What you need to know

Influencers are a part of multicultural young adults’ entertainment as well as an information source for exposure to new ideas and trends, as well as products and services. Influencers have a greater impact on their followers over traditional advertising because influencers are routinely transparent with their thoughts across interests and social issues, as well as opinions about products and services. Multicultural young adults tend to have a base level of engagement with influencers and their engagement level with brands hinges on their belief that an influencer is delivering an honest recommendation rather than just acting as a paid spokesperson.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on multicultural young adult consumer behavior and influencer marketing

  • Perceptions of influencers’ authenticity in comparison to traditional advertising during the pandemic

  • Young adults’ preference for relatable influencers across race, ethnicity and areas of interests

  • Motivations among multicultural young adults to engage with influencers beyond “likes”

Consumer research was fielded in July 2020 and reflects multicultural young adults’ attitudes and behaviors toward influencer marketing as the country continued to reemerge from COVID-19.


For the purposes of this Report, “multicultural” refers to adults who identify as Asian, Black, Hispanic or Other (non-White); “young adults” refers to adults aged 18-34. This Report includes special consumer sample sizes:

  • 400 Asian adults aged 18-34

  • 400 Black adults aged 18-34

  • 400 Hispanic adults aged 18-34 (any race)

  • 200 Other (non-White) adults aged 18-34

  • 400 White, non-Hispanic adults aged 18-34 are also included for comparative purposes

An Influencer is defined as a person or social media account that has a following beyond their personal network. An influencer can also be referred to as an “internet celebrity.”

A Follower is defined as a person who follows influencers on social media, a blog or some other media platform (eg including blogs, chat rooms).

COVID-19: Market context

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic; on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US. 

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, and nonessential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations. As a result of COVID-19, influencers were in a holding pattern while marketers determined next steps during lockdown. At the time of writing, all 50 states have relaxed restrictions, allowing businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. However, a resurgence of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans, which will continue to have an effect on influencers, especially for the promotion for in-person experiences.

Economic and other assumptions

Mintel’s economic assumptions are based on the updated forecasts released by the CBO on July 2, 2020. The CBO expects US GDP to fall by 5.8% in 2020 and recover to 4.0% growth in 2021. The CBO projects the unemployment rate to average 10.6% for the year, with an 8.4% rate for 2021. The current uncertainty means there is wide variation in the forecasts.

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