How "De-Influencing" Might Affect Influencer Marketing

In the ever-evolving world of social media marketing, trends come and go, shaping the way brands and influencers connect with their audiences. One such trend that has recently captured the attention of marketing professionals is the concept of "de-influencing."

What is De-Influencing Anyway?

Influencer marketing is a strategic approach that leverages the influence and reach of individuals with large and engaged social media followings to promote products, services, or brands. It involves collaborating with influencers who have built credibility and trust with their audience, allowing brands to tap into their influence to effectively communicate their message and connect with their target market.

Though it may be slightly lesser known than its big brother, the concept of "de-influencing" is starting to crop up on popular social media accounts across the globe. De-influencing represents a shift in the influencer landscape, as influencers themselves now encourage their followers to question their choices and steer clear of certain products. These 'de-influencers' utilize diverse tactics to discourage their followers from buying specific items. They may employ methods such as posting negative reviews of particular products or offering critical perspectives on the culture of overconsumption and influencer marketing.

Replying to @.sam_ross THIS MIGHT BE A HOT TAKE HAHA #fyp #deinfluencing #dior

♬ original sound - katie

What's The Big Deal About De-Influencing?

According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, the overwhelming abundance of sponsored influencer content has raised concerns among marketers about whether influencer marketing has reached its saturation point, despite generating over $16 billion in revenue in 2022.
The trending hashtag #deinfluencing on TikTok has garnered over 76 million views, igniting a wider discourse on excessive consumption. Within these videos, content creators candidly reveal their experiences with being influenced by TikTok, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful consideration to avoid succumbing to the allure of trendy products and ideas.

(some top videos of the #deinfluencing hashtag on tik tok)

In today's digital landscape, influencers are facing a growing need to exercise greater caution when it comes to promoting products. With social media audiences becoming more discerning and conscious about their purchasing decisions, influencers who endorse items that are perceived as harmful or wasteful are at risk of facing significant backlash from their followers. This backlash can result in a loss of credibility and trust, ultimately affecting their influence and brand partnerships. 
To maintain a positive reputation and continue to engage their audience effectively, influencers must approach product endorsements with careful consideration. By thoroughly vetting the products they promote, aligning with their audience's values, and fostering transparency, influencers can navigate the potential pitfalls of endorsement backlash and sustain meaningful connections with their followers.

De-influencing just another form of influencing?

De-influencing can be seen as a paradoxical phenomenon, with some arguing that it is another form of influencing. By countering established influences, de-influencers may inadvertently create new forms of influence and promote alternative ideologies. This complex nature of influence highlights the dynamic interplay between different perspectives, as de-influencing challenges existing power structures while potentially contributing to the formation of new ones.
Some people question whether de-influencers are paid by brands to attack their competitors. This suspicion arises from the belief that de-influencing campaigns could be a deliberate strategy used by companies to undermine rival brands. While there may be cases where de-influencers have hidden affiliations or ulterior motives, it is important to assess each situation individually and examine the evidence presented. It is necessary to approach de-influencing efforts with critical thinking, recognizing that not all de-influencers are driven by financial incentives or influenced by corporate interests.

What's Next For De-Influencing?

While influencer marketing is not becoming obsolete, companies will continue to seek partnerships with influencers who have a genuine connection to specific target audiences, and influencers themselves will continue to pursue lucrative deals. However, there is a growing sentiment among the audiences of these influencers that raises concerns about the concept of PR packages and freebies being given to individuals who do not genuinely require them. Although people may not entirely cease their discretionary spending, there is a developing sense of dissatisfaction among influencers' followers regarding the distribution of unnecessary perks.
Embracing the de-influencing trend presents brands with a valuable opportunity to collaborate more intelligently with influencers and establish stronger connections with their target audiences. To fully harness the potential of influencer marketing, the key has always been to forge enduring and genuine partnerships with authentic voices. The emergence of the de-influencing movement is potentially redirecting influencer marketing towards a path of significant growth. By aligning with this trend, brands can tap into a more effective and fruitful approach, enabling them to maximize the benefits of influencer collaborations and achieve greater gains.

Want to explore how you can make the most out of your influencer marketing strategy and learn about ways that de-influencing could impact your business? 

Our team at Random is here to guide you every step of the way! Send us a message below to get started.

A Guide to Influencer Marketing: The 5 Ws

When considering the world of Influencer Marketing, the process can seem daunting and make you second guess if it's worth the path not yet taken. That's why we're here, to help guide you on your influencer marketing journey. So buckle up, it's going to be an interesting ride!

