How COVID-19 has influenced influencer marketing

The profitable market of Influencers on social media has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like many other businesses a significant change is being observed in influencer marketing across all top social networking sites/apps.

So our team took the time to study the effect of the corona crisis on this digital marketing strategy.

COVID-19’s impacts on digital marketing

First, it’s good to know that not all industries have been suffered the same from spreading the novel coronavirus.

Despite many industries that are limited in the time of lockdowns and social distancing orders, some digital-based businesses are on the rise.

For example, Amazon’s share price has surged by about 30% during this global crisis. Also, the rate of installation of sales & delivery apps has increased by over 100%. Despite the significant loss of brick & mortar retail, online sales have experienced a sharp rise.

However, not all online stores have been able to increase their income during the pandemic. The more digital audience reach a brand has, the more benefits it has gained in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In general, the demand for online purchasing of necessities like dried food and health products including masks has significantly risen.

This is an important signal for digital marketers and brands to adapt their strategies with the new circumstance.

Influencer marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Apart from marketers and businesses, influencers are also facing a difficult situation due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The global sales have decreased, especially for unnecessary products. As a result, the marketing budget of many companies has dried up.

Around 70% of brands have plans to cut their advertisement budget in 2020, and Influencer marketing has definitely been affected by this change.

On the other hand, people are using social media apps more than the past and this has led to an increase in visits to influencers’ profiles.

So these two counteracting effects can lead to a very different result for various influencers depending on their niches.

Changes in the followers of influencers

To figure out the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s good to see if the number of followers of influencers has changed.

Here is the change in the followers of several important influencers on Instagram:

1.     Travel influencers

The tourism & traveling industry has experienced one of the toughest impacts in the time of crisis.

Lockdowns caused many hotels, airlines, restaurants, and tour agencies to close. That’s why travel influencers might have different experiences compared with other influencers.

For example, Murad Osman, as the top travel influencers on Instagram, has lost more than 100,000 followers during the past months.

However, he and his fiancé are still posting beautiful pictures and videos with the same style as they used to.

Other travel influencers have either lost a few followers or at least haven’t gained new followers.

2.     Models

Fashion & modeling is one of the most attractive niches on social media, especially on Instagram.

Some models are earning millions of dollars each year just by using Instagram. This has encouraged many young boys/girls to search for the best Instagram growth service to increase their followers.

Famous models and fashion influencers have experienced differently during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For example, Jelena Noura Hadid’s followers have sharply increased from 52 million to 54 million. Also, Chrissy Teigen’s followers have increased from 28 million to 29.7 million.

The stat is obviously showing that people are still following the updates of models and enjoying their beautiful pics/videos.

3.     Food influencers

Food is something you can never ignore, even during the most severe global crisis after World War II.

That’s why food influencers are not only losing their market, but also their followers are increasing day by day.

The reason is simple. People #Stay_at_Home more than the past and many restaurants are closed. So they need more diverse food recipes to avoid being depressed.

Watching food-related pics/clips is actually a very entertaining hobby for many social users, especially in the time of crisis.

Food influencers’ visitors have therefore increased during the past months. For example, Tieghan Gerard is a food influencer on Instagram and a best-selling author. Her followers have increased from 1.1 million to 1.5 million during the crisis.

Changes in the behavior of influencers

Now that the world’s people are living in a crisis, engagements and friendly talks are necessary more than ever.

Conspiracy theories and lies about the situation are causing global panic and people need ways to become calm. That’s why social media engagement between social users have increased. Influencers are definitely no exception.

They’re trying to behave like common people showing their normal life in lockdowns including their families. This is a really smart approach because people consider these kinds of content more authentic.

Taking pictures and creating video clips when washing hands has become viral among influencers. Apart from the educational aspects of these posts, influencers want to prove that they pay attention to this global problem.

Generally, friendly engagements, Live videos, and giving hope to society is a common action among influencers.

Changes in the prices of influencers

As you see, the social impressions of different influencers have changed differently during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the performance of every single influencer might be a reason for this change. But, the overall inclination of social users toward different industries is the main cause of this effect.

Accordingly, the price of influencers for any marketing campaign and promotional collaborations has significantly changed.

Here is a summary of these changes, based on various valid sources like Social Sprout, Social Media today, Later, and Influencer Marketing Hub.

  1. More than 10% of influencers have cut their rates by %60.
  2. More than 20% of influencers have cut their rates by %20
  3. More than 40% of influencers have cut their rates by %30.
  4. More than 20% of influencers have paused their campaigns.

This shows that influencers are acting like they don’t want to lose the market. Of course, saving the clients is of paramount importance during such a big crisis.

This can help them to recover soon after finding a solution for the coronavirus. Of course, brands will remember those who were more engaged during challenging times.

How to work with influencers in the time of COVID-19

Now that we know the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on influencers, it’s good to know efficient approaches for working with them. You need a wise strategy based on your SMART goals.

In fact, you need to revise your previous plans and write down new ones suitable for the current situation. Influencer marketing is also an important part of your strategies.

Here are several tips to help you collaborate well with influencers in the time of crisis:

Niche relevancy

You have to pay extra attention to the niche and engagement rates of influencers during the crisis. Social users don’t like promotional content so you’d better take care of the influencers’ authenticity.

They should match your brand’s story so that their suggestions influence niche audiences. It’s better to choose those who have already created corona-related content for your target audience. This will cause audiences to believe their comments and finally bring you higher ROI in marketing.

Budget

You need to choose the right influencers who are fit within your budget. You can’t think of luxury options because you need to save your budget for the upcoming months which are highly likely hard.

Influencer tools

You might know several influencers from your previous experiences. But we recommend you to use social media apps to find better options.

These tools have databases including millions of influencers. They have sorted them based on followers, age, gender, location, niche, etc.

This would be useful to choose more authentic influencers to get higher engagement rates.

Content creators

The best option for influencer marketing is to collaborate with the best content creators. Those influencers who are thought leaders can have better management over your marketing campaigns.

An authentic collaboration between your brand and influencers can result in compelling and informative content. This is exactly what we need during a crisis to get higher impressions and organic engagement rates.

Takeaway

In sum, try to shift your strategies toward more organic approaches because these days, people don’t want to face promotional actions. Try to match your influencer marketing campaign’s voice with your niche audiences’ requirements.

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