Over the past few years, where social media has played a significant role in shaping our lives, influence has become a buzzword. It has transformed the way we communicate, consume information, and interact with the world around us.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular and effective way for businesses to reach new audiences. With the rise of social media, influencers have gained large followings by creating content that resonates with individuals who begin to follow the creator on social platforms. By partnering with influencers, businesses of all sizes have been granted access to these engaged audiences to promote their products and services in a more authentic and personal way than running an ad. As referrals and word of mouth marketing continue to top the list of reasons why a person would buy, influencer marketing has proven effective.
The Problem with Influencer Marketing
However, with the rise of influencer marketing comes a rise in issues such as fake followers, fake engagement, and inauthentic content. Some influencers have resorted to buying fake followers in order to boost their number of followers and attract more brand partnerships. Others have created content that is not in line with their true values or beliefs for a paycheck - posting videos of using a product they have never actually used or promoting clothing they would never actually wear themselves.
This growing problem has led to a need for a new approach to influencer marketing - one that promotes authenticity and transparency. Introducing the trend of "de-influencing."
Yes, “Deinfluencing" - the newest trend on TikTok, seems to be a reaction to the pervasive influence of social media influencers, who often promote products and services that they have been paid to endorse without disclosing any negative aspects.
This trend may have emerged due to a growing awareness of the negative effects that influencer culture can have on mental health, body image, and consumer behavior. Influencers who promote products and lifestyles that are unrealistic or unattainable can create feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, or FOMO (fear of missing out) in their followers, leading to unhealthy behaviors and habits.
What is Deinfluencing?
Deinfluencing encourages influencers to share their unbiased, honest opinions about products or services that they have tried but did not like whether because the product was bad, or simply not worth the money. They might also suggest alternative products or services that they found to be better, or even encourage their followers to think critically and make their own decisions rather than blindly follow their recommendations.
Although the name “Deinfluencing” could be interpreted as “un-influencing”, it is actually proving even further the power that influencers have over their followers’ purchasing decisions. By providing unbiased, honest feedback, these influencers are able to connect with their followers in a more genuine, trustworthy, and authentic way, which can lead to a stronger, more loyal, and more engaged audience.
The de-influencing trend is becoming increasingly popular on TikTok, with over 275 million views under the hashtag as of March 1. The impact of influencers on purchasing decisions is significant, with 44% of Gen Z's purchases influenced by social media influencers. However, many TikTok users complain that the app is causing them to overspend and overconsume. De-influencing helps users watch their spending habits and encourages them to distinguish between needs and wants, as well as assess the true value of a product.
Effects of Deinflucing on Influencer Marketing
While many are still hearing the term “deinfluencing” for the first time, it’s already begun to have an effect on the social media marketing industry. Brands who already have smaller marketing budgets this year due to inflation, the economy, low profit margins, layoffs, and more are refocusing efforts and aiming to only work with genuine and passionate influencers who create authentic content that is engaging for their followers.
Influencers are now judging potential influencer partners on their brand and messaging rather than just follower count and aesthetics. Followers are unfollowing influencers and content creators they think are fake or inauthentic, and even calling out their inauthenticity in the comments section.
Further, products that promote sustainability and less consumerism such as reusables or upcycled products are seeing more traction in the form of social posts as well.
The Rise and Importance of Authenticity in Influencer Marketing
The rise of authenticity in marketing has been a defining trend in recent years, and it is not difficult to see why. Consumers today are more skeptical and discerning than ever before, and they have grown tired of being bombarded with inauthentic, manipulative marketing tactics. As a result, many businesses are turning to authenticity as a key differentiator in their marketing strategies.
Authenticity matters for businesses because it is a way to build trust and loyalty with customers. When a business is authentic, it is transparent about its values, beliefs, and practices. This transparency fosters trust and helps customers feel more connected to the brand. Authenticity can also help businesses stand out in a crowded marketplace. By being true to themselves and their values, businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors and appeal to customers who share those same values.
Authenticity also matters for consumers because it helps them make informed purchasing decisions. When a business is authentic, it is more likely to be transparent about the quality and value of its products or services. This transparency allows consumers to make informed decisions about whether or not a product is right for them. Authenticity also allows consumers to feel good about the purchases they make, knowing that they are supporting a business that aligns with their values.
How Deinfluencing Promotes Authenticity in Marketing
Deinfluencing promotes authenticity in marketing by encouraging businesses to work with influencers who are genuinely passionate about their products or services. By prioritizing the quality of content over the number of followers, businesses can ensure that their partnerships are based on authenticity rather than manipulation. This approach helps to build trust with customers and fosters a sense of connection between the influencer, the business, and the consumer.
Deinfluencing also encourages transparency and honesty in marketing. By disclosing sponsored content and being clear about the nature of the partnership, businesses can build trust with their audience and ensure that their partnerships are based on authenticity rather than manipulation. This transparency also allows consumers to make informed decisions about whether or not a product is right for them.
Further, deinfluencing is encouraging more content creators to share their honest opinions about a product in order to not seem fake or inauthentic and lose followers. Many creators are turning to tools like Baoshoppe to help them on this quest to be more authentic. Baoshoppe pays creators for posting honest reviews and the traffic they bring in with their reviews of products and offers creators brand partnerships with companies who want honest reviews of their products, allowing the influencers to be more honest in the content they put out.
How Can Businesses Use the Deinfluencing Trend in Their Marketing Strategy?
There are several strategies that businesses can use to implement deinfluencing in their marketing campaigns. These strategies focus on fostering authenticity, transparency, and genuine engagement between businesses, influencers, and their followers. Some of the key deinfluencing strategies are:
Authenticity over follower count: Rather than prioritizing the number of followers an influencer has, businesses should focus on working with influencers who are genuinely passionate about their products or services. This means carefully selecting influencers who align with a brand's values and messaging, and who are able to create content that is both authentic and in line with their true beliefs.
Disclosure and transparency: It is essential that businesses disclose sponsored content and be clear about the nature of the partnership. This transparency helps build trust with the audience and ensures that partnerships are based on authenticity rather than manipulation.
Encouraging Honesty: While you would not want to incentivize an influencer partner to completely trash your products, brands can position themselves to be seen in a more positive light if they have influencers and reviewers mention a few things they didn’t love about the product. No product is perfect. If sizes run big, it’s okay for your creators to mention it. Don’t be scared to try a little honesty in your marketing. An easy way to do this is to sign up to be a Baoshoppe brand.
Focus on engagement: Instead of simply promoting products or services, businesses should focus on building relationships with followers. This means fostering genuine engagement between influencers and their followers, and creating a community of loyal followers who are more likely to trust and engage with their content.
Testimonials and user-generated content: Instead of relying solely on influencers, businesses should encourage user-generated content and testimonials from satisfied customers. This can help build trust and authenticity around the product or service, and provide a more balanced view of the brand.
Targeted marketing: Deinfluencing encourages businesses to target their marketing efforts towards specific audiences rather than trying to appeal to everyone. By identifying target audiences and understanding their needs, businesses can create more authentic and personalized marketing campaigns that resonate with their audience.
Consistent brand messaging: Deinfluencing emphasizes the importance of consistent brand messaging across all channels and platforms. By ensuring that messaging is cohesive and consistent, businesses can build trust and authenticity with their audience and create a more unified brand identity.
Deinfluencing is just the start of a movement for a growing desire for more genuine and authentic interactions on social media. Brands and influencers who embrace this trend may be better positioned to build long-term relationships with their followers.
Overall, deinfluencing is a way for consumers to take back some control over the products and services they use, and to promote transparency and honesty in influencer marketing.