Coronavirus: How it Impacts the Influencer Marketing Industry
Updated: May 4
It’s no news that the coronavirus pandemic has made an impact on multiple industries, and the Influencer Marketing Industry is not an exception. We are currently living in a world where “everything is canceled”. We’re stuck at home all day lacking human-to-human interaction, with abundant leisure time and having to fight the challenges of self-isolation. As a result, the consumer shopping behavior has shifted and social media consumption has increased significantly. Therefore, it is clear that a change in strategy is more than necessary.
As the stay-at-home economy emerges, user’s needs are no longer the same, thus influencers are switching to a different kind of content. Moreover, brands are opting for investing in influencers, who are becoming an exceptional role model on how to behave during this stressful time, rather than traditional marketing methods.
So, what are users’ new habits? And what kind of content is grabbing consumer’s attention on social media?
Here’s a look at some of the new trends and strategies.
INCREASE IN SOCIAL MEDIA CONSUMPTION
As we all know, social media usage has been growing over the years, especially now that users have more free time due to the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, a global survey by Statista in March 2020 disclosed that Covid-19 has had a direct impact on in-home media consumption around the world. It states that 44% of the 12,600 people surveyed said they have increased their social media consumption, while 14% have been uploading more videos on Youtube and Tik Tok.
Furthermore, according to information compiled by Business Insider “Influencer marketers say engagement on sponsored and unpaid posts has soared in the last few weeks”. Apps like TikTok and Instagram seem to be at their peak. Obviously, an influencer marketing agency, stated that they’ve seen a 76% boost in the number of "likes" on sponsored posts on Instagram during the first weeks of March.
CHANGE IN INFLUENCERS CONTENT
An unavoidable growing trend during self-isolation is that social media users are starting to look for solution-based content. It could be from tutorial-style guidance, self-help advice or anything related to beating quarantine challenges such as boredom, worry and anxiety.
According to Influencer Intelligence, “Influencers who create content that give advice on things to do at home during isolation or remote work for example, are seeing higher levels of engagement from a cautious and responsive audience.”.
On the other hand, a big amount of influencers on social media have been creating videos demonstrating appropriate behavior while in quarantine, encouraging their followers to stay at home and practice responsible shopping habits. A study conducted by Influence Central mentioned that “73.6% already addressed COVID-19 and the current ‘stay-at-home economy' with their audiences. Another 70% feature their social media audiences turning to them for guidance on how individuals can help during the Coronavirus battle”.
Check out some of our influencers’ videos on how to have fun and be responsible at home:
LIVE STREAMING IS BECOMING MORE POPULAR THAN EVER
Social-distancing has created a need for social media users to connect and create relationships with others in real time,
thus growing the live streaming industry in popularity. Live streaming platforms provide a range of high-quality content including workout routines, cooking tutorials, make-up tutorials, live shows by the most popular performers, and more.
Twitch, one of the most trendy live-streaming platforms, saw a rise in viewership for the first time since its debut eight years ago. They scored a hit record of three billion hours during the first quarter of 2020. Additionally, LIVIT hosted a virtual concert on April 11th WI-FEST with powerful performances by rising talent Shalom Dubas, Emani 22, KoraTheArtist and more.
Here’s a list published by Billboard where you can check out what concerts and live streams are available for you to watch safely at home.
STRATEGY SHIFT TO ENCOURAGE SALES
Although many people think that due to the Covid-19 outbreak the influencer industry has been severely damaged, this is not exactly the case. It is true that numerous campaigns and events have been canceled, which has affected a big amount of influencers (mainly from the travel industry). Nevertheless, since traditional marketing methods (i.e TV commercials) are no longer a possibility, many companies are turning to influencers to promote their products and services.
The influencer-marketing agency, Obviously, told Business Insider that they’ve seen a “33% increase in the number of brands looking to hire influencers specifically for content creation”.
Influencers are trusted and are seen by consumers as an example of behavior on what to buy and what to think. It is for this reason that engaging with the right influencers to talk about your brand and how it is helping them through this challenging time could become a successful way to promote sales.
CONNECTING TO BRANDS THROUGH HUMANITY
Influencer marketing has always been a way for brands to promote campaigns for philanthropic purposes since consumers are more likely to trust someone that they like and connect to rather than a faceless brand. Through this difficult time lies a great opportunity for brands to create partnerships with these influencers in order to spread significant messages and encourage others to get involved with charity organizations.
It is important that brands show that they have other concerns than just making profit, they need to show empathy and an understanding behavior towards those affected by the virus. For this reason, focusing on building a human identity could be a very effective way to create meaningful relationships with customers that will hopefully outlast the pandemic and encourage brand loyalty.
Two of our TikTok influencers (@theillusionartist and @dancemachine45) have teamed up with qeeq.com, a car rental company, to start a charity campaign for the The World Health Organisation. The campaign calls to encourage people across the world to fight against Covid-19 and help prevent the spread of it. For every donation there are 10 free masks given.
Will there be any permanent changes in the Influencer Marketing Industry?
While it is yet unknown what the future will bring to the industry, it is likely that social-distancing will continue at least for the next couple of months. For now, it is crucial that brands and influencers adapt to the new trends and focus on creating and strengthening meaningful relationships with their audience.
What do you think? Will the influencer industry change forever?