Connect with us


Influencer Fatigue: Are We Done with Influencers?



influencer fatigue are we done with influencers

For major brands, partnerships with celebrity influencers have become an indispensable part of their marketing strategy, and as a result, thousands of influencers have come forward to cash in on their visibility.

Recently, however, we’re seeing signs that influencers can’t influence anymore, that the world may be done with traditional, top-down influencer marketing. In fact, new studies have found that only around 3% of consumers are influenced by celebrity influencers to purchase specific products.

So, what’s driving this change? Why are so many people switching off on influencers?

At the heart of this pattern is a huge shift in the way consumers interact with brands. Now, the age of the passive audience is over, and instead, customers are actively engaging with each other (and brands), looking for authentic and meaningful engagement, and forming their own communities based on shared interests and values – or what we like to call ‘tribes’.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the reasons why the golden age of influencer marketing, in a traditional sense, may be over, while we’ll also outline some alternative ways in which brands can engage with their audiences.

But to kick things off, let’s first dig a little deeper into what’s driving people away from traditional influencer recommendations.

Why are people getting tired of influencers?

Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all offer a tantalizing promise for users of all ages around the world – a welcoming place for self-expression, meaningful engagement, and a sense of community.

But increasingly, social media has become a dumping ground for sponsored posts and advertising, and social media users are quick to call influencers and brands out when they sense a lack of authenticity.

MW.web .180507.influencerfatigue

Here are a few reasons we’ve identified:

1. A greater demand for authentic engagement – driven by millennials and Gen Z

Of all the reasons for the move away from influencers, the growing demand for authentic and meaningful engagement is the most significant.

People are sick of all the generic, cookie-cutter posts showing celebrities posing with teeth-whitening kits, boutique clothing, or even appetite-suppressing lollipops.


Instead, social media users are looking for real, unstaged content to engage with. This is particularly the case for younger users, with millennials and Gen Zers demanding real, authentic content from brands and influencers.

2. Fake influencers with fake followers, engagement, and likes

Then, there’s the problem of fake influencers with purchased engagement on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Influencers now have major financial incentive to boost their numbers, and this has given rise to issues with bots, paid followers, and other shortcuts.

In fact, there have been several cases where influencers engaged by major brands have been found to have follower bases which are estimated to be up to 70% fake.

This isn’t just a massive headache for brands: it’s also another huge reason behind the rising disillusionment with influencers in general.

3. Cliché and repetitive influencer content

On top of the demand for more authentic engagement, user fatigue with stereotypical influencer content is also driving people away.

Every day, social media users are subjected to an unending stream of influencers peddling their wares with the same aesthetic. If it isn’t someone selling a yoga mat with a sunrise beach yoga pose, it’s someone with a tastefully-framed shot of avocado toast, or a too-perfect gym selfie.

s3 news tmp 90538 louise t 2x1 940

If you’ve found yourself feeling a little fed up with cliches like this, don’t worry – you’re not alone. 47% of consumers report feeling fatigued by repetitive influencer content.

In fact, this collective frustration has led to some amazing parody accounts (like Insta Repeat) pointing out just how samey a lot of Instagram content can be.

This is a major reason behind Instagram users abandoning the platform’s classic aesthetic and looking for something more real.

In its place, a new generation of influencers has emerged – young content creators who are willing to engage their audience in unique ways, even if it means being a little dorky. And man, do people love it.

4. Too much reliance on the big players

Another trend driving people away from online influencers is an over-reliance on the big names out there. After all, Kim Kardashian can’t sell everything.

When it comes to mega-celebrities, there’s only so much paid sponsorship an individual can take on before their audience gets tired of it. For major brands, this means there’s a limit on what can be achieved through partnering with well-known faces.

As blogger and all-round media wizard Seth Godin notes, one way to get around this is to take the opposite approach – instead of finding the largest audience out there, brands should look for ways to build meaningful communities around smaller audiences.

“Instead of trying to reach everyone,” says Seth, “we should seek to reach the smallest viable audience and delight them so thoughtfully and fully that they tell others.”

5. Appropriating social causes for commercial gain

Finally, there’s the worrying trend of influencers or brands feigning dedication to important causes around the world, just to get a moment in the spotlight.

Whether it’s slacktivism campaigns like the Kony 2012 movement or greenwashing like DuPont and Exxon Mobil’s environmental initiatives, plenty of influencers, brands, and organizations are willing to appropriate meaningful causes in the interests of building their online audiences.

Examples like these contribute to mistrust in social media more broadly, and give people an even bigger reason to be cynical about efforts to spread awareness concerning important global issues.

