To support our community's business interests, we asked a select group of creators to express the challenges and bright spots their businesses are experiencing during COVID-19. From brand partnerships, engagement trends, and new revenue trends, we found that creators are dedicated to bringing education, entertainment, and support to their audiences while keeping their content businesses afloat.

Here's what we learned:

BRAND PARTNERSHIPS & REVENUE

  • 100% of creators surveyed are interested in brand partnerships during COVID-19. 78% are more likely to accept a discounted rate for sponsored content, with the majority be willing to take a 10-20% discount. 
  • The most critical consideration right now is securing paid campaigns (57%), followed by supporting cause-based campaigns (24%). 
  • 40% of respondents indicated that they're actively attempting to diversify their revenue sources. Photography and coaching/consulting were strategies cited most.
  • Influencers have a negative sentiment towards brands that are showing up as 'tone-deaf' right now and aren't interested in partnering with brands who haven't addressed the crisis.

Takeaway: Shifting marketing budgets and social realities are forcing creators to rethink their strategies. While livelihoods are at stake, so are reputations. Creators must find a balance between their business goals, revenue sources, and the sensitive messaging required during this pandemic.

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PLATFORM TRENDS & NEW FORMATS

  • New Features: Instagram DM for desktop is the most widely used new feature (56%), followed by Challenge Stickers (25%), Donation Stickers (25%), and Instagram Live Desktop (19%). 
  • New Platforms: (51%) of respondents started using TikTok after social distancing mandates went into effect, making it the most cited platform now being that wasn't before. 
  • Tech: 34% have invested in new technologies or devices to help them manage work-life balance. 
  • Gaming: 55% of respondents have seen an increase in their own digital and online gaming behaviors since stay-at-home orders, and 12% of respondents identify as online gamers.

Takeaway: New daily norms are pushing creators to new platforms and experiment with new formats, and causing them to spend more time with social challenge trends and online gaming. Instagram desktop features come at the perfect moment when people are more bound to at-home desktop setups.

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"LIVE" CONTENT TRENDS

  • Instagram Live is the top format for watching and creating live content, with 46% of respondents are "going live" more now than before social distancing.
  • 68% reported that going live has helped them stay connected with their audiences during social distancing. 
  • Live content will continue to be predominant post-pandemic, with 76% of respondents reporting interest in continuing to "go live" with the same frequency after social distancing measures are over.

Takeaway: With so many people going live today, it's essential to plan ahead and promote your live content in advance. Promote your event and compel audiences to tune in by sharing what they'll get out of the experience. There's tons of free live content right now, so make sure you're offering something unique that your audience won't want to miss.

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ENGAGEMENT & REACH

  • 74% have seen an increase in engagement since stay-at-home orders.
  • Instagram Feed posts are generating the highest engagement.
  • 93% of respondents actively monitor the reach and impressions of their content. 
  • Of those who monitor, 68% have seen an increase in their reach and impressions. 

Takeaway: With more people stuck at home and tuning into their favorite digital platforms, creators are moving quickly to bring their audiences fresh content. More than ever, creators should be asking their audiences what they want to see more of and what types of content they want to tune into.

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