Influencers have become a short cut for marketers looking for a hotline to an audience at a reasonable price. But influencers are always a gamble and a short term fix, and now even Accenture Song is admitting that the current “flashy” crop may not be the best bet.
This year’s Love Island is finishing up, and contestants look less likely to be in for a big payday than in recent years: a million less people watched the first episode, and previous winner Ekin-Su is suing fast fashion company Oh Polly for dumping her.
Accenture’s research shows that the cost of living crisis has been a turning point in influencer content and smashed through the façade of the perfect life. Now that we are all strapped for cash, the flippant “TikTok made me buy it” joke isn’t so funny anymore.
For brands, this means a rethink on social media, especially when 24% of 25-34 year olds are unfollowing accounts because they are out of touch with real life. Not surprisingly, the popular content now offers practical tips on saving money, budgeting, and where to find “dupes” (cheaper alternatives to branded products).
Accenture Song points to the “deinfluencer” trend as the way forward, although isn’t this really just another way of proving your “authenticity” to your audience? In which case, we are back where we started: approved influencers can charge even more, while the rubbish ones will still be there on the margins for lazy brands to work with.
ECD creative director at Accenture Song, said: “This year has signalled an even bigger shift towards a willingness to call out polished content and unrealistic lifestyles, especially against the backdrop of trying times. It has prompted a much-needed reassessment of the social and influencer landscape and put values front and centre once again for brands.”
In terms of deinfluencer content, more than half (51%) of marketers expressed concern about how deinfluencing could impact their brand, and 53% have altered plans or campaign activity as a result. More than two fifths (44%) of marketers polled even said they think deinfluencing is a good thing and gives all brands a fairer playing field.
The message is that social media is pretty shallow and trends come and go, but brands will keep striving to find ways to make it work for them.