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This article is the second one of the "Influence in times of crisis" dossier.
The buying power of consumers has never had more impact than now. We literally can choose which company will be able to get through the crisis only with our investment choices.
It is also why we hear much more about buying local now. It is US that can decide to save an SME that invests in our community rather than helping a multinational getting richer and richer during the crisis.
In the first article of the dossier "Influence in times on crisis," we discussed how influencers also had a role to play during the crisis. By utilizing their "influence power" for the greater good, they can make themselves useful for their public, support an SME, share crucial information, etc.
That being said, once this crisis is over, brands will naturally want to work with creators that stay connected with their audience.
In this way, if, as a consumer of goods, our buying power has more impact than ever, as a consumer of content, the power of our like also has a significant effect. On social media, we can choose to support creators that represent our values.
By consuming content based on values, we encourage businesses, the media and creators to share their own.
" Certain influencers that were creating a lot of sponsored content are now forced to find new alternatives for their content since there are not that many contracts available at the moment. In that way, it is now easier to see which ones are truly relevant. " - Emile Roy
The influence is often perceived as a selling tool. Yet, that is not the opinion most of the influencers we interviewed shared.
" Acting according to your values is rewarding in the long term. I know that is how I'll stay relevant. I say yes to collaborations that mirror my values, crisis or not. As an example, by doing a Live with Miel Montreal on urban pollinator, I then got an offer for a sustainable development project." - Kévin Marquis
A crisis like the one we are going through right now is offering us more time to reflect, and that is the perfect moment to question the people we follow on social media.
Our reality is about to change forever, and what will be normal starting from today, and for many years to come, will have nothing to do with our usual habits. Here's what the individuals we interviewed had to say regarding the learning experience that this crisis represents:
" Influencers will always be relevant because we are equipped to produce content fast, solo, and at fewer costs. We become an interesting solution when a message must be spread fast, especially in the context of an economic recovery. " - Eve Martel
" I hope that some followers will clean up their feed and start following people that bring specific value to their life. I also hope brands and followers will remember who shared useful content after the crisis. " - Gabrielle Lacasse
" The Internet is going to have more importance for communities and is going to take more space in the communications between people. If I look at my family, we now regularly Facetime or Zoom. All of this will add legitimacy to relationships and web content. " - Fred Bastien
" I think all of this is a huge, forced planet introspection. It makes us wonder if it is normal to work that much, all the time, and shop all the time. It makes us reflect on our consumption. " - Kévin Marquis
" I hope world wars and bigger famines are behind us, and that this pandemic will be the battle of our generation. And it is through the lessons learned during that time that we'll be able to bequeath a better world to our children, in which world pandemic will be a thing of the past, I hope. " - Drowster
" I learned that it was possible to work from home and develop projects without commuting anywhere! We can radically reduce our output of greenhouse gases by encouraging people to travel less and work from home! " - Mehdi Bousaidan
" We'll conclude that our differences don't really exist. We are all the same in a pandemic. I just hope we'll continue to battle global challenges... like climate change. " - Emile Roy
" I learned during this confinement that with the letter contained in CORONAVIRUS, I could easily put together the words "US," "OURS." But it is almost impossible to create the word "JE" or "MYSELF. " - Rachid Badouri
" I would like us to remember the importance of self-sacrificing for the greater good of all. " - Miro
" What I wish is for people to learn to better live with themselves and to not take anything for granted. We all had fun lives before and overnight; we all had to stay in. Then, I hope I'll be able to appreciate the smaller things when things get back to normal. " - Jean-Michel Gagné
" I think this crisis is the perfect opportunity to work on ourselves. “Tend to your inner garden, removing the weeds and planting new seeds of change.” We now have time to do it, absorb it and integrate it into our everyday life. " - Livia Martin
We have to see the current crisis as an opportunity, especially since the situation is bringing new perspectives.
On one hand, we have businesses that have the chance to demonstrate their added value in the communities at a time of crisis (without being opportunist).
On the other, we have consumers that have the power to make a difference; by choosing the companies and jobs they are salvaging, and by reconsidering the content creators they support.
And finally, we have influencers that have the power to influence for the greater good and post about brands that share their values, and also educating their community on the issues we all are facing.
In short, everything is on pause, and we finally have time to make better-informed decisions. Hopefully, this will not be in vain, and a few ideas will last.
It is time to stop defining ourselves only as customers helping a system that does not serve all.