Influencer marketing today is the key strategy for all kinds of brands from beauty to fintech startups. At the same time, in the realm of digital consumerism, a new noteworthy trend called “deinfluencing” is taking shape.
Unlike the conventional role of influencers, who typically encourage product consumption (92% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations more than traditional advertising or celebrities endorsement), this emerging trend offers an alternative approach: guiding consumers on what they should avoid buying.
Deinfluencing provides a fresh perspective on consumption by urging individuals to think critically about their purchasing choices. It serves as a counterpoint to traditional influencer marketing, challenging consumers to make informed decisions rather than simply following popular trends.
We have talked with industry experts who work with content creators on a daily basis to find out how the deinfluencing trend affects the industry.
Pavel Beinia, CEO & Founder of BuzzGuru:
“The deinfluencing trend has compelled influencers to adapt their content and messaging to be relatable and honest, while brands are now seeking genuine and trustworthy influencers. Furthermore, this trend has emphasized the significance of ethical and responsible marketing practices, leading to increased scrutiny and regulation within the influencer marketing industry.”
Focusing on micro-influencers
The trend of deinfluencing, where consumers are becoming more skeptical of influencers’ recommendations, played a significant role in the brands’ shift towards micro-influencers. Why? Micro-influencers are those with a small – 10,000 to 100,000 – but highly engaged following, who usually cover specific areas like lifestyle, gaming, tech, travel, and other.
Micro-influencers have stronger connections with their audiences, and higher engagement rates compared to creators with larger audiences. Consumers are more likely to follow their recommendations, making this crucially important for brands. The deinfluencing trend undermines credibility of creators. The higher the credibility, the smaller the chance that the audience will stop trusting your brands simply because someone is deinfluencing it.
Besides, marketers admit that micro-influencers have a higher engagement rate in comparison with macro-influencers or celebrities, and collaborations with this type of creators help reach a targeted audience, generate authentic content, and drive engagement.
Pavel Beinia, CEO & Founder of BuzzGuru explains the popularity of micro-influencers:
“Deinfluecing trend has led to a decrease in sales for many companies who rely on influencers to promote their products, and has forced brands to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. Influencers, especially those with large followings, have faced scrutiny for promoting products solely for financial gain, which eroded trust.
In contrast, micro-influencers tend to have more genuine connections with their smaller but highly engaged audiences, making them perceived as more trustworthy and authentic by consumers.
Deinfluencing has emphasized the importance of niche-focused content that aligns with specific interests and values. That’s one of the reasons why the majority of brands – 77% – are turning to micro-influencers, who have a smaller but more engaged following, as they are seen as more authentic and trustworthy. Brands are exploring micro-influencer partnerships to build more direct connections with their audience. Furthermore, micro-influencers charge lower fees than larger influencers or celebrities, making influencer marketing more accessible for businesses with smaller budgets.”
New ways of engaging with new audiences
Despite challenging circumstances, industry players are always adept at finding ways to promote their products and services when new trends arise. The deinfluencing trend, fueled by concerns surrounding authenticity, transparency, and the commercialization of social media, has compelled brands to adopt.
Nadia Bubennikova, Head of Famesters Agency is sure that deinfluencing is just a new way of influencing:
“Deinfluencing is quite straightforward: this type of content started appearing actively on TikTok towards the end of last year, initially aiming to expose the paid relationships between influencers and brands or specific products. However, influencer marketing quickly adapted to this trend. As a result, most deinfluencing videos nowadays serve as a way to engage the audience for the subsequent video, which includes recommendations. Often, products are mentioned with referral links, promo codes, and other incentives to encourage sales.”
Aliza Naiman, Marketing Manager at Oglam Life, adds:
“It’s still not easy to say how exactly the deinfluencing trend affects the influencer marketing industry. Brands now concentrate on collaborating with influencers who are genuine and have a solid reputation to follow this trend of deinfluencing. Given that they have a closer relationship with their fans, micro-influencers are a smart choice. Instead of depending solely on sponsored content, brands should be mindful of the delicate balancing act between paid and natural content. It might be argued that the popularity of User Generated Content (UGC) is boosting its value for both marketers and creators. Influencer marketing is still a potent tool, as evidenced by the trend of deinfluencing. At the same time, brands and creators will need to adapt to meet the changing needs of customers. Deinfluencing is just influencing by another name, as the ultimate goal is still to promote products and services, in a new and more authentic way.”
Cultivating long-lasting relationships
Deinfluencing trend emphasized the need for brands to increasingly focus on cultivating long-lasting relationships with creators. By prioritizing genuine partnerships, brands aim to overcome concerns related to authenticity, transparency, and commercialization. Building long-lasting relationships allows brands to leverage the influence and credibility of creators while maintaining a strong brand presence in an evolving influencer marketing landscape.
Alice Hall, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Rowen Homes believes long-term partnerships help build trust with brands’ audiences:
“As deinfluencing trend remains influential, building long-lasting partnerships between brands and influencers has become increasingly important. When consumers see the same influencer consistently promoting a brand over time, it can help build trust and credibility with those consumers. This can be accomplished through long-term partnerships between brands and influencers. Because of this, influencers can develop a deep understanding of the brand’s values, messaging, and target audience, which can help increase the effectiveness of influencer campaigns.”
The importance of authenticity
As consumers seek more genuine and relatable content, brands are realizing the significance of aligning with influencers who authentically resonate with their audience. Prioritizing authenticity, brands can maintain trust and credibility in influencer marketing despite the challenges posed by the deinfluencing trend.
Jay Soni, Marketing Director at Yorkshire Fabric, comments:
“Deinfluencing has led to a heightened emphasis on the authenticity of influencers. Today, consumers are developing a greater skepticism towards content that is excessively promotional and are searching for influencers who share their honest opinions and experiences. Because of this, there has been a shift towards content that is more genuine and relatable, which has the potential to be more successful in establishing trust and credibility with audiences.”
Carl Anderson, CEO of Turboboost highlights the importance of transparency in the relationships between brands and their audiences:
“The deinfluencing trend has made brands and influencers focus more on being genuine and transparent in their relationships with audiences. The honesty and openness of influencers regarding their relationships with brands and the products they promote is becoming an increasingly important commodity to consumers, who are increasingly demanding it. As a result of this demand, many influencers are becoming more open and honest about the partnerships they have with different brands. For example, they may use hashtags such as #sponsored or #ad to indicate when they are advertising a product.”
All in all, the deinfluencing trend has inspired brands to experiment and seek new ways to collaborate with creators. By reexamining their brand positioning and forming partnerships with relevant influencers, brands can effectively win the trust of their target audience and establish a stronger connection. This approach adds authenticity to their efforts and fosters a vibrant brand community with deinfluencing creators leading the way. Embracing the opportunities presented by the deinfluencing trend can lead to innovative and impactful collaborations that resonate with audiences in a more genuine and relatable manner.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anastasia Zaichko, Chief Marketing Officer at Famesters
Famesters is an influencer marketing agency that offers full-cycle services worldwide. With 8+ years in marketing, Anastasia is passionate about helping brands reach their sales, growth and visibility objectives.