Influencer Marketing Stands Out during Pandemic

Covid-19 is capable of producing a special kind of advertising fatigue in which consumers tire of receiving a maelstrom of indistinguishable messages from brands: This is an especially uncertain time. Here are the precautions we’re taking. This is what we’re doing to help out.

It’s not that these messages aren’t necessary, especially as they relate to safety precautions. The fatigue comes from the unrelenting sameness and impersonal character of the content. That’s where influencer marketers can prove to be a brand’s special weapon, and a new report by influencer marketing platform Linqia suggests marketers are capitalizing on the channel.

Sixty-seven percent of marketers decreased their overall marketing budgets for Q2, but only 41% of the 59 marketers Linqia surveyed across a number of verticals said they were dropping influencer spend. This could in part be due to the small percentage of marketing dollars previously allocated to influencers, but the survey data suggests marketers see particular value in influencers during a complicated time for marketing.

For example, 71% said influencers could make a positive impact for their brand during this time, and that comes during a period when the second most commonly cited concern among marketers at 32% was that their messaging will appear “tone-deaf or not sensitive.”

There could be a connection between relying on influencers, who have a particular connection with the people who follow them on social platforms such as Instagram, and concerns about appearing insensitive during Covid-19. What’s more, brands are interested in investing in influencers for non-social content. Sixty-three percent said influencers could help produce content for media other than social channels.

As for the purpose of influencer content, 63% said they turn to influencers specifically to “convey the right message for their brand.” Only 17% are using influencers to raise awareness. None of the respondents said they’re directly hawking sales via influencers.

Zooming out, 98% said Covid-19 had impacted their marketing strategies. A chilling 67% said their spend had decreased in Q2, 36% dramatically so. Forty-nine percent maintained influencer spending at previous levels.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.