How COVID-19 is Impacting Influencer Marketing

As the global novel Coronavirus crisis grows, consumers are making significant changes to the way they interact with content, social media and advertising across channels. As we adjust to this new reality, GRIN is offering insight into the shifting industry and consumer trends and the resulting impact on the eCommerce space.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the impact Coronavirus will have on your influencer marketing program please reach out to support@grin.co for assistance

Brand Impact

57% of marketers say influencer content outperforms their own brand content and will lean on influencer marketing during this time of crisis.

Brands recognize that influencers can more successfully hold the attention of their followers by communicating content in a more authentic way. During these unprecedented times, brands are also starting to focus more on long-term collaborations that lead to greater insights and ROI.

Economic Impact

The United States has seen a 9.5% increase in the demand for packaged goods as consumers move to shopping for nearly everything online.

With nearly everyone being asked to work remotely, and children now learning from home, consumers are leaning heavily on ecommerce. In turn, the demand for CPG has skyrocketed across the globe, with Italy seeing a 10.9% increase in demand, France, 9%, UK, 8.2% and 9.5% in the US.

Consumer Impact

E-Commerce spending is up 36% and seeing almost twice the growth rate due to consumers adjusting to their new state of living.

Consumers are adjusting to the new normal, and DTC brands are gaining more traction because of it. Consumers are spending more time online and looking to influencers they trust for recommendations. This new way of life holds an opportunity for brands to make deeper connections with consumers.

"As this new normal of the stay-home economy emerges, Influencers are uniquely poised to capture consumer’s attention: from what to order and where to shop online; great pantry meals at home; entertaining and teaching kids out of school; how to dress in a time of economic austerity; saving money, and thousands of other emerging thoughts and anxieties in consumers’ minds. More than ever, consumers will turn to social media for content, comfort and creativity."

-Politico

ECONOMIC IMPACT

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  • According to The New Consumers’ report from Rakuten Intelligence, US ecommerce spending has jumped up 36% from March 12-15, which is nearly twice the growth rate generated last year. 
  • Consumer behavior is shifting to an ecommerce mindset. During the week of March 22, online traffic across 20 different industries saw an increase of 3.1% in transactions. In another survey, 23% of respondents in the US said that their frequency of online shopping had increased substantially within March alone. 
  • Eager to gain access to the outside world, consumers are spending more time on their phones and downloading apps. Instacart food delivery service has seen a 218% boost in app downloads.
  • Now more than ever, consumers are leaning on ecommerce. Whether it’s for necessities or simply an escape from their challenging environment, consumers now turn to ecommerce to purchase products they might have otherwise bought in person. 
  • Average order values have increased across the ecommerce space. Recent data shows that consumers are spending more money than usual, with higher than average cart totals as society shifts to purchasing almost everything online. 
  • The rise of online shopping places the consumer right at the brand’s digital storefront. Already online and already shopping, the consumer is more likely to browse past essentials and find interest in other intriguing offerings. The natural progression is that they will become accustomed to shopping for everything online.
  • There’s no doubt that certain industries will see enormous growth from the current crisis. However, there are many industries emerging unexpectedly in these times. Here are a few examples:
    • At-home fitness is rising in popularity as gyms close and consumers are looking to keep themselves healthy and fit. 
    • The arts & crafts and DIY industries will see an uptick as parents are now challenged with schooling and entertaining children all day long.
    • Home improvement will see a rise as the need to spring clean and dress-up homes will be on nearly every consumer’s to-do list.
    • The health & wellness industry has already felt a surge of business as consumers are actively searching for products to keep them healthy during this crisis.

CONSUMER IMPACT

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  • In these complicated times, brands need tools that will drive down costs and increase ROI. Influencer marketing is a strategy that (when firing at full force) drives down costs across all channels. 
  • When a brand is running a strong influencer program, social engagement goes up and CAC goes down across all channels. If you're investing in digital marketing, you should be investing in a process that reduces CAC.
  • Social media consumption will increase substantially while people are confined to their homes. Now is the time for brands to connect with a captive audience that is actively seeking new content, entertainment, products, and services.   
  • Consumers will turn to social media to help pass the time. Starved for entertainment, consumers will turn to digital media. Brands should partner with influencers to tell stories about the new services and content they’ve discovered while confined to their homes.
  • Italy has seen a 66% increase in live streaming across YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Mixer, with the US following close behind. During the period of COVID-19, viewers are watching almost double the usual number of channels. 
  • Time spent online skyrocketed in China and is trending upward in the US as well. Consumers sheltering-in-place increased online time by 20% in China with social networking being the top pastime activity. Mobile gaming has shot up 44%, short video viewing increased by 14%, and online publication browsing has jumped up 14% in China during the country’s quarantine.

BRAND IMPACT

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  • As brands shift their marketing strategies, they have turned to influencers to build trust and convey their message during the COVID-19 crisis. Companies can depend on influencers to act as spokespeople for their brand and execute their messaging in an authentic format that consumers trust. 
  • Influencer marketing has become a core marketing strategy, and influencer content will often outperform brand content. Brands who quest for authenticity and growth should leverage advances in technology, data, and measurement to build longer-term collaborations with influencers to gain stronger insights and ROI.  
  • Brands are recognizing that now is the time to invest in support tools that will help develop an influencer marketing program that can scale and grow with authenticity and attributable ROI.
  • Even in this time of crisis and isolation, influencers have not stopped creating. With so many consumers at-home, influencers’ audiences are more engaged than ever. Influencers are also motivated to use their platforms as a way to provide help, inspiration, and insight to their audience all of which they can do from their homes. 
  • Working from home, influencers are now arming their audiences with tools for the shelter-in-place environment. For example, Arts & Crafts Influencers are now focusing on activities for moms and their children who are now learning from home.  
  • Many influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) have created encouraging content and positive trending campaigns that have uplifted their audience, giving them a sense of encouragement in an otherwise discouraging and uncertain time.
  • Brands confronted with cuts to their marketing budgets understand that the strategic play is to prioritize longer-term brand-building missions. 
  • The notion that influencers are becoming increasingly valuable for brands, combined with advances in data and measurement, will undoubtedly lead to longer-term collaborations between influencers and brands, with a mutually beneficial outcome. 
  • For brands, the efficiency benefits that come with an influencer marketing relationship are significant. In addition to the fact that influencers are able to become a more authentic advocate for the brand, it can drive real product and market insights as well.

Need Help Getting Started?

Use this Step-by-Step Guide to Influencer Marketing and get started on your influencer program.

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Case Studies

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"The tool integrates everything into one, refreshingly intuitive suite, allowing my team to accomplish much more in a fraction of the time."

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Senior Manager

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"I have gone from 1.5 employees managing our influencer program to .5 employees all while tripling the amount of partnerships."

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Keri O'Brien

Director of
Marketing & Sales

"The integration to Shopify is top notch and the rate at which [GRIN] add functionality shows me they care about the client experience like no other app we have tried."

Michael H.

Co-Founder

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