The Impact of COVID-19 on Influencer Marketing Ad Spend in 2020

Anna Komok

Anna is the Head of Marketing and PR at HypeAuditor, the most accurate and in-depth Instagram and YouTube analytics tool on the market. She is passionate about influencer marketing and Instagram analytics.

COVID-19 pandemic forced to lock down almost all countries in the world. Quarantine impacted most of industries and influencer marketing especially. Many businesses experienced a significant reduction in demand. Thus they cut their advertisement budgets.

To discover how the pandemic affected influencer marketing, we analyzed all Instagram posts in 2020, marked as sponsored.

Instagram influencer marketing market will not fall due to COVID-19 below $5B in 2020.

During the research, we compared the ad spent on Instagram influencers in the Q1 of 2019 and 2020.

Instagram Influencer marketing market size in 2020

The market size in the first quarter of 2019 was around $1.18B and in 2020 this figure increased by 3.9% and reached $1.23B

Countries started to lockdown their cities and regions in late February, and thus in March, we see a slight decline in spendings on Instagram influencers. If we compare March 2019 to March 2020, we will see that market size was reduced by $16M (-3.8%).

The pandemic slowed the economic growth in many countries, but Influencer Marketing didn’t suffer as much as other industries.

Based on our findings we estimate that the Instagram Influencer Marketing market size will be from $5 billion to $6.5 billion in 2020.

COVID-19 Provides a New Impetus for Health and Cooking influencers

Social media usage and especially engagement has grown due to the quarantine. We compared the average daily followers’ growth on influencer accounts in April to the previous 180 days period and noticed a 122% increase.

HypeAuditor identified topics with explosive growth due to the pandemic and topics that have slowed down and showed an outflow.

COVID-19 Provides a New Impetus for Health and Fitness Content on Instagram

The graph above shows a growing interest in Yoga influencers as well as Cooking and Health Instagram creators. Among the faster-growing accounts we see News & Politics category, the theme that is not typical for the Instagram audience.

The Instagram accounts of the World Health Organization, governments, and other institutions are a fast and convenient way to get the most updated information about the pandemic and quarantine restrictions.

We also noticed a significant decline of followers on the accounts about smoking: vapes, tabacco, etc.

One of the most impacted category on Instagram is Travel and Tourism. Accounts of hotels, tourist attractions and destinations experience stagnation and decline both in follower growth and engagement.