In frame is a pretty girl holding a smartphone, smiling brightly at the camera. The caption mentions something about the product, and there is probably a discount code thrown in. How often has a post of that nature influenced you to purchase or even consider purchasing the advertised product?
Instagram is rife with influencers these days - but what ARE influencers, really? All we know is that these online celebrities are usually defined as individuals with a huge following and who have the power to affect consumer’s decisions. Changes in trends see brands discarding traditional methods of marketing in favour of influencer marketing. According to Smart Insights, 80% of marketers find influencer marketing to be an effective choice.
As with everything, however, quality matters. Because influencers are not bound to organisations, they can pretty much post what they want. While this freedom is great, the lack of regulations also means quality is not always assured. In every product/brand launch, there is a certain amount of budget and space allocated for media and influencers. Both parties attend these events to provide coverage, but a lot of the time, there are influencers who prioritise the fact that they are invited to an event over actually promoting the product. This brings about the question of whether they are actually selling their faces or the brands.
It is undeniable that there are certainly influencers who do a great job, providing honest reviews and good information so consumers can make informed decisions. Unfortunately, filtering them out from the rest is not exactly an easy task, especially given the influx of “bought followers” these days. This makes for a lot of fake influencers who are in it for the glamour and are not equipped with the knowledge on how to provide quality coverage, which in turn may negatively affect the brands they are working with.
How often does an influencer affect your purchasing decision?
By: Celestine Foo