The coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe has upended life — both personally and professionally — for just about everyone, and that includes creators working in the influencer marketing ecosystem. While many have said their revenue streams are drying up as brands shift focus and pull back on their near-term budgets, it’s also presented an opportunity for influencers to use their creativity and reach for social good. 

Even the United Nations has recognized this, and on March 26, issued an ‘Open Brief to encourage creatives everywhere to “help spread public health messages in ways which will be effective, accessible, and shareable.” 

The explosive growth of influencer marketing has brought with it questions about efficacy and the true financial value of digital engagement. But perhaps awareness — vs. dollars and other measures of ROI in the creator economy — is the key metric here. Awareness can save lives. And right now, influencers everywhere have an opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than themselves. 

To this end, CreatorIQ, an influencer platform that helps companies run branded campaigns with influencers, examined creator activity around COVID-19 hashtags and posts on Instagram to uncover a number trends. First, some stats: Overall interactions on influencer posts about the coronavirus have surpassed 2.9 billion, with over 800,000 total posts about the crisis being deployed since January. There have been more than 480,000 posts sharing safety and PSA information about the coronavirus since January, and the interactions on these posts by digital creators has passed 1.5 billion.

Top hashtags as of March 31 likely don’t come as much of a surprise: #coronavirus (466,000 posts, 1.9 billion interactions), #covid19 (219,000 posts, 684 million interactions), and #covid (88,000 posts, 284 million interactions). But, looking specifically at the top posts, #stayhome has appeared in 173,000 posts with 512 million interactions, followed by #who (which refers to the World Health Organization, with 133,000 posts and 635 million interactions), #staysafe (83,000 posts, 232.1 million interactions), and #socialdistancing (81,000 posts, 147.3 million interactions). 

While it may be obvious that the most-used hashtags are the virus’ various monikers, the fact that the top hashtags of the top posts are calls to action is a meaningful nugget. Creators are making it clear what their audiences should do — stay at home and practice social distancing. And, engagement-wise, it’s resonating. 

Here’s a look at some of the most engaged-with posts from creators and celebrities we’ve seen so far: 

Cristiano Ronaldo received a 3.52% engagement rate on this post, above his average engagement rate of 3.12%

Selena Gomez shared a #SafeHands video that’s received an engagement rate of 3.18%.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-A3PkSDOoU/

Brazilian footballer Neymar’s video got a 1.97% engagement rate, above his average of 1.48%.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B97_T7GAc10/

Even more impressive is creator @dudewithsign, who partnered with Instagram and WHO for a humorous post that received a whopping 35.99% engagement rate — 31% higher than his typical posts.

Finally, internet personality Lele Pons showed how you can have a dance party with your friends while social distancing; it received a 4.54% engagement rate. 

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