How influential are influencers right now?

COVID_Trust_700x700

How influential
are influencers
right now?

January 14, 2021

FALSE PERFECTION DOESN’T INSPIRE TRUST.

Even before COVID-19, there was a growing backlash against the stale content of influencer “perfection” that so many people love to hate—yet continue to follow. Some of the influencers who have kept up their extravagant lifestyles and tone-deaf antics in recent months even earned the title “covidiot” for their actions. Accordingly, a recent WIRED magazine article asked: “In the middle of a pandemic, how influential can Instagram stars really be?”

Big influencers have taken the biggest hits.

Brands have always walked a tricky line in finding the right influencers to safely represent their brands. For many brands, the risk has proven too great in the time of COVID-19. Case in point, about 35% of the content posted by influencers was driven by sponsors in February of 2020. But by April of 2020, that number had dropped to 4%. This mostly affected macro-influencers with over a million followers.

Micro-influencers have fared a bit better.

Some brands had already started moving away from macro-influencers and toward more specialized and knowledgeable micro-influencers before COVID-19. And many more have done the same in recent months. The Sourcing Journal reports that 40% of brand partnerships have been with micro-influencers during the pandemic while just 1-3% have been with macro-influencers.

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Once again, it’s a question of trust.

What once passed as escapist content can feel painfully out of touch in a time of such widespread uncertainty. It only makes sense that as brand trust must be increasingly earned with action, influencer trust must be as well. Brands need credible, knowledgeable voices speaking up for them. Call us biased, but it seems clear that proven experience and expertise continue to be the currency of trust.