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There Is No Time Like The Present: Why Brands Should Invest In Influencer Marketing Even In Times Of Crises 

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures – probably one of the quotes you have seen quite some times in the last weeks. When it comes to influencer marketing, we, as well as our partners, have taken a lot of different measures lately, be it guidelines for brands and influencers or examples of reactive campaigns.

To understand how the current situation affected the creator’s side of the industry and how brands can benefit from this, we ran an analysis of the posting behavior of around 400 influencers on Instagram in Germany between February 1st and April 27th. In this blog post, we summarize our findings and share three key takeaways for brands.

 

Less Sponsored Posts vs. Higher Engagement Rate 

Over the last 6 weeks, we have seen an average decrease of 12% in sponsored posts on Instagram. Sponsored posts in this context are all posts published by influencers that are marked with hashtags such as #ad, #werbung, #advertisement, etc. or tagged as paid partnership through Instagram. 

We have seen an average decrease of 12% in sponsored posts on Instagram.

Looking into specific categories, we see a 13% decrease in fashion and a 14% decrease in beauty as well as fitness. Although the overall number of sponsored posts decreased, the engagement rate on sponsored content increased by 26% in the last 12 weeks. This is most likely due to the fact that users are spending more time on Instagram, looking for inspiring influencer generated content and thus interact more with sponsored posts than before. 

The engagement rate on sponsored content increased by 26%.

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Source: Data collected on the Collabary platform between February 1st and April 27th

 

Benefiting From Lower Influencer Ad Ratios

Before the start of the quarantine, we saw that a little more than every fourth influencer post was a paid post, which is reflected in an average ad ratio of 27%. Looking at the time during the lockdown, this ratio decreased by 16%. The biggest decrease can be seen in early April with -20%. This means that in these weeks, a lot less sponsored posts have been published by influencers. The trend shows a slight rise with 8% below the average ad ratio in calendar week 18. 

The ad to content ratio decreased by 16% during lockdown.

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Source: Data collected on the Collabary platform between February 1st and April 27th

 

Ad to content ratio: The ad to content ratio calculates the ratio of organic to paid posts. Thus, how many posts have been published and marked as an ad by the influencer in relation to all posts of the chosen creator. Paid posts are defined as posts where the paid partnership was used or hashtags such as #ad, #advertisement, #Werbung etc. were used.

 

Crisis-Related Hashtags As Deal Breakers 

And finally, we looked at the types of hashtags influencers were using lately. We found that since the quarantine started, 21% of influencers included in the research were using crisis-related hashtags such as “#Covid19” in their posts. However, these posts have on average a 16% lower engagement rate than posts without any related hashtags. Within the sample, fashion influencers are using the corona-related hashtags more than fitness and beauty influencers with an average of 1.4 posts per week (beauty 0.87, fitness 0.85). This shows that the audience might already be fed up with corona-related content and prefers to get inspired and find some distraction when scrolling through Instagram.

Instagram posts using Corona-related hashtags have on a average a 16% lower engagement rate.

 

Three Key Takeaways For Brands 

1) There is no time like the present – get started now 

If you as a brand or retailer haven’t started to invest in influencer marketing yet – now is the perfect time to do so. With the average ad ratio still below the pre quarantine average, content on Instagram is currently getting more diverse with less paid posts and more organic, non-paid content. For brands and retailers that want to invest in influencer marketing, this means potential customers are currently less overwhelmed by ads and sponsored posts. 

2) Be where your audience and their attention is

Since the lockdown, customers spend more time on social media and interact more than usual with influencer content, which leads to a higher engagement rate on influencer posts. It’s the right time to push your influencer campaigns! 

3) Don’t put a corona tag on everything 

It seems obvious that the coronavirus crisis is the topic everyone is talking about. However, this doesn’t imply that brands and influencers should automatically be tagging all their social media posts with corona-related hashtags. Based on our research, we recommend avoiding the excessive use of crisis-related hashtags.

 

What’s Next?

No matter if you are already convinced to run your next campaign or if you simply want to better understand the dynamics of Instagram right now, we are here to help you with every use case you have. Get in touch with us via hello@collabary.com.