Influencer Marketing: The Ideal Recession-Proof Tactic

According to the official definition of ‘recession’,the U.S. has been in a recession since Summer 2022 with two consecutive quarters of a fall in GDP. Even the social giants like Meta arereporting their first revenue drop in history as advertisers are either reallocating or reducing budgets that would have otherwise gone into self-promotion. 

Within these times of rough economic growth, several industries both directly and indirectly suffer from reduced department budgets and an increased necessity for risk & liability management. Brands are looking to safely invest their marketing dollars into cost-efficient programs that provide well-performing CPx metrics, as well as capitalize on earned media tactics that have unmatched added value to these types of campaigns. 

Since the boom of the influencer marketing industry, marketers have established the value of these programs that expands beyond connecting a relatable face to a product or service. In many cases, influencers are effectively serving multiple roles by acting as a brand ambassador to showcase content to their own audience, utilizing their expertise in content production to make amazing assets, and in-turn providing content for the brand to repurpose. 

There’s a reason that the influencer marketing industry not only survived, but thrived during COVID and has more than doubled in value since 2019 to $16.4B in 2022. It’s been proven that economic hardships are not tied to the growth of the influencer industry, and we can expect similar results in this current recession. When looking at the ‘why’ around the industry growth during these rough times, we can point to a view overarching factors: 

  • Social platforms are constantly making advancements in their Influencer Content tools, allowing for Influencers to flourish and create loads of content 
  • Consumers are loyal to the influencers that they follow, uncovering a hidden earned media opportunity of brand loyalty that isn’t generated through brand-generated content 
  • Influencers know how to connect with audiences and get views through creativity and keeping up with trends, allowing for an increased chance of virality on branded content 

As a result, brands that are affected by the recession are looking to influencers for their marketing programs to remain cost-efficient, while still getting the quality and quantity of content they need to succeed on the marketing side of things.

These brands acknowledge that influencers: 

  • Are typically 10x more cost-effective than internal/agency video production teams 
  • Have huge audiences and most are much more cost-effective compared to typical digital publishers and news outlets 
  • Provide a whitelisting opportunity for their posts where they can be exponentially scaled with cost-effective, optimized paid media solutions 

As we see with anything bought in bulk, long-term ambassadorships often will provide the highest value and even generate creative possibilities in terms of how brands and Influencers can collaborate. In recent brand surveys across the industry, 40%-80% of marketers stated that influencer-generated assets performed the same or better than their brand-owned content. 

Regardless if the recession ends quickly or not, any influencer content generated will be evergreen and will provide value as long as it stays up on the influencer’s social channels. It’s the safe investment that brands can be confident in as we all power through the uncertainty of the length and impact of this recession.