Coronavirus Disrupts Journey Influencer’s Image-Good Enterprise Mannequin
Travel blogger Christine Ka’aloa has published some new videos on her YouTube channel over the past few weeks, the content of which is starved.
Instead of seeing her go on an arctic road trip or show how to use a squat toilet, her 151,000 subscribers got a download on what it’s like to be a global influencer during the lockdowns.
“All of the videos that I worked tirelessly on last year and this year I had to take a break because of the coronavirus,” she said in an approximately 18-minute clip released on Sunday. It has been viewed roughly 2,500 times – less than their typical “GRRRL Traveler” posts from solo trips around the world.
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Ms. Ka’aloa, who currently lives in Hawaii, documented everyday tasks such as handing over her dog Tinker to the vet. She directed viewers to the crowdfunding platform Patreon Inc., which allows people to sell monthly subscriptions for perks or other benefits.
“I wasn’t feeling well,” Ms. Ka’aloa said as she explained why she had become a little quiet from the beginning of March. “Some people out there are watching my videos and mistakenly think that I’m still out.”
Ms. Ka’aloa has been paying attention to travel restrictions during the pandemic and encouraging people to stay at home. However, she decided to post new videos recently “just so I can go beyond that.”
She started her most recent video with a collection of safety masks that she had collected over the years while traveling to India and Japan, as well as during her stay in South Korea.
Ms. Ka’aloa’s paperback was lying deep.
Patreon, who she founded to deal with some followers before the pandemic, has grown in importance to Ms. Ka’aloa. She collects between $ 5 and $ 100 per month per Patreon membership.
Ms. Ka’aloa recently traveled to the Basilica of San Francesco in Ravenna, Italy for an episode that was released in early November 2019.
Subscribers get a glimpse into content creation, “behind the scenes” and access to some of the backlog of travel video waiting to be released. For example, when Covid-19 cases skyrocketed in Italy, she held back to post her footage from some of the Italian cities she recently visited.
The 40 or so Patreon subscribers, Ms. Ka’aloa, do not have enough to increase revenue to pre-Covid-19 levels. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much,” said Ms. Ka’aloa.
The business model of their GRRRL Traveler business launched in 2008 depends on advertising. About 60% of their 2019 revenue came from ads running on their YouTube and Facebook posts.
In 2018, a YouTube video she created about a quirky capsule hotel in Tokyo went viral and garnered more than two million views. Facebook Inc. also invited them to try out a video advertising program, and well-known brands like memory card maker SanDisk reached out to them to include products in their videos.
In the past year the sponsorships and partnerships of GRRRL Traveler had grown so big that Ms. Ka’aloa was able to make it her main career. It takes about 60 hours of work per week. She travels around five times a year to collect footage and tips on flights, accommodation, food, and other aspects of traveling alone.
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As companies cut their budgets, Facebook and YouTube ads only make up a fifth of their income.
Content partnerships like the SanDisk deal and so-called affiliate agreements are more important when ads dry up. But these possibilities are also disappearing.
“I’d be lucky if I get around $ 200,” she said of the commissions she expects from partnering. As part of these offers, she links to a brand’s blog posts.
One of its subsidiaries has lowered its commission rates. For example, the e-commerce giant’s prices for advertising health and personal care products were reduced from 4.5% of sales due to visitor clicks to 1%.
Outside of Patreon, Ms. Ka’aloa has hosted three “GRRRL’S Nite” Zoom meetings that she promoted through her various social media channels. The gatherings focused on must-have meals from around the world, travel to Japan, and solo travel.
She will moderate the second part of her solo travel discussion on May 17th. Ms. Ka’aloa said attendees at the Zoom meetings, which they limited to seven to nine attendees each, most often paid about $ 10 to $ 15 above their suggested minimum donation of $ 5.
“I wonder what I developed or what I have worked on over the years to evolve in terms of my demographics, my audience and my previous business plan,” said Ms. Ka’aloa.
Write to Dave Sebastian at [email protected]
Corrections & reinforcements
A photo in this article shows Christine Ka’aloa traveling to the Basilica of San Francesco in Ravenna, Italy for an episode released in November 2019. A caption in an earlier version of this article incorrectly states the photo was in Assisi, Italy, an episode published in early March. (Corrected May 11, 2020)
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