COVID-19 leading to a decrease in content production

Freestak has conducted a two-phase online survey among our most active members — all of whom are influencers in the outdoor and endurance sports sectors. On 14 and 21 March, we asked 50 members the same questions about how their situation had changed, from how physically active they were, to whether their brand collaborations had changed, and whether they had modified their social media activity levels.

They also told us which sports brands are doing a great job in this new and challenging context, and how they keep motivated.

The survey highlighted that imposed lockdowns have provoked a marked decrease in physical activity. With global physical activity levels varying depending on official guidelines. With a dramatic increase in events cancellations, leading to a rapid growth in virtual events.

KEY TAKE-OUTS:

  • 62% of influencers are posting less content
  • Pure marketing content seen as opportunistic — shift towards positive personal content
  • Keeping connected with the community is key (72%)

1. LESS CONTENT — BUT MORE MEANINGFUL

62% of our content creators are posting less content (up from 45% in seven days). The reasons most cited are postponed personal adventures (32%), sporting event cancellations (22%) and resulting lack of training objectives, and travel ban (22%).

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2. “STAYING POSITIVE” AS A CONTENT STRATEGY

Our respondents are aware of the pitfalls of doing or saying the wrong thing on social media, and very aware of the heightened need to be especially mindful of the social context of the crisis.

“I’m finding it hard how to be ‘having fun’ whilst the world is in turmoil. It’s a moral issue” @ Runningdutchie

To eschew the risks of an inappropriate message, there is a marked shift towards positivity (72% of our respondents), followed by indoor-activity tips and promotion of virtual activities.

“I think as long as everyone remains positive, it will encourage people to remain active in ways they can at the time/with current restrictions. I think runners are still keen to make the most of outside but are acknowledging this needs to be alone. I’ll continue to share my training, because if that inspires one person to move slightly then that’s great!” @murraylaura

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3. COMMUNITY IS KEY

For 72% of our respondents, maintaining communication with friends and family is key to boosting morale. We think that influencers might shift their attention to more of a two-way conversation with their followers, which might include more use of live streaming and more video content.

“I will be posting more spoken words online and will be seeking social contacts online. I think people will be searching more so this could be an opportunity for the online sports brand because people want to be active and healthy.” @runwithjoy.ce

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“I think the running community has shown that even though we can’t train or run together we will support each other. I may not be able to train outside during a lockdown but I would use my account to drive positivity, to keep people connected and promote at home challenges to keep our bodies and minds active.” @all_things_run.derful

Despite the fact that many influencers are producing less content. The content they are producing is both authentic and meaningful. They are trying to encourage their communities to stay positive and maintain communication in a time where many may be feeling isolated.

The full report is completely free to download here.

How we can help:

Our platform of >1,500 endurance and outdoors sports content creators (all over Europe and in the USA) can help spread your message effectively. Our team can help you select them, and they can help you with content ideation, strategy or simply spreading the word for you. You could have a campaign live in less than 24hrs, and see results on your analytics dashboard soon after.

We intend to keep monitoring the situation in our sectors and will publish updates to the report regularly. If you have any comments or questions, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line here.

Written by

Freestak works to connect brands and influencers in the endurance sports sector. www.freestak.com

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