So, if the world is fed up with traditional influencer marketing, what does this mean for brands on social? How should you engage with your audience, and get your products in front of the right customers?

Here are our suggestions.

Re-engineer your influencer marketing strategy

I might have painted a bleak picture for influencer marketing, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no place for influencers. Instead, brands simply need to adjust.

By dropping the focus on generic, big-name influencers with huge audiences, and by focusing instead on meaningful communities united around common passions and interests, brands can increase the visibility and relevance of their products.

We’re talking about consumer tribes.

Take the time to understand your tribes

Tribes are groups of consumers which share common traits. 

These individuals identify with each other through their collective interests, which could be anything from gaming or eSports, veganism, sustainable fashion, or even a love for chunky dad shoes.

The internet is filled with groups of people who are subconsciously forming tribes around nearly every interest that you can think of. 

Winning brands are those which understand how these tribes are created, what defines them and how they evolve over time. This includes analyzing their language, their choice of platform/s, and their preferred methods of communication – and then matching their content approaches, so that you can position your brand as a genuine tribe leader.

This means rethinking what the term ‘influencers’ mean. 

Rethink what you mean by ‘influencers’

Examples such as cosmetics brand Glossier illustrate another great strategy to cope with the shift away from celebrity influencers online – rethink what you mean by ‘influencers’.

By finding individuals with meaningful connections to other members of the tribe to promote your brand, you can build brand visibility and credibility.

Influencer%20Fatigue%20Are%20We%20Done%20with%20Influencers%20(And%20What%20to%20Do%20Instead)%3F 2

In fact, analysis shows that individuals working on a more contained scale are often perceived as having a more legitimate voice than big-name celebrities, which can lead to a higher rate of conversion to sales.

So, when you’re thinking of your next influencer campaign, don’t automatically jump to the biggest names out there. Instead, take a look at individuals with an authentic, well-established presence on their platform of choice, and above all, a good connection to their tribe.

Think small

This also means that bigger isn’t necessarily better – you don’t have to shoot for the biggest follower numbers with your influencer campaigns. 

Given the rising questions around celebrity influencers, you may well be better off partnering with influencers working on a smaller, more meaningful scale, with dedicated, passionate followings.

If you can engage your tribe of brand customers and fans through respected and trusted individuals, you can reach new potential fans – and build real brand loyalty.

Get the help you need to identify your tribes

Partnering with influencers used to be simple – all brands had to do was to pull together a shortlist of celebrities and public figures with sizeable audiences, compare the reach and profile of each individual, then make a choice.

Now, consumers don’t want to see the same influencer telling them which slimming teas to drink, which lipsticks to buy, and holiday resort they should go to. With the tribe mindset, everybody has the potential to be an influencer (in their tribe), which makes the influencer pool much bigger.

You need to take into account the influencer’s relevance, authenticity on the topic, analyze their content footprint, check if they have fake followers and/or engagement, out of hundreds and thousands of influencers on multiple platforms.

This analysis is impossible to do manually. You need to put big data and AI to work by identifying dedicated fans within millions of profiles. Then, you need to combine this analysis with human expertise to understand their values and match them with your brand. That way, you’ll be ready to find the right influencer.

Ditch the big names, and go for authenticity

There’s good reason why so many Instagram users are turning away from generic, big-name influencers on social media. The jig is up, and people are starting to see through the facade of samey, calculated promotional content.

In an environment where authenticity is the greatest online currency, brands need to know everything they can about their audience, and understand how to find and engage their tribes of fans online.

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


US Senators Accuse X of Profiting From Terrorist Propaganda



X is Reportedly Looking to Charge $50k for Dormant Handles in the App

The challenges keep coming for X, with a group of more than two dozen House Democrats in the U.S. issuing a letter that accuses the platform of “profiting off violent content by a terrorist organization”, in relation to the Israel-Hamas war.

The accusations primarily relate to X’s “X Premium” subscription program, which the senators claim has seen X take in money from terrorist groups, who are looking to spread their propaganda and messaging in the app.

As per the letter:

Researchers reported that at least 20 out of 45 accounts it found to have posted terrorist propaganda were X Premium accounts, meaning that they are paying for verification without any formalized vetting process and being promoted by the website’s algorithm.”

The Senators also claim that X “has financially benefited from the spread of demonstrably false and misleading content” in the app:

“The media watchdog, NewsGuard, recently published analysis of the 250 most-engaged posts – likes, reposts, replies, and bookmarks – during the first week of the conflict that promoted at least one of ten prominent false or unsubstantiated narratives relating to the war. Their analysis revealed that 186 out of these 250 posts (74 percent) were posted by accounts verified by X – accounts that X directly profits from. Their analysis also found that posts advancing these myths collectively received 1,349,979 engagements and were cumulatively viewed more than 100 million times globally in just one week.”

