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Socialbakers Reports on the State of Influencer Marketing Effects of COVID-19

Influencer marketing efficiency decreased by 41% compared to last year, however, healthcare influencers were 4.2x more efficient, according to a new Socialbakers report

New York, June 16, 2020 Socialbakers, the leading social media marketing platform, today released its State of Influencer Marketing Report, which examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the influencer industry over the last three months. Among the key findings are a decrease in sponsored content among influencers that are partnering with brands, and a pivot toward influencers with smaller, more niche followings that may offer greater value to brands with tighter marketing budgets. The data also shows that despite the economic impact of the pandemic, influencer marketing has not disappeared and may be even more prevalent in the months ahead as brands look for more effective and authentic ways to connect with their audience.

“Despite the economic impact of COVID-19, brands are still investing in influencer marketing to reach their target audiences, but with a distinctly different approach. Nano and micro influencers are now seen as high-value resources, bringing high impact without the big price tag of macro and mega influencers. As budgets remain tight, savvy brands will likely continue to expand partnerships with these smaller influencers as part of a smarter social media strategy in the wake of the continuing worldwide pandemic.”

Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO, Socialbakers

Influencer marketing slows as budgets tighten

Socialbakers data shows that both the amount of sponsored content posted by Instagram influencers, and the number of brands who partner with influencers, dropped significantly compared to last year. In April 2020, the number of Instagram influencers cooperating with brands who used #ad decreased by 30% compared to April 2019. That is the lowest total since August 2019. The decrease of #ad usage in 2020 was likely tied to the worldwide pandemic. At the same time, the number of brands on Instagram cooperating with influencers in April 2020 dropped by 37% compared to April 2019. 

Influencer efficiency also drops, as extra-small brands gain traction

There was also a sharp drop in Influencer Marketing Efficiency, which is the ratio of average interactions on an influencer’s post mentioning the brand compared to a post published by the brand itself. In April 2020, Influencer Marketing Efficiency decreased by 41% compared to April 2019, reaching its lowest point since at least January 2019. Following the rise and fall of this metric during the holiday season, efficiency decreased again in the spring likely because of the pandemic.

Among the industries with high-performing Influencer Marketing Efficiency are Healthcare (4.2X), Finance (3.9X), Telecom (3.8X) and Accommodation (2.7X). On the other end of the spectrum, industries such as Auto (0.6x), Sporting Goods (0.4x), and Airlines (0.2x) were not able to find effective influencer partnerships. However, extra-small brands seem to be the big winners when partnering with influencers. They achieved the highest efficiency from their influencer campaigns when they partnered with small or larger influencers. 

Brands move to smaller influencers for less costly campaigns

As brands cope with tighter marketing budgets, the data shows they are increasingly investing in influencers with smaller followings. Over the last 16 months, about 40% of all brand partnerships were with micro influencers. The next largest share, which started growing again in 2020, was micro influencers with fewer than 10,000 followers. Conversely, mega influencers were involved in the least amount of brand partnerships, at 1-3%. 

In April 2020, 33.3% of all Instagram influencers cooperating with brands were nano influencers, and 31.9% of all #ad posts came from nano influencers. That’s the highest those percentages have been since June 2019. Of all the brand cooperations that Socialbakers analyzed, nearly 94% were micro-influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers. This points to a belief among brands that positive campaign results can be achieved with smaller, more authentic influencers that are closer to their real public.

The Socialbakers State of Influencer Marketing Report is now available for download.

About Socialbakers

Socialbakers is the trusted social media management partner to thousands of enterprise brands and SMBs. Leveraging the largest social media data-set in the industry, Socialbakers’ AI-powered social media marketing suite helps brands large and small ensure their investment in social media is delivering measurable business outcomes.

With over 2,500 clients across 100 countries, Socialbakers is the leading social media management platform, tracking 10 million social profiles across all major social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Socialbakers has been a Facebook Marketing Partner since 2011, a Pinterest Marketing Partner since 2017 and a LinkedIn Marketing Partner since 2017.

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