Keeping up with young consumers – influencer fatigue?

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Influencer marketing has been a huge trend over the last few years. In August, it was reported that Estée Lauder had committed 75% of its Advertising Budget to Influencers. However, there has been some recent controversy over collaborations between brands and influencers, and it’s been reported that consumers are becoming disengaged from influencer marketing…

Those of you who came to our conference, ‘The Future of Our Industry’, in May will remember that we had 2 popular MI influencers on panels discussing how bricks and mortar stores will be relevant to the customer purchase journey of the future, and debating the disconnect between the 80% of the population that claim they aspire to play a musical instrument, and the lack of diversity in our industry. It was agreed that influencer marketing was a great way to grow your business and customer base.

However, customers now feel that they can’t trust much of what influencers say; consumers are asking whether influencers REALLY care about the brand or the product, or whether they’re just promoting things for the money that they will receive for doing so. Amazing how quickly trends can change!

Here’s an extract from the article Influencer Fatigue: Paid Influencers Are Out and Brand Communities Are In published by Forbes:

“Consumers, especially younger ones, are losing trust in paid influencers and looking instead to organic grassroots communities where their like-minded peers are sharing content and commentary about brands and products they actually love. Savvy retailers and brands are evolving their influencer marketing to meet consumers’ changing expectations and looking for more authentic engagement models that tap the true voice of consumers to unearth new insights they can use to develop new products and boost engagement and sales.”

Your customers may be gravitating towards online communities where people share posts, images, photos and reviews about the products and brands that they love. They want to be influenced by authentic content provided by people that they trust.

So, how can your brand or retailer tap into this?

This is a new opportunities for you to connect with your existing customers who genuinely love your products. Identify your biggest fans! Spark meaningful conversation with them, make them feel special and invite those fans to have some kind of official relationship with your brand or retailer.

These fans are your ‘authentic advocates’ and they will help you to drive engagement. You shouldn’t be paying these people, and although you can make suggestions, you shouldn’t control what they post; they need to use their individual, unique voice, as that’s their appeal to other potential customers.

Why not have a look at your Social Media followers, could you build a community that works to your advantage?

For more thoughts on brand communities, check out the Forbes article, which is a very interesting interview with Amber Atherton, CEO at US company Zyper; a community marketing platform that connects brands with the top 1% of their superfans: www.forbes.com/ influencer-fatigue-paid-influencers-are-out-and-brand-communities-are-in