With everything that’s happening around the COVID-19 crisis, marketers are in a difficult position right now: they have to navigate unprecedented territory and figure out what marketing strategies are appropriate so as not to alienate the audiences they’ve worked hard to build rapport with and/or come across as tone deaf.
Enter influencer marketing. With people sheltering in place, more attention is directed online and to social media channels, which makes creators a natural fit for brands looking to share thoughtful, timely, relevant content.
Who is doing this well right now? We pulled together 25 different examples to show you exactly how different brands and organizations are using creators during COVID-19 as inspiration for your own influencer marketing efforts.
The World Health Organization (WHO) turned to international creators on Instagram with large followings to help build awareness and share best practices for safety around the health crisis, to encourage people to stay home, and to have creators share personal stories of how this event is impacting their lives.
Creator @dudewithasign shared a sponsored post from Instagram and WHO to provide updates and info around COVID-19
Not only does this content reinforce the ‘stay at home’ message, but it also helps spread reliable, up-to-date information to users on Instagram during a worldwide crisis.
In this post, we’ll look at how brands and organizations are finding ways to appropriately market at present with the help of influencer marketing, the benefits of leveraging creators, and 25 prime examples of successful influencer marketing campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Creator @mayeeshatasneem shares why she stays home in partnership with WHO
Knowing that people are spending much more time at home as they comply with shelter-in-place laws, Big Blanket Co partnered with creator @anja_mari to show how staying home can be extra cozy. This content also does a nice job of reinforcing a message of comfort, which people crave during periods of uncertainty—and even includes a discount code to incentivize purchases.
Creator @anja_mari shows people how to stay cozy at home with Big Blanket Co
Sheltering in place has given many people ample time to consider potential home improvements—and Phillips Hue leverages creators like @probablythis to give Instagram users some contextual inspiration as to how their product can upgrade their home lighting. By seeing the product in use in someone’s home, potential customers can invision how it might work in their own spaces, too.
Creator @probablythis shows Phillips Hue products in action
Even Instagram dogs are getting in on the influencer marketing action during COVID-19. A lighthearted message from these two good boys speaks to pet parents who are spending more time at home with their four-legged friends—and how it’s a good time to upgrade their food to @instinctpetfood.
Petfluencers @connorandcooper team up with Instinct Pet Food to encourage pet parents to upgrade their dog food
At a time when there’s so much uncertainty around health and safety, Dairy Farmers of Canada wisely teamed up with a creator like @marcwebster with content to remind people to maintain healthy diets, to slow down, and to seek balance over the things that can be controlled. Plus: By strategically partnering with an outdoor enthusiast, this message (and additional info) gets shared with an audience who keeps health and staying active top-of-mind.
Creator @marcwebster promotes Nutrition Month with Dairy Farmers of Canada
Spending so much time in sweatpants during quarantine leaves some people in a funk--which is why fashion brand Frank and Oak partnered with creator @kassalaholdslaw to encourage people to dress up...even if it’s just to stay at home. Even though this is sponsored content, the creator’s emotion-based caption speaks to a feeling many can relate with right now, and therefore feels relevant, timely, and mindful of the current context.
Creator @kassalaholdsclaw shares stay-at-home fashion with Frank and Oak
Are people feeling tension and stress during COVID-19? 100 percent yes. Which is why it’s a smart move for Lazarus Naturals CBD to team up with a creator like @dezidoesit to speak to that pain point (and how their product can solve it.)
Creator @dexidoesit shows how Lazarus Naturals CBD helps ease tension and stress
Another brand leveraging influencer marketing partnerships for health-oriented content during COVID-19 is Hydrant, who worked with @sarahfunky for a video on the importance of staying hydrated. This message encourages people to stay healthy in a proactive way that’s easy to execute and add into a daily routine.
Creator @sarahfunky shows how she incorporates hydration with Hydrant into her daily routine
With so many restaurants closed or operating in limited capacity, more Americans are cooking at home right now--and examining their cookware in the process. Misen Kitchen teamed up with creator @masie.zinszer to showcase how upgrading to their pots and pans can have delicious results.
Creator @masie.zinszer shows Misen Kitchen pans in action
Gyms are closed, which means home is the new fitness center. Fitness app Sworkit shows how @glamjessxo is adapting to stay fit while staying home with their selection of workouts that can be customized to a user’s preferences.
Creator @glamjessxo shows the Sworkit app in action
Nights “out” look a little different right now, but Atoz Wineworks partnered with creator @caitpatton to show that something as simple as charcuterie and wine al fresco can feel just as special and fun. This post does a good job of providing an easy way to “treat yourself” from home.
Creator @caitpatton shows how she’s enjoying Atoz Wineworks from home
Sure, travel is a no-go right now. But that doesn’t mean it will be forever. Arctic Zone coolers teamed up with creator @stevestrehl to inspire future trips and treks and to help people get prepared for when they can get back on the road with friends.
Creator @stevestrehl helps people plan for future trips with Arctic Zone
With a roster of influential athlete partners already on board, surf and watersport brand Body Glove is able to leverage throwback content with these creators during the pandemic. Olympic surfer @tatiwest shared this image with the simple caption ‘missing this’, which her audience can likely relate with.