The letter also highlights X’s creator ad revenue share program as another vector for concern, as it enables users to get paid for their posts, and any claims in them, in the app.

The senators allege that this has created an inadvertent incentive for people to post more divisive, harmful content, including terror-related material and misinformation, in order to maximize engagement, and thus, ensure greater revenue intake.

The Senators have further raised “grave concern” about X’s “ongoing failure to abide by its own policies” relating to the promotion of misinformation and hateful, violent, and terroristic propaganda videos.

“This follows a troubling pattern of increased antisemitism on the platform since Mr. Musk’s purchase. A March 2023 study by CASM Technology and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) documented a near-doubling of the total number of anti-Semitic tweets in his first three months of ownership. In September, in response to this dramatic increase of antisemitism on X, Israel’s Prime Minister personally urged Mr. Musk to tackle antisemitism on the platform. Now, in the days following Hamas’ horrific October 7th terrorist attack on Israel, we’ve seen an inexcusable situation become outright indefensible.”

The Senators have called on X to provide explanations as to how its working to address these concerns, and what measures it’s implementing to improve its systems on each front.

The accusations, which are co-signed by 27 Democrat representatives, are set to further underline the political division around the app, and comes just a day after Texas’ Republican Attorney-General Ken Paxton opened his own investigation into Media Matters over it potentially fabricating evidence in its recent reports, which showed that X is displaying ads alongside racist and anti-Semitic content.

X owner Elon Musk, meanwhile, is using such accusations to embolden his push for “free speech”, accusing those who make such claims of working for a pro-censorship agenda, as the broader powers that be look to shut down X for challenging mainstream narratives.

Which is a vague, and unproven accusation, and really, more of a rallying cry for Musk’s supporters than it is an actual, realistic defense. But regardless, that’s what Musk is going with, as he and his team look to challenge such claims in court, despite all available evidence suggesting that X has no real way to demonstrably counter such evidence.

Indeed, Musk’s push back against the latest accusations that X is showing ads alongside harmful content has prompted a range of users to find their own examples of such in the app, which has seen many able to replicate the ad placement that Media Matters displayed.

It seems likely, then, that the accusations in this new letter will be provable, which will cause more challenges for X, which is already facing an advertiser boycott over the latest accusations, along with Musk’s own controversial comments.

Elon, however, seems confident that he can fight back. But the real challenge for X will be in how long it takes for such a legal challenge to go through, and what impact that has on its ad business in the meantime.  

X was already staring down a significant loss for the year before these new challenges, after seeing a more than 50% decline in ad revenue following Musk’s takeover at the app. The loss of more ad dollars will only worsen its financial state, though Musk, of course, has other resources that he could tap into to keep the company afloat. But the challenges will continue to grow, unless X can get its ad business back on track.

Meanwhile, Threads, Meta’s X competitor app continues to grow, with U.S. President Joe Biden yesterday joining the app, which, again, will further underline political division between the two alternatives.

Which could push X more into conservative social app territory, which hasn’t been fruitful ground, from a financial perspective, for Parler, Gab, Truth Social, etc.

But that does increasingly seem like where X is headed, due to Elon’s insistence on sharing his thoughts and opinions on every divisive topic, and his resolution to fight back, rather than seeking to address potential problems.

And it does seem, based on a growing number of third-party investigations, that there are flaws to address in X’s systems.

In this sense, it’s less of an assault on free speech, and more of a push to reduce instances of harmful, terror-related content, but Elon also seems to have made his stand. Which could be a big problem for his “everything app” vision.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


How influencers manipulate followers to increase their revenue



How influencers manipulate followers to increase their revenue

Nathanaël L’Huillier proudly recalled the time when he reached eighth place in TikTok’s French “weekly rankings.” His live videos, which he films at home on his mobile phone, brought this 30-year-old from the central Nièvre region unprecedented online exposure and success. Above all, the up-and-coming influencer received around €10,000 in virtual gifts from his subscribers, in the space of seven days.

L’Huillier is just one of many examples that confirm the power of the highly lucrative TikTok live events for content creators, even though the platform collects half the value of donations received through commissions, according to the content creators Le Monde interviewed. By developing more and more live community features and events, ByteDance’s social media platform is increasingly relying on this practice, which was introduced in 2019 to accelerate its international development. This is done at the risk of reinforcing the self-serving tendencies among certain influencers and fostering addictive behaviors among internet users, some of whom are very young.

