trip to France, one trip within the UK, and one trip to Portugal. As I can’t plan anything at the moment, because I don’t know when we will be traveling again, over the next few months, I’m planning on focusing on family lifestyle, which is the secondary niche for my blog. I may end up losing some followers who aren’t interested in children, but no travel content is being read at the moment.”

Monica Stott – Travel blogger – www.thetravelhack.com

Israel Cassol – Model and Digital Influencer

Recycling content

“Due to our quarantine in London, I have been doing lots of housework and cooking that usually would be looked after by our regular cleaner. I have been posting content on the same days as I always have done. However, to maintain regularity whilst I can’t go out, I dig into photos and content previously left out and recycle and use them now. Revisiting content you left behind, forgotten in your laptop’s folders, can also be an amazing therapy as a way of remembering good times when we all took for granted the freedom of coming and going to create unforgettable moments.”

Israel Cassol – Model and Digital Influencer – www.instagram.com/israel.cassol

Kenneth Surat – Designer and Travel Blogger

Learning DIY

“Even as a travel content creator, I have always been a fan of ‘do it yourself’ carpentry.

The challenge is when you run out of materials as all hardware shops have been closed in my city. I’ve heard of people that are making their own face masks, using fabrics that allow them to wash it over and over again. Although it is only a very basic barrier against Covid-19, it keeps people busy when there is very little to do.”

Kenneth Surat – Travel Blogger – www.kennethsurat.com

 

May King Tsang – Professional Live Tweeter, Social Media Correspondent

Working with virtual events

“The current pandemic has given me an opportunity to think creatively! Before it, I would go to events, and I’d create an instant buzz for them by generating live social media posts, real-time content featuring event organisers, speakers, and attendees. After asking myself if I could keep that same level of excitement virtually, one of my clients turned his face-to-face 1-day conference into a virtual one, because of Covid-19, and I jumped on the opportunity to help. As a result, after creating 13 Facebook posts, 19 LinkedIn pieces of content, and over 700 tweets – which combined reach was over 4 Million accounts – I can see some of these posts still gaining likes and comments today. I am now reaching out to more face-to-face conferences who are shifting towards conducting their conference virtually, as I am still able to create my FOMO content. It is different from face-to-face events, but I can still make an impact with my work nevertheless.”

May King Tsang – Social Media Correspondent – www.twitter.com/MayKingTea

Other ways to keep creative indoors

Photo: Bench Accounting

Create a production calendar

Many content creators and marketeers already have a publishing calendar. Now, it is time to get efficient when it comes to bulk creation.

Start by confirming which platform works best for you. Then, double-check engagement to see what your audience reacts well to and create even better-related posts in the near future.

 

Discover indoor photo-worthy things

By now, you are probably getting used to the idea that shooting outdoors may yet take a while. Studios that I often work at, in London, have suspended their activities and sent out emails canceling photoshoots. It hasn’t stopped me creating imagery, though.

When it comes to content, you can still do wonderful things without setting foot outside your home. Look for old books, corners with good natural lights, unusual shapes. Don’t underestimate your kitchen worktop or any drawers around your home that haven’t been opened in a while – you will be surprised how many gems can be found when you are actively looking for it.

 

Stock up on production

When it comes to your own image bank, you should have the same approach. Many people have to toilet rolls in times of pandemics: stock it up. Reserve a set of hours, once a week, to create content that you can leverage later in the month, be it blog entry, clever content copy, or photography.

 

Make research a habit

Good content doesn’t magically fall from the sky. You can be an excellent photographer or a seasoned copywriter, and, still, some days, you will find yourself struggling to get your creative juices flowing. Create a ‘brainstorm’ folder in your PC to save ideas, chats, prints, and random notes of things that catch your attention, online and offline. Then reserve some time to create quality content about them, even if you haven’t been commissioned for a specific topic. Add to your folder a list of relevant hashtags and topics that are making headlines, as well as things that keep people talking.

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

Social committee proposes EU regulation on influencers 0 86

Perceived by consumers as closer, more authentic and more trustable than traditional advertising or celebrity endorsement, content creators are attracting more brand investment than ever: in 2022 alone, influencer marketing spend jumped from 3.69 billion to 4.14 billion in the U.S., according to data released by American inbound marketing platform Hubspot. The amount of cash trading hands pushed authorities to set standards for the Influencer marketing industry early on. So much so that, in the USA, influencer marketing is considered regulated since 2009, when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published for the first time a set of endorsement guides on sponsored content posted by content creators on behalf of brands – including influencers being required to disclose their relationships with companies in a clear way.

Over to Europe, the rules are not as clear.

Unlike traditional advertising, which is subject to very strict rules, influencer advertising can fall through the cracks of ad disclosure. The commercial nature of influencer posts is not always identifiable, with ads featuring alongside similarly styled, but independent editorial content. Companies using influencers as ambassadors for their products and brands also have greater freedom than in conventional advertising.

Now the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union, is trying to reduce the lack of transparency often seen in influencer marketing by proposing that the EU should set specific obligations for both, the administrators of the video-sharing platforms and social media networks on which influencers operate, and for content creators and influencers themselves.

