BY COURTNEY CUNNINGHAM
Brands are cutting budgets for influencer marketing, despite consumption of influencer content increasing in a number of countries in lockdown.
According to Business Insider Intelligence, brands were projected to spend up to $15 billion by 2022 on influencers who would promote their brands, up from $8 billion in 2019.
However, the global pandemic has slowed down collaborations between brands and influencers.
According to a report from marketing-analysis firm Launchmetrics, sponsored content fell from 35 per cent in mid-February to four per cent in mid-April.
Social media influencer Jasmine Lipska said her audience engagement has dropped slightly during the pandemic.
“I think a bit less [engagement] actually on YouTube, a bit less than last year,” Ms Lipska said.
“I know my travel videos do the best but obviously, I haven’t been able to do as much of that.”
Ms Lipska, who is currently based in Bali, said her audience of like-minded women have allowed her to diversify her content.
“YouTube wise, I haven’t been making as much as last year, but I’ve been creating other content like podcasts,” she said.
Brands are offering 30 to 40 per cent lower rates for sponsored content now, Ms Lipska said.
“There aren’t as many [brands] as before reaching out, or if they do they say their budget is lower.
“There are more brands now who also don’t want to pay and just give the product for free.”
However, Ms Lipska’s spirits are still high, as she “[knows] people are consuming more content now”.
“If anything, my income has gone up…in other areas like life coaching, I’m getting more and more clients.”
According to a survey conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, there has been an increase in the consumption of influencer content during COVID-19, with YouTube watching increasing 2000 per cent in some countries.
Beauty therapist Kayla Guglielmi said she is consuming more influencer content during the pandemic while she is out of work.
“I guess with the COVID, when everyone’s at home, it’s just kind of nice to feel that they’re also in the same spot and just to see what they do in their time,” Ms Guglielmi said.
Ms Guglielmi said she is now watching YouTubers she had previously stopped watching as their content has changed.
“Sometimes I wouldn’t really watch a certain person because before COVID-19 they go out a lot and I wasn’t really relating to that…it kind of just bores me,” she said.
“I feel like it’s just nice for them to just settle at home and let their brows grow out and let their hair get messy.”
According to Ms Guglielmi, influencer culture will survive COVID-19 despite the different content.
“Even though we are limited to going out and stuff, I think we watch that person because of their personality, how they react to stuff, things that they can think of.”