Influencer marketing during coronavirus has come to favor Instagram Live and TikTok as social distancing forces brands to shut down experiential initiatives and go digital-only to stay connected with consumers. 

A survey conducted by IZEA between March 12-13 found that 66 percent of social media users expect to increase their social media use during social distancing. With more eyes online and on social, brands that capitalize on relevant influencer content will have a major advantage during the coronavirus crisis.

Brands are already taking steps to beef up content creation and influencer marketing during the lockdown as mentions of Instagram Live on Instagram and Twitter jumped 526 percent from March 8-15, according to Comperemedia

With gyms and all other nonessential businesses closed, users are looking for ways to get in their workouts at home. Rumble Boxing’s co-founder Noah Neiman is meeting this need by hosting daily 45-minute Rumble-inspired workouts in his New York apartment on the brand’s Instagram Live. The first workout live stream video, which Rumble later posted to its account, received 54,300 views and 327 comments. Rumble teased an upcoming Instagram Live workout hosted by boxing coach Jeremiah Maestre. 

MTV jumped on the Instagram Live bandwagon too by featuring artists at home, even going so far as to update its Instagram bio to “Staying home and watching my faves on Instagram Live.” Recently rapper Hoodie Allen and singer Nick Anderson from The Wrecks went live from Anderson’s Los Angeles home where the artists are living in quarantine. Allen and Anderson both performed songs, respectively, and teased snippets from unreleased songs they’re working on while answering users’ questions.

In December, e.l.f. Cosmetics launched a TikTok campaign called #EyesLipsFace featuring an original song. The challenge amassed over 4 billion views and over 2 million videos were created to the campaign’s song. 

Now in an effort to spread the Center for Disease’s best practices on staying safe amid coronavirus, e.l.f. is repurposing the #EyesLipsFace challenge by remixing the campaign’s original song and enlisting influencers to create videos around it. The brand tapped mega TikTok influencers like Micah Cow (3 million followers and 68 million likes) and Madi Monroe (3.8 million followers and 108 million likes) to create videos around the challenge, which involves washing their hands and not touching their face.

TikTok users can incorporate the song in their own videos by visiting e.l.f.’s TikTok and tapping the spinning disc at the foot of the new #EyesLipFace video.

An increase in social media consumption spells good and bad news for marketers. More active users means more concentrated attention on products and services but also means marketers have to cut through the noise.

IZEA also found that 99 percent of social media users said there’s a chance they’ll buy something online if they’re in household quarantine. But just because online spending is up doesn’t mean brands can get away with tone-deaf messaging and activations. For influencer marketing during the pandemic to stand out, content must be genuine and tailored to the dramatic life changes people are experiencing such as layoffs and medical crises, otherwise it’ll fall short.