Originally published on ION.
To understand the scope of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on influencer marketing, Find Your Influence surveyed 380 influencers from its community between March 30-31.
The responses revealed 86 percent of influencers who created organic content around the coronavirus pandemic saw increased engagement rates. Additionally, 64 percent of influencers said partnership opportunities have been canceled or rescheduled as a result of the pandemic. For brands reducing digital marketing budgets and looking for ways to pivot amid coronavirus, these findings indicate the time is ripe to leverage both pre-existing and new influencer partnerships.
With creative shoots no longer a viable option, owing to concerns about the pandemic, brands are tasked with the challenge of shifting from traditional methods of content creation to those that fit within the confines of teleworking. In turn, one truth at once becomes clear: brands that invested in influencers pre-coronavirus and have content banked from doing so are in a much safer position compared to those that don’t.
Influencer partnerships are particularly valuable now given retail sales in the US suffered a record drop of 8.7 percent in March. What’s worse, eMarketer expects global ad spending to decrease by $20 billion. Though eMarketer finalized its estimate in early March, one of its more recent forecasts reveals that spending on search advertising in the US alone will decrease in the first half of 2020 by between $6 billion and $8 billion.
Now retailers are leaning into influencer relationships in various ways to convert customers. For example, rather than direct-response ads, Pura Vida is taking the influencer approach to stay relevant amid coronavirus, Vogue Business reports. In early 2020, the brand spent one percent of its total annual marketing budget on worldwide influencer trips to generate spring and summer content. With content stockpiled, Pura Vida is able to avoid the kind of tone-deafness that might arise from social media advertisements and instead connect with consumers organically through its influencer partners.
Yet even for brands that have no choice but to whip up new content, influencers can seem like a lifeline. As more brands reduce marketing budgets, some influencers are considering cutting their rates. Mavrck surveyed 600 creators and influencers from its index from March 27-March 30 to see how the pandemic is affecting their content strategies. While 40 percent of influencers said they haven’t adjusted their rates, 37 percent said they have lowered their rates or may lower them in the near future because of coronavirus.
At a time when consumers want ads to inform them and make them feel happy, brands should use influencers as a vehicle to communicate an uplifting message, share charitable actions, spread accurate information about the pandemic and highlight new ways to use products and services in the context of social distancing.
Lively has about 110K Ambassadors in the U.S. that are women who demonstrate the LIVELY values of living life passionately, purposefully, and confidently, according to a spokesperson. When women sign up for the Ambassador program (they sign up themselves), they receive a unique code that their friends, family, and networks can apply to first-time purchases. CEO Michelle Cordeiro Grant founded the brand in 2015 and launched in 2016. According to CNBC, Lively grew by 300 percent in 2017 and was again saw triple-digit growth in both 2018 and 2019. Lively inked a deal with Nordstrom in 2018 and sells its products in 35 Nordstrom locations as well as at its four stores in the U.S.