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Influencer Marketing Has Plummeted Due To COVID-19

Some marketers are predicting a near-term 15 to 25% dip in the average price of a sponsored post as demand for branded influencer content declines.

Unless you live under a rock without social media, you have probably heard of the word influencer. Social Media is filled with a variety of influencers that garner thousands or millions of followers that can create, follow, or “influence” many kinds of trends. They often partner with different brands that give them products, services, or lifestyles to promote.

Followers look up to these influencers to keep up with the latest trends in beauty, fashion, food, or news. There are influencers on pretty much every social media site including Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. With just one post, one picture, one word, an influencer can “influence” millions of people to follow in their footsteps. Think about that one orange square that propelled sales for the Fyre Festival, for example.

Current State of the World & It’s Impact

With COVID-19 and social movements consuming so much digital and media space currently, it could be difficult for influencers to cut through the noise. An influencer is typically focused on a niche subject that their followers admire and love, such as fitness, finance, fashion, and more. Now, influencers have to pivot and adjust their strategies and content that is sensitive to the world’s current state.

Influencers have the power to uplift their followers with inspirational messages, tips on how to stay busy, or what they can do to stay safe. Marketing influencers such as the sister duo Amra & Elma have had to start devising videos on our Instagram Stories with messaging that is inspirational, such as stay at home cooking and well-being to self-care with some of our favorite beauty brands. These actions can engage their viewers in a different light by providing comfort and solidarity during these confusing times.

Some influencers have shockingly attracted death threats after sharing images of glamorous trips despite social distancing measures. With followers watching every move, it has become difficult for influencers to navigate this pandemic.

Let’s Talk Money

Influencers rely greatly on brand deals and the income that comes from their sponsored posts and collaborations. COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on influencers’ income since many companies cut marketing budgets due to the economic downfall.

Even though the number of people on social media has significantly increased, many smaller companies aren’t able to compete with the larger brands right now which has led to a decreased of sponsored posts on Instagram from 35% in mid-February to 4% in mid-April. This has been one of the devastating impacts on digital marketing during the pandemic.

The Future of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a powerful way to reach large audiences with a unqiue perspective on ideas and beliefs. In times like these, it is extremely important to not be tone deaf and to listen to your audience. The pandemic has given a rise to more authentic content and more genuine interactions. The growth of live videos across platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are evidence of this. I predict this unattainable version of an influencer who is “perfect” with millions of followers will start to fade away and the rise of micro-influencers and relatable social media users will grow.


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