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How content creation is evolving due to Covid-19

LILYS NJERUBy LILYS NJERU
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Most of us enjoy binge watching videos and photos posted online by various content creators.

When we are looking for information or entertainment, we rush to their channels. Whether it is just a funny clip or a useful do it yourself (DIY) tip, content creators have become part of our lives.

With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging on, online content consumption has increased multifold and is now greater than ever.

But with the restrictions on movement and a ban on social gatherings, how are these artists getting the content to keep their audiences engaged? Have their revenue streams been impacted? Five of them share their experiences with MyNetwork.

FARHANA OBERSON – Travel and Lifestyle

Are you still creating content?

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Yes, that is my full time job.

How has Covid-19 disrupted your work?

I have moved from putting out travel videos to getting creative with home-made content. I have found myself sharing food-related stuff, which isn’t too different from what I was doing initially, reviewing different cuisines and restaurants.

Take us through a day in your life before the pandemic…

I used to spend my time either travelling or resting at home. If I was not exploring a new country, I would be at home editing my videos or planning for future trips.

How would you describe the last 60 days?

The current situation is much harder for travel content creators. I need to travel to create content, but I am stuck at home.

The beauty of my job is that I can find new ways of making things work.

Are your videos getting more views? Is there pressure to create more content?

I have definitely seen an increase in viewership, which is absolutely fantastic. I have hit 100,000 subscribers faster than I thought.

My engagement rates have also increased significantly. However, I am not under any pressure. I create content because I can and want to.

Have you discovered anything new about your followers or yourself?

Yes! Before, seldom would I be found in the kitchen. I didn’t even know where most of the ingredients were kept.

But now I have spent so much time at home that I have learnt some great culinary skills and found out that I am a good cook.

JOY KENDI- Fashion and Lifestyle

Are you still creating content?

Certainly. I am a fashion and lifestyle content creator, and I can do my work from anywhere, including during this season when there are restrictions on movement. Moreover, I shoot, edit and produce my content all by myself.

Tell us about your life before Covid-19

Before, I encountered many opportunities to travel and attended many events and parties, so my content was more diverse.

I also spent a lot of my time doing photo shoots, recording videos, editing them or meeting clients.

As part of my job, I collaborate with various corporates and brands in trying their products out and then featuring them on my YouTube channel.

But now I have had to quickly learn to do all this within the confines of my two bedroom house.

How has all that changed?

My days are now slower. I wake up, have breakfast and plan my shoots, if I have any, or go through my e-mails.

If I don’t have any outdoor activities planned, I usually spend the day trying out new recipes. I’m currently obsessed with baking.

How have the containment measures affected your work?

More than ever before, I am realising how important content creators are. We all are trying to keep everyone entertained even as we handle the pandemic.

I am still focusing on the same content – fashion, beauty, food and travel. However, during this time, I am not only sharing my experiences but also trying to offer hope and to encourage my community to stay positive no matter what.

For instance, I have been posting some videos on Instagram, sharing some fashion tips that we could try out once we get back to our normal routines.

In other words, I am not wallowing in the discomforts brought by the pandemic. Rather, I am thinking about what we will do once it is safe to interact with each other.

Are your videos getting more views? Is there pressure to create more content?

Yes, I am getting more traffic onto my pages, but I am more impressed by the fact that my viewership is growing consistently.

Normally, it takes about one week to observe change on the growth curve. But now that most people are at home, the graph looks quite good.

That said, I am not pushing myself too hard. The last thing I want is to experience burnout just before the pandemic is brought under control.

Is there anything new you’ve discovered about your followers or yourself?

I have found out that my followers enjoy seeing me in my organic state – in my house, with no makeup, wearing pyjamas and eating simple dishes.

Has your income been affected?

Yes, but not too much. I still have jobs coming in, even though many projects have been put on hold. I know I will still have a job when all this is over, and I consider this a huge blessing.

ADVENTURE SINGH – Travel

Are you still creating content?

Yes, I’m actually posting modified versions of my past travels to Thailand now that I’ve become much better at editing and storytelling.

How has Covid-19 disrupted your life?

I am a Kenyan travel vlogger who focuses on showcasing my country to the rest of the world.

Because of the pandemic, I am unable to continue with some of my plans. When the first Covid-19 case was announced, I was just getting back to vlogging after a four-month hiatus.

I was making videos on how to travel to Mombasa on a budget and how to camp in Diani. The videos were exquisite.

How would you describe the last 60 days with regards to content creation?

To be honest, it has been difficult. My audience is largely interested in local travels, so it has been really hard to stay relevant.

But then again, I have to ensure that I upload some content for consistency, and to grow my channel.

Are your videos getting more views? Is there pressure to create more content?

Not really because most people are at home and my content is travel-based. However, although the viewership numbers have dropped, the number of subscribers has gone up significantly.

Do you have any advice for your colleagues?

I would advise other content creators not give up. I may not be getting as many views now, but I’m optimistic that when people are ready to start travelling again, I will get them in plenty.

FOI WAMBUI – Edutainment

Are you still creating content?

Yes, I am.

How has Covid-19 disrupted your life as a content creator?

Well, I have a team that assists me in filming videos from home. However, following the government’s directive on social gatherings and social distance, the crew can no longer come to my house, so I have gone back to shooting and editing videos by myself. I am enjoying it!

I also used to do skits that involved other people playing different characters, but now I have had to play all the characters, or make content that does not require additional actors.

What were your days like before the pandemic?

I was pretty active because I had many responsibilities. I had days that were specifically set for shooting content for my channel.

All the other weekdays were dedicated to my acting career, so I would be on set shooting Andakava, a series that airs on Maisha Magic.

On some days, I would squeeze time to meet my friends, and on weekends I would be on Switch TV hosting an entertainment show.

Let’s just say that the pandemic has slowed everything down.

How would you describe the last 60 days with regards to content creation?

It has been a very interesting time. There are days when I get motivated to create content, and others when I hit a slump.

This is because I get inspired mostly by interacting with other people. Now, I am learning to draw inspiration from within.

Is your channel getting more hits? Is there pressure to create more content?

The views are still the same, but there is definitely pressure to create more.

HENRY DESAGU – Entertainment

Are you still creating content?

Yes, I believe that people are looking for humour to deal with all the stress and uncertainty.

How has Covid-19 disrupted your work?

The restrictions on movement have forced me to work alone, and at home. I used to work with so many other actors, but that has since changed.

Also, we had to get alternative shoot locations because we cannot move around as much as we want.

Take us to a day in your life before the pandemic

My days were busy and most of them were spent outdoors doing video shoots. On other days, I would meet clients and friends for drinks and small talk, and this provided great inspiration for my content.

How would you describe the last 60 days with regards to content creation.

The disruption has been drastic. Now our focus is on creating content that relates to the pandemic, especially on sensitising the masses.

Are your videos getting more views? Is there pressure to create more content?

Both my current past videos have recorded a surge in viewership. Some of my followers complained that I wasn’t posting enough new content, so I made a compilation of some of my best clips to keep them engaged. We recently surpassed 300k subscribers on YouTube.

Is there anything new you’ve discovered about your followers or yourself so far?

I have found out that we don’t have to create complex stuff to impress our viewers.