Why Influencer Marketing is Here to Stay

With the rapid shift to quarantining, working from home and social-distancing, some have questioned how the influencer industry would fare during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, consumer habits have changed, with social media becoming an even more significant part of the consumer decision-making journey. According to a study from A&E, at the beginning of the pandemic YouTube saw a 500% increase in views, and Facebook and Instagram experienced more than a 40% increase in usage from those 35 years and younger. Snapchat and TikTok saw a 36% and 27% increase in activity respectively.

What caused these double- or triple-digit increases in platform activity? Consumers are spending more time on their screens while staying at home and, increasingly, have turned to influencers for content or brand reviews of trending quarantine topics, like at-home workouts, food recipes, loungewear and more. The A&E study confirmed this trend, with influencers reporting, on average, a 67.1% increase in likes and a 51.3% increase in comments. Another report from eMarketer stated that 40% of social media users were most interested in how-to tutorial content from influencers. For some consumers, influencers also offer a sense of valued social connection online in an age of social distancing and limited in-person interactions with others.

From a brand perspective, influencer marketing offers advertisers an opportunity to target specific audiences directly during the pandemic, at a time when other, traditional forms of consumer advertising, such as billboards, have lost impact due to a majority of people staying and working at home. Even more, influencer marketing offers brands cost-effective communication that can be produced and published quickly at a time when large-scale ad production may not be feasible from a safety or cost perspective.

Throughout COVID-19, influencers have increased their following and strengthened their relationships with audiences. This form of digital marketing is here to stay, and it’s important for brands to understand how to collaborate efficiently and effectively with influencers as a strategy for engaging with their target markets.

Is your business looking to launch an influencer marketing campaign? Reach out to Kerri at Kerri.Fulks@hck2.com to learn how HCK2 can help achieve your goals.