Athlete @tatiwest shows Body Glove products in use pre-quarantine
Creator @thesaltyblonde shared a snarky caption and gets real about what stay-at-home fashion looks like for her right now in partnership with loungewear from She the Seeker. The fact that sweatpants are “date night attire” is relatable for most right now.
Creator @thesaltyblonde shows her sweatpant date night attire from She the Seeker
Vacations in far-flung locations aren’t on the table right now, so home goods retailer Frontgate teamed up with creators like @ashleybrooke to show people how they can transform their yards and outdoor living spaces into a spot to relax and unwind. Plus: They’ve incentivized engagement with a giveaway for a backyard makeover. The copy of this post is timely, relevant, and mindful of shoppers’ current mindset and pain points.
Creator @ashleybrooke worked with Frontgate to promote a backyard oasis giveaway
Runners stuck indoors during the pandemic need creative ways to exercise, so HOKA ONE ONE leveraged its influential athlete partner @runboulet to share some creative ways people can do cardio workouts at home. This short video showed her using items she already had at home to get in some activity during breaks from work.
Athlete @runboulet shows her inventive home workout setup in partnership with HOKA ONE ONE
As big brands like Samuel Adams lean into efforts that give back to struggling partners during COVID-19, spotlighting those efforts through influencer partners helps spread the word about their goodwill in a non-salesy way. By partnering with creator @atasteofkoko, Samuel Adams got to talk about how they’re giving back to restaurant workers across 20 states.
Creator @atasteofkoko partnered with Samuel Adams to talk about their charitable efforts
Shopping center U Village got creative with creator @hellorigby: Using pre-lockdown content, they had her take followers on a virtual shopping excursion highlighting some of her favorite U Village stores (all from the safety of home.) Along with this post in the feed, her Instagram story showed highlights of the virtual outing.
Creator @hellorigby took followers on a virtual shopping trip through U Village
Another brand strategically leveraging athlete influencers is Camelback, who partnered with Olympian Aisha Praught-Leer for an Instagram Live story via @believeintherun. This gave viewers the rare chance to learn firsthand from a professional and get tips on training, hydration, nutrition and more--all while staying safe at home.
Camelback hosted a special Instagram Live with @believeintherun and Olympian Aisha Praught-Leer.
Glossier is known for being a highly customer-centric brand--so it makes sense they’re using this time to spotlight what customers are doing while social distancing. They leveraged user-generated creator content from @ronanksm to show her crafty side (and showcased a new Glossier product in there, too.)
While fashion lovers can’t go out and try on clothing in-stores, brands like Thrills are partnering with creators to re-create the try-on and styling experience virtually via Instagram video. By partnering with @theriseofshe.creative, they’re able to showcase different looks for their products with rich visual content that inspires people to buy online while stores are closed.
Creator Kirby of @theriseofshe.creative did an Instagram video for Thrills to show different looks featuring their clothing items
To help its gym-loving audience get creative with at-home workouts, athletic brand Gymshark is partnering with creators like @whittneyysimmons to provide full-body workout videos (that also show their product in action.) This is a great way to continue to provide value with content that educates and resonates with the target audience.
Creator @whittneyysimmons teams up with Gymshark for workout videos
Creator @Jessmvaldes does a demonstration video of how that dewy, day at the beach glow can be accomplished even while you’re staying in. Not only does this show watchers how to use the product, but it speaks to step-by-step application that removes some of the intimidation factor around trying new beauty products.
Creator @Jessmvaldes does a beauty video how-to for ILIA Beauty
Another brand leaning into the ‘healthy at home’ message is Pukka Herbs, who partnered with @veggiekins to talk about how their tea products are a smart choice when searching for an easy way to get a quick immune system boost. The creator’s stamp of approval is a strong form of social proof for shoppers looking for these types of products.
Creator @veggiekins touts Pukka Herbs tea for healthy habits
Even though people are staying at home--who says you can’t look good doing it? Luxury shoe retailer M. Gemi worked with creator @ashleybrooke to show how a backyard date night is a good reason to get a little fancy. Plus: A $60 coupon code encourages people to pick up a pair for themselves.
Creator @Ashleybrooke shared a coupon code to use on the M. Gemi shoes she featured
So why are these brands using creators right now for influencer marketing? There are a few important benefits:
During the current context, creators are one of the best, most efficient ways to develop content that’s relevant, timely, and speaks to what’s happening right now. Think about how they could fit into your channel mix.
Consumer habits and food and beverage trends are always on the move, making it hard to know what messaging will reach consumers. We've taken the work off your plate and researched this for you.
In the 1980s, we saw the power of popular culture and its effect on brands’ bottom lines as it dominated American consciousness. So let’s look at some of the most noteworthy marketing campaigns that joined high-impact 1980s celebrities with creative marketing campaigns, shall we?
The report touches on how #paid is serving customers: the features they love, how we stack up against the competition, and where we’re focused on improving so we continue to create dream matches between brands and creators