Influencers and e-commerce
Traditional influencer marketing is associated with the glitz and glamour of celebrity lifestyles, but increasingly, the real power of influencer marketing lies in authenticity. Consumers today aren’t interested in unattainable lifestyles, holidays or even products.
They want to follow real people who share their values and interests and who create meaningful and entertaining content that speaks directly to them. The result is that authentic content that resonates with individuals is taking centre stage, and more and more, it’s influencing the way people shop online. After all, what can be more authentic than a micro or nano influencer offering unfiltered insights into their purchasing decisions and preferences?
Seth Godin says, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” The challenge is that it’s very difficult for a brand to tell a story – brands need people to do that for them.
Let’s put what this looks like online into context. Gen Z’s are almost as likely to follow influencers as brands, followed closely by Millennials. More importantly, the influencers they are predominantly following are not celebrities – they’re role models. They are people who have a wide variety of interests, from wildlife photography and triathlons to personal health and wellness. They share their DIY interests and where they are volunteering. They are individuals who like learning new skills, challenging themselves, and contributing to their communities, and the experiences, tips and insights that they share with their followers aren’t just influencing how the next generation thinks, but shaping how they choose and consume brands.
There’s enormous value in being real. A model eating a fast-food burger is the opposite of authentic – few followers, if any, would believe that fast food takeaways are her go-to lunch choice. On the other hand, a mother sharing her experiences with a new baby food brand is extremely authentic. At its core, marketing is driven by trust, not the number of followers a person has on Instagram or Facebook, which is why content matters.
A study by Twitter highlights just how much of an impact influencers have on consumer behaviour: 49% of people said they rely on influencer recommendations when it comes to making purchase decisions, and 40% admitted that they’ve bought an item from an online store after seeing an influencer using it on Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.