This was our personal project to generate some positivity: by Influencing The Curve. Our mission was simple: leverage our relationships to create an army of brands, organizations, and influencers who were committed to helping people weather the pandemic. We did this by sharing accurate information and offering tips via high-impact content. This content was so beautifully designed, other people couldn’t help but share it.
So, we used a three-prong approach. First, our content team kept up with news and developments and did frequent research to create content around COVID-19 stats and facts, as we understood more and more about the virus and how it worked. Our illustrator then took that info and made colorful graphics we could share on social media.
Second, our account managers contacted hundreds of influencers to see if we could get some of them to make content – for free – for the campaign. We wanted them to talk about their experiences – sheltering in place, or working in the medical profession, or keeping the kids busy, or whatever their reality was. We knew that being able to share real stories from real people would help others feel less isolated, less afraid, and less helpless.
Third, we got permission to repost and share content from other Instagrammers. We focused as much on sharing the real stories of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their families and communities as we did on sharing data. We wanted to use Instagram as an info-to-inspo hub where people could participate in the campaign to share their own information, or just to get inspired by some of the cool things they saw.
In April of 2020, we began reaching out to our wide network of influencers through The Shelf platform (that’s half a million social media users) to ask them for one thing: share how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their lives, and what they’re doing to cope, stay safe, and even thrive in the midst of global uncertainty. We were pleasantly surprised by people’s willingness to participate, and ended up with an incredible amount of influencers offering support, relief, and a sense of unity during a very scary time. Because so much was crammed into 2020, #InfluencingTheCurve spread its arms out to other causes like Black Lives Matter and encouraging people to vote during the election.
The Big, Beautiful Highlights
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, most of us had never lived through a global pandemic, and like many businesses that were deemed non-essential, we had a noticeable downturn in business. So, we did what we do best – we pivoted and we ran an influencer campaign. 😉
Influencing the Curve was born. Our original idea was to find a brand that would allow us to do a pro-bono campaign to help make a difference, but then we realized we had all the tools we needed to launch something ourselves. We came up with a branded hashtag #️⃣ that we knew would be memorable for our community, and used The Shelf influencer platform to reach out to nearly 17,000 influencers in March and April of 2020.
During the months of April, June, and May, we connected with about 8% of influencers we reached out to, and to be honest, 1,000 of them had nothing nice to say. 😬 Still, we were able to get more than 250 influencers to commit to sharing their stories about the effects of COVID-19.
Through the life of #InfluencingTheCurve, we spoke with hundreds of people from all over, with diverse races and backgrounds, who had stories to share. We included nurses sharing what it was like on the frontlines, police wives afraid of what could happen to their spouses, moms to immunocompromised kiddos who couldn’t leave the house (like, at all), and even some who never got the chance to say goodbye to family members who were suddenly taken by this deadly virus.
COVID-19 has taken a toll on all of us. Members of The Shelf team lost family and friends. So, this campaign was an emotional effort for our entire team and impacted those who followed our page. ❤️
While we were thrilled to have such strong support from the influencers we’ve worked with for years, we were shocked and pleasantly surprised when we started getting tagged in COVID-19 content from people we’d never met. Further to this, #InfluencingTheCurve was being used more and more by strangers to share their COVID-19 stories. The hashtag has been used almost 500 times now, and continues to be used somewhat regularly.
Connection In The Age Of COVID-19
When COVID-19 hit, everything came to a halt for a temporary but undetermined period of time. At one point, just hearing the news that one-third of the world population was on lockdown… and then one-half… was surreal. We were probably all feeling the weight of the uncertainty, the weight of feeling disconnected from their lives, and the weight of the rising number of lives lost.
As an influencer marketing agency, we saw it as our duty to do what we could with the resources we had. Our team dedicated themselves to daily research, posting stats, and dropping the resources we found onto our page that might help THE MOST people. We pushed for togetherness through reliable information, and into our #newnormal.
Healthcare Workers On The Line
There is no way out of a pandemic without our healthcare workers. While most of us were sheltering in place, doctors, nurses, EMTs, and the hundreds of other employees listed under this umbrella were fighting blindly in a dark battle. We were grateful that so many wanted to share their experiences and stories through #InfluencingTheCurve, and loved seeing the support flow in through comments and engagements – a small but impactful act of solidarity in a time like this.
Get Out And Vote!
The message was simple: vote. In what might have been the most important election in history, influencers pushed and pushed their audiences from their soap boxes to exercise their American duty, especially when those voting rights were in a questionable state. We vetted the information they shared on mail-in ballots and early voting, and always included the message to just go out and vote.
How We Contributed
We shared everything from quick online classes you could take to improve your skills, to simple stats on the growing COVID-19 case numbers. We wanted our infographics to be interactive (Show Us Your #COVIDGarden!), informative, and of course, aesthetically pleasing so that others would want to share it with their own audiences.
Black Lives Matter
The Black Lives Matter movement took center stage in the middle of the pandemic, so we absolutely wanted to include any posts, information, or resources that we possibly could to our audiences. We made it our jobs to be aware of the influencer industry’s diversity problem – and beyond that, to become a part of the solution.
We are a full service influencer agency creating meaningful stories, experiences, and content.
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