What to Know About Influencer Marketing

Here's what you need to know about the current influencer marketing atmosphere before you dive in head first Influencer marketing involves the collaboration between a brand and an online ˜influencer' who partners to promote a product, service or experience..

Globally, there are currently between 3.2 million and 37.8 million influencers across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. These influencers can be categorized based on their size of following, industry, social platforms, and more. A common misunderstanding of influencer marketing is that the said influencer has to be a high-profile individual or celebrity. Surprise! There are all kinds and levels of influencers out there. 

To simplify it, here's a basic run-down used to classify influencers based on their follower count: 

Knowing where an influencer ranks on this list is important because it can affect multiple key aspects of your campaign goals (we'll get into that later).

Influencers can have a cross-platform influence, but there is usually one platform that they tend to dominate. In the earlier years of influencer marketing, YouTube was the go-to platform for influencers (ever heard of vlogs?). But as social media platforms grew and kept adding new features, influencers began to find followers on other channels. Here is a chart from Influencer Marketing Hub that shows the recent flux of channel utilization in the influencer world: 

We'll touch on one last bit of information we feel you need to know: the categorization of influencers. Just like we have our own fields, influencers have their own niche. Some like to cook, some are make-up gurus, and you may find yourself even watching someone golf on TikTok at some point in this journey. There are a plethora of categories that influencers can fall into. Check out some of these types of influencers from ViralMango

So now that you know the basics of influencer marketing, let's get into it.

Why Consider Influencer Marketing

It's no secret that the world of influencer marketing has grown immensely, and it has no intention of slowing down. Standing at $9.7 billion in 2020 to $16.4 billion in 2022, the growth in this industry can't be denied.

You may be asking yourself, but is this really something I need to be involved in? Here are a few stats that might help you understand why influencer marketing makes a difference: 

Convinced? Yeah, us too. Let's continue on to gain a further understanding of what it takes to incorporate an influencer into your campaign.

When to Consider an Influencer

Just because your friend's hiring an influencer, does that mean you should too? Influencer marketing can be a great way to see results in your next campaign when done right (the keyword here is done right). Two great reasons to use an influencer to supplement your campaign are when your campaign goals are to 1) elevate brand awareness and 2) increase sales.

  1. Elevate Brand Awareness
  1. Increase Sales

A prime example of a company utilizing influencers to both elevate brand awareness and increase sales is the fitness brand, Gymshark. From the beginning, Gymshark utilized its ˜athletes' to reach its target audience online and promote its products. 

Owner, Ben Francis, understood their target audience as it was anyone like himself “ a young gym-goer who not only loves going to the gym but wants to look good while doing it. Francis and his friends had the great idea to leverage the following of their favorite fitness YouTubers, Lex Griffin and Chris Lavado. They sent over some free clothing samples and the rest was history. Now, Gymshark has partnered with dozens of fitness influencers and athletes, since growing to a billion-dollar company.

Gymshark Athletes

Who is Right For You

It's important to really narrow down your ideal influencer when choosing one for your campaign. Here are some questions to keep in mind when searching for the right influencer for you:

Where to Find Your Influencers

So, you want to find an influencer. There are plenty of tools and resources for you to find just the right influencer for your campaign.

Hashtag Search Example

This first method is the simplest way to start: Google! Run a quick Google search for influencers or experts on your specific topic or industry. You can find a decent amount of influencers this way, especially if you're looking for one with a large following. 

Another way to find influencers is to do a hashtag search “ This can be useful mainly on Instagram and TikTok. Influencers will utilize specific hashtags tailored to their niche and audience, so this is a great way to weed through the giant field of influencers.

Check your own following! You might find an influencer hiding in your own follower number. Bonus points here if they're already following you; chances are they're interested in your brand and/or products which will make the partnership even easier to integrate for both parties. 

Use an online influencer-finding tool. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you find influencers. They allow you to refine your searches based on various factors that will help you really understand who can help elevate your campaign. If you want to skip the 'dirty' work of a Google search or social media platform, this is definitely the route for you. Here's a list of tools courtesy of Influencer Marketing Hub that will help you find the right influencer. 

We hope these 5 W's will help you ease into the world of influencer marketing. Need help? Good thing you're already here! We have a team that's versed in influencer marketing and ready to help you elevate your campaign. Contact us!