Covid-19 shakes up influencer economy

Covid-19 shakes up influencer economy

If on social networks the smile and good humor remain in place, behind the scenes, the stars of Instagram or YouTube are worried about the collapse of their income.

© Supplied by Slate
For internet stars, the period is full of uncertainty. | Maddi Bazzocco via Unsplash

As with billions of human beings on Earth, the lives of web stars were suddenly turned upside down by the Covid-19 health crisis. Postponed trips, canceled events, suspended photo shoots, budget cuts in advertising spending: it’s a bad time for business.

According to market research from eMarketer, about a third of influencers signed fewer collaborations in March, reports The Wired. Micro-influencers, who have less than 100,000 subscriptions, would be among the most affected.

Social media figures are also facing falling costs for sponsored posts. For example, between 2008 and 2010, during the last recession, the average price of a sponsored post had dropped by 62.7% according to Izea data, an American platform connecting advertisers and influencers.

Brands are reluctant to communicate in order not to attract the wrath of internet users, who could consider an advertising campaign unwelcome when the world is facing a deadly pandemic. Both influencers and advertisers are in a period of uncertainty, and few will emerge unscathed.

“In an economic recession, some companies survive and others do not, comments for The Wired Angela Seits, director of consumer studies and engagement strategy at the digital agency PMG. I think that’s what could happen in the influencer industry. ”

Opportunities in turmoil

Paradoxically, influencers see confinement as an opportunity to increase their audience. The hundreds of millions of people who are trapped in their homes have more time to click, view and interact with sponsored and unsupported posts from web stars.

A large number of them reported an increase in engagement on their publications via the various social networks, says Business Insider. According to a study by Influence Central, an increase in the audience of content creators has been observed on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Pinterest.

Live streaming also gaining popularity. Twitch traffic has for example increased by 23% between February and March 2020.

Online advice, education and coaching are also said to be on the rise, and influencers are taking the opportunity to diversify their sources of income.

Some also choose to send important messages in these times of crisis. Finnish government has recruited influential internet users to communicate on the pandemic, while WHO called on many personalities to encourage people to wash their hands.


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