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How much Instagram influencers stand to lose because of the pandemic

Tilda Malinson
Avrielle Suleiman/Unsplash

Since the cybersphere is one of the few places coronavirus cannot enter, you may think influencers are thriving. But even the social media stars are feeling the economic impact.

New research reveals Instagram influencers are losing 33 per cent of potential earnings as a result of the pandemic.

Digital agency Attain analysed over 500 Instagram influencers — from "small" fish to celebrity icons — and found 66 per cent of influencers were publishing less sponsored content than this time last year.

Over 10 per cent lost their earnings completely.


Why are influencers losing their incomes?

Within our highly interwoven economic ecosystem, advertising plays a key role. Marketing revenue makes up a big percentage of revenue for many and right now, advertisers are pulling out.

With many jobs compromised by lockdown, consumer confidence is at an extreme low. When people do not have the cash to spend, advertisers are unlikely to throw a lot of money in order to tempt them to do so.

Some influencers are also physically unable to shoot their content during lockdown, for example, travel influencers, who have been the worst affected.

"As travel writers and photographers, the lockdown has had a substantial impact on our earnings since we cannot safely participate in and complete our travel assignments," said the couple behind the travel Instagram account Romaroo. "All of our jobs have been postponed until later in the year to ensure safety."

Engagement on their Instagram has increased by 10 per cent, however.

"The content that has received the most positive feedback is when we are open and honest about the situation at hand — the impact it has on mental health, the uncertainty all of us have, the stress that we all feel, while also maintaining hope and positivity for the future," the couple said.

How much is coronavirus costing influencers?

From March to May 2020, Influencers may have lost an average of £2,934 per week on potential income, compared to the same period in 2019. That is over a third of what they could hope to earn.

By contrast, one-quarter of influencers landed more sponsorship deals than last year.

Kendall Jenner has posted zero Instagram ads since lockdown began, missing out on a potential £2 million.

How much do influencers earn?

Within the research group — which spanned from micro-influencers to Kardashians ​— every follower was found to be worth an average of £0.00313.

Accounts with 300,000 followers can therefore charge £1,000 for a paid partnership ad, and accounts counting hundreds of millions of followers can rake in £1 million with just four posts.

(Attain/Laura Lockdown)

This means if some increase their following during lockdown, they may be able to charge more in future.