Influencer marketing boosted by lockdown (but creators feel added pressure)

Third of influencer marketers impacted by bot fraud

Over half (59%) of influencers have seen an increase in brands wanting to work with them, whilst 50% of brands have allocated more budget to influencer marketing since the pandemic started, according to new research.

HypeAuditor, the AI analytics platform for brands who want fair, transparent and effective influencer marketing, has released new research revealing that both influencers and brands have witnessed an uptake in influencer marketing since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.

The research, which polled almost 1,000 social media influencers and brands globally, reveals that 50% of brands have allocated more budget to influencer marketing since the pandemic started.

Key findings

• 59% of influencers have seen more brands wanting to work with them since the outbreak of COVID-19
• Two-thirds of influencers (66%) feel added pressure to create content, 40% say this is due to the number of new influencers on the scene
• 60% of influencers have changed their content since the start of the pandemic
• 50% of brands have allocated more budget to influencer marketing this yearHowever, with this increase in activity comes added pressure. The research also reveals that two-thirds of influencers (66%) feel pressure to create content, with 40% confessing this is due to the amount of new influencers that have emerged since the start of the pandemic. Just over one-third of influencers (34%), however, say this is because they strive for better brand deals.

Alex Frolov, CEO and Co-Founder at HypeAuditor, said: “This year, we’ve seen brands all over the world cut their marketing and advertising budgets, and refocus on core activity that drives the best results and ROI. But influencer marketing has bucked this trend, as brands strive to build personal relationships with audiences in a socially distant world.

‘With a greater importance placed on this discipline, the stakes are high. It is more important than ever before for brands to wise up and make their influencer marketing strategies as authentic and transparent as possible”.

Changing behaviours

The research from HypeAuditor also reveals how the Coronavirus pandemic has encouraged many influencers to adapt their content, revealing:

  • 6 in 10 influencers (60%) have changed their content since the pandemic began earlier this year, with 42% of influencers posting more frequently than before
  • Almost a quarter of influencers (24%) have started using more targeted hashtags
  • 22% have started posting at different times of the day, compared to their pre-pandemic lifestyles
  • 1 in 5 influencers (21%) have switched their content so much this year that they have abandoned their original content focus.

According to brands

The research also shines a light on the opposite side of influencer marketing and reveals how brands are viewing the state of the industry. According to the research, 73% of brands are currently working with influencers and 69% have seen an increase in the number of influencers that they can work with since the pandemic started, echoing the view of the influencers themselves.

What’s more, almost two-thirds of brands (62%) confessed they had experienced an increase in sales when working with social media influencers on an online advertising campaign. 40% of brands confessed they had seen better engagement and 37% said they had generated more trust from consumers after working with a social media influencer.

Many brands assume working with the biggest influencer with the biggest following generates the best results, however, according to HypeAuditor’s research, half of brands (50%) believe the sweet spot for influencer size is those who have a following of between 5,000 and 20,000. This is reassuring for micro-influencers who are often considered more authentic and have a tailored and engaged following. Over a third of brands (37%) believe influencers with a following between 100k and 500k provides the best results.

Analysing the quality of an influencer’s following, mapping the overall sentiment of their previous posts and comparing competitor budget spend on influencer marketing are important challenges we know that brands are looking to overcome as they increase investment in influencer marketing. HypeAuditor’s industry leading Competitor Analysis Report function helps solve these problems and ensures brands can activate more authentic and impactful influencer campaigns.