Influencers have lost an average of 33 percent of their potential earnings, or $3,100 a week, as a result of COVID-19, according to an Attain study that surveyed activity of over 500 influencers on Instagram from March 12 to May 7.
Attain’s research reveals that 65 percent of influencers posted less sponsored content between March 12 and May 7 in comparison to the eight weeks prior, namely pre-coronavirus pandemic. This drop in sponsored posts equates to an average loss in potential earnings of $20,537 over eight weeks, or $2,567 a week.
For others, the ramifications are worse: a little over 10 percent of influencers’ earnings dropped to zero.
COVID-19 has affected the livelihood of all influencers, regardless of audience size. Among the five influencer tiers Attain analyzed (0-100,000, 100,000-500,000, 500,000-1 million, 1 million-3 million and over 3 million) at least half say they’ve posted less sponsored content than usual.
Micro-influencers and below (nano-influencers), however, have been hit the hardest; 72 percent are earning less due to COVID-19. On the other hand, 16 percent of this group reported earning more during the pandemic.
Celebrities, those with followers of 3 million upward, have fared best, with a little over half (55 percent) earning less and 30 percent earning more.
Attain’s breakdown of influencers by vertical shows that travel influencers have been impacted the most, with 79 percent posting less sponsored content, leading to nearly a 47 percent reduction in potential earnings. Sixty-eight percent of lifestyle influencers are posting less sponsored and therefore losing on average 46 percent of their potential earnings. Almost the same amount (65 percent) of fashion influencers are working less with brands and earning 31 percent less. Sixty-five percent of reality television influencers have also worked less with brands and are losing 24 percent of potential earnings.
The micro-influencer behind men’s fashion account @atlasandmason, George LaBoda, tells Attain that 75 percent of the campaigns he had lined up have either been canceled or postponed until summer, with brand offers down 50 percent.
This isn’t to say influencer marketing has ground to a complete halt. Twenty-four percent of respondents say they’ve actually posted more sponsored content than they did before COVID-19.