The basic principle of the proposal is that advertisers should leave consumers in no doubt that what they are engaging with is advertising. And they should not mislead consumers or cause serious offence.

“EU already has some mechanisms in place to deal with influencers, which are covered by legislation on both advertisers and sellers/traders. However, we think it would be desirable to have a comprehensive approach given the fast rise of this phenomenon.”, says Bernardo Hernández Bataller, a councilor of the European Economic and Social Committee since 1994. “We would need specific regulation to cover the rights and obligations of the people involved, so that all legal operators and consumers know exactly what is and what is not acceptable.”

Some Member States have gone it alone (France, Spain and the Belgian region of Flanders). But, accord to the recent proposal, a “hard core” of EU rules would be more effective. The EESC argues that it would leave no loopholes allowing different Member States to take a softer line.

The list of suggestions to be adopted by influencers in all 27 member states of the European Union includes it being mandatory for content creators to include a prominent label upfront to highlight that a post is a marketing communication. They would then be liable if they fail to make it sufficiently clear when they are being paid to endorse or promote a product or service.

The proposal highlights that platform administrators and social media networks should also be liable for content published by the content creators and influencers they host, as well as have an obligation to take down illegal content and report illegal activity.

Other issues surrounding influencer marketing featured throughout the report includes the frequent use of child influencers. Concerns regarding content creators as a trade and if their position should be covered by employment laws are also mentioned.

“What about the tax issues raised by influencer advertising? How should we tax influencer income and the profits influencers generate? How should we tax the added value they create?, asks Stefano Palmieri, co-rapporteur.

Even if approved, a new set of rules doesn’t necessary mean that brands and content creators will follow them. In France, in a study of 60 influencers and influencer agencies from January 2023, the French General Directorate of Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) showed that 60% did not respect the regulations on advertising and consumer rights.

And in the UK, compliance with labelling requirements when it comes to Influencer Marketing remains low. In 2021, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published an analysis of more than 24,000 Instagram Stories. Of the 5,700 it considered to be marketing material, nearly two-thirds were not clearly identifiable as such.

How is Coronavirus affecting content creators’ income? 0 642

It is official: we are four months into 2020, and a lot has changed since the last time content creators ventured out of their houses for a photoshoot, or to create a branded campaign from scratch.

From Asia to the USA, from Europe to Latin America, current travel restrictions and self-isolation recommendations mean that more people than ever before are working indoors, across all corners of the world, helping fight the spread of Covid-19.

So, how are influencers balancing life in quarantine, creativity restraints, and the loss of income generated by the global pandemic?

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Double Impact

“As a content creator and ski instructor, I have been doubly impacted because you need to be outdoors to carry out both activities, and, right now, it is not a possibility here in Italy.

It has been a month since the last time we were allowed out of the house properly, and the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus is worrying.

We try to remain courageous and support each other, but the truth is, we don’t know when all this will end, and life will be back to normal. Hopefully, everything will be resolved as soon as possible.”

Matteo Castellotti – Ski instructor and blogger

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Leveraging the Engagement Spike

“It affected me directly as I had worked with brands canceled, as well as a work trip carefully planned to take place during Easter that has been canceled.

I am very practical, though, and as I suddenly found myself at home with lots of extra time, I have dedicated my time to creating content that can help my followers through their quarantine.

From tips to recipes, I am doing whatever I can to keep my Instagram active and useful, besides leveraging the increase of traffic and engagement I have noticed since this novel coronavirus started to change people’s online habits.”

Renata Oliveira – Model and Lifestyle Influencer

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Fitness Routine Dropped

“Although I love my two dogs, staying full time indoors with them is also driving me insane. I miss going to the gym – and for once, my fitness routine has totally dropped.

I’ve been trying to keep a healthy diet but, I’m just at home watching movies all day. I haven’t been back to work in 2 weeks, and I truly miss it, even seeing my co-workers and just people in general. As an influencer and content creator, the virus has had a kind of up and down effect; for example, I haven’t had any new products for product placement, but I have learned a couple of new things for myself. I’ve learned to dance more, keep in touch more with my family and friends (over FaceTime, of course). In fact, lately, I have been putting together a lot of dance videos, and have even learned a couple of choreographies.

The virus itself is horrible, and I wish it can go away soon, so we can continue with our normal lives and normal living and rebuild a financial structure. Tons of businesses have closed down here in Las Vegas, and hotels and casinos are all boarded up to keep people away.”

Giovanni Aguayo – singer

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

Negotiations On Hold

“I’m a stay at home mum, and I usually use the time when my son is at the nursery to create content for both my YouTube channel and my Instagram. However, right now, my son’s nursery is closed, so it is really difficult as he consumes most of my time.

It is not only affecting my creativity but my income, too. I had a few brands in which I was at an advanced stage of negotiations for an Influencer Marketing campaign before the lockdown. Unfortunately, they had to put everything on hold due to the unprecedented times.”

Dr. Bucandy Odetundun – Brand influencer and Medical Doctor

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