Race for profits

Indeed, simply opening the live tab in the application reveals that many of the creators producing live videos have the sole aim of encouraging their subscribers to send money. To achieve this, they each have their own methods. There are those who assume the roles of characters reacting differently to each donation received, as illustrated by the recent trend of “NPC content,” which involves interacting with subscribers as if you were a non-playable video game character.

Others choose to take on increasingly complex challenges, depending on the value of the gift they’ve received. Take Maxime, aka Aquizop, for instance: “I came up with the idea of combining weightlifting and interaction with my subscribers: They send me gifts, and in return, I lift a certain weight a certain number of times,” said the 18-year-old.

There are lso athose who stage “matches” between their community and that of a peer, especially among ex-reality TV contestants. On a split screen, whoever receives the most gifts from their viewers at the end of a five-minute countdown wins the “game.” L’Huillier participates enthusiastically in this exercise for nine hours every day: “The aim is to find your opponent and tell him, ‘Your team sucks, they’re on the dole!’ to rile up their troops and motivate mine to play.”

Oussama El Fatmi, one of the most prolific TikTokers in France, receives gifts by the dozen during a live match on Friday, November 3, 2023.

What’s more, it works. When Le Monde enquired about the money invested in the feature by French users, TikTok did not respond. But, in the US, live events generated more than $250 million in gifts in the third quarter of 2023 alone, according to The Information.

You have 55% of this article left to read. The rest is for subscribers only.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


TikTok Adds New Conversational UI To Help Guide Its Algorithms



TikTok Adds New Conversational UI To Help Guide Its Algorithms

The impact of ChatGPT extends beyond the interface itself, with a growing number of platforms now looking to integrate more conversational UI elements into their systems, in order to align with evolving habitual trends, which many now see as the future.

TikTok is the latest to latch onto this, with a new “Customize Feed” option within your “For You” page settings that lets you enter in conversational guidance on what you want to see more, or less of, in-stream.

As you can see in this screenshot, shared by Jonah Manzano, TikTok’s new customization tool provides a simple text field, where you can enter in a preference, like “I’d like to see more posts from creators I follow”, which TikTok will then use to customize what it shows you.

You can even ask it to show you different content for a certain period of time, with the process intended to make it easier for users to be more specific about what they prefer, without having to rely purely on in-app engagement triggers.

Which, as noted, is more in alignment with the conversational UI of ChatGPT, in enabling users to enter in less technical queries to improve their in-stream experience.

Which might work, and it might actually become more necessary in all apps, as users continue to become more accustomed to simply asking for what they want, as opposed to being experts in Boolean search operands. But at the same time, this type of specificity can also lead to less beneficial results, because often what users think that they want, and what they actually prefer, are two different things.

Meta is a good example of this. Repeatedly, users on Facebook and Instagram have voiced their displeasure at not having a chronological timeline, at having too many Reels from profiles that they don’t follow show up in-stream, at not seeing enough updates from friends and family, etc.

All of these are valid complaints, but Meta has also shown that when they do align with such, usage generally declines.

That might also be an indicator of the fallacy of social media trends, in that what’s getting the most attention, when measuring by comments, shares, and likes, is not always indicative of what the majority of people actually care about at any given time.  

Divisive issues logically drive more engagement, but in the majority, those issues are not what’s impacting most people’s day-to-day existence. But that engagement then sees media organizations put more focus on these divisive topics, as they help to drive more traffic, which then leads to even more online discussion, and an even bigger, broader focus on such, despite the majority of people not necessarily engaging with it.

Research shows that the vast majority of social media users don’t ever post themselves, which means that the bulk of in-app engagement is driven by a vocal minority, but is not always indicative of key trends for general users.

As such, actual time spent reading content is a better indicator, and more indicative engagement measures like this are, gradually, where social platforms are headed, in order to guide their algorithms, as opposed to what’s sparking more replies and shares.

The risk with guidance elements like this one from TikTok is that TikTok users will look to use them as a filter, which will actually then lessen their experience. But at the same time, TikTok likely knows that a) most people simply won’t bother to use it, and b) it’s likely not giving this element a lot of algorithmic weight. So it might make people feel better in having a say on such, but it probably won’t be as influential as they may perceive.

In any event, it’s another indicator of the growing shift towards conversational UI, and how it’s slowly creeping into more elements, as platforms look to merge with evolving user behaviors.

That could be even more relevant on TikTok, where the next generation of users are engaging, but it seems like a minor consideration at this stage.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading