Influencer marketing, a once rare and novel marketing tactic, has now become ineffective as the stone-aged banner ad. Why? Because consumers are sick of it.
Unlike banner ads, which continued to bait consumers for a long time, when it comes to influencer marketing, consumers have wisened up on many levels.
As such, brands looking to create authentic connections for their customers must reassess how they use influencer marketing to drive engagement and growth.
The pandemic has changed what people value, how they shop, and how they consume content
Consumers’ wants and needs have undergone a sea change, inadvertently creating the need for innovative and meaningful ways of shopping, quite frankly.
While things such as self-care and sustainability have become more important in consumers’ decision-making, the way brands and marketers introduce new products has also changed. Quality now matters more than quantity.
With more consumers turning to new platforms such as TikTok to discover and shop for new products, the need to produce authentic content is more critical than curating and creating aesthetically pleasing content. In other words, perfection is overrated.
Macroeconomic shifts have forced people to rethink their spending once again
Inflation and what we now believe to be a recession is pushing consumers to rethink their priorities, values, and spending.
Budgeting is very much top of mind for consumers, which is pushing them to be mindful about how and where they spend their dollars. Consumers are no longer so keen on spending their dollars with brands that are dishing out big bucks to host influencer events. Why? Because not only are consumers putting more thought into how their money is being spent, but the current influencer approach to advertising is simply not jiving with them anymore.
A good question to ask as a brand, are sponsored influencer brands sitting well with your target audience, especially if they’re essentially funding these events through their purchases? The same question can be asked about obnoxious PR gifting.
The need for marketing transparency may not be as great as it seems
Consumers have become so fatigued with mundane influencer ads highlighting new products that the concept is no longer novel. One major reason behind this is marketing has become more transparent nowadays. Influencers must now indicate when a post is sponsored with a label or tag. Unfortunately, once the label is spotted, consumers often rush to skip over and scroll over to the next post because the post is no longer deemed authentic and is just a way to get paid.
Moreover, influencers are no longer being as creative with their sponsorship opportunities. They are increasingly limiting themselves to creating content that shows them using sponsored products in their everyday lives to make the post seem more authentic. They rarely go beyond that concept and produce innovative content that is out of the ordinary.
How influencer marketing can thrive again
For influencer marketing to truly make a comeback, brands, marketers and influencers are going to have to go back to the drawing board and think more creatively.
Incorporating a product into an influencer’s daily routine doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of creating meaningful content these days. It’s overdone, overplayed… whatever you want to call it. It is just dead.
Consumers want to understand a brand’s purpose, if they align with their values and if their products are actually worth buying. They also want to see brands showing up on channels they frequent the most — that could be Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram. But more importantly, they want the content to be shown in an authentic way that makes sense to them.
At the end of the day, consumers want to associate with brands that truly get them. They want nothing to do with brands that are still doing influencer marketing the old, curated, and un-novel way.