Influencers and micro-influencers have been taking social media by storm for years. We’ve all seen the videos of an enthusiastic social media icon unboxing toys, reviewing products, or even giving their own take on current events – expertise be damned! Influencers have proven their ability to shower a business in awareness with their audience, but how valuable is it really?
There’s been a shift in the way consumers use social media – namely on Instagram. Now more than ever, people want to dig behind the online facade to see the real people behind the captions, hashtags, and sponsored content. Influencers like Emma Chamberlain have pioneered what’s known as “casual Insta”, which is, well, exactly what it sounds like. Instead of the perfectly framed avocado toast and yoga pics, Instagram users are shifting over to posting more relatable and imperfect content.
After everything that’s happened over the past few years in the digital world, people are tired of being sold to on what they should want and where they should spend their money. For the most part, they are going to social media for entertainment and escape.
So will this spell the death of Influencer Marketing? Yes, in the way it has worked for the past few years.
So, what comes next for Influencer Marketing?
With any luck, we’ll stop seeing videos that start with, “Hey Guys!…”
The truth is no one knows. Relatability is back in style, a new breed of influencer has evolved: the genuinfluencer. Genuinfluencers are sort of like influencers, but their motivations tend to revolve around education, as opposed to engagement.
“Genuinfluencers are less interested in promoting products, and more interested in spreading ideas and truth,” says Evy Lyons, VP of marketing at influencer-marketing platform Traackr.
For brands that have been leaning heavily on Influencer Marketing, expect to see diminishing returns on what has worked in the past. Focus your marketing dollars on reaching your audience still, but center your campaign on showcasing the value your brand provides – how do you make their life better? Educate them.
So, while the era of unboxing videos, ads, disingenuous content may be coming to an end, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for education-oriented social media celebs.