How Brand Content Authenticity is Impacting Consumer Purchasing Decisions
With recent headlines showing influencers are lying about products, to social platforms expanding their noninfluencer features, it’s clear consumer preferences are shifting and influencers no longer hold the power over consumer purchases as they once did a few years ago.
Why is this the case? A lack of authenticity from influencers and sponsored content is causing consumers to shy away from the products they endorse. To better understand current consumer sentiment towards specific online content, and how it can achieve greater levels of engagement and positive purchasing decisions, a survey from EnTribe polled more than 1,000 consumers in April 2023. The survey revealed that consumers aren't being pushed toward the path of purchase by influencers as they once were; in fact, brands using influencers may be experiencing an adverse impact.
Consider these findings:
- Almost all respondents (90 percent) would prefer to see brands share content from actual customers.
- Only 12 percent of those surveyed stated they would be inclined to purchase a product if promoted by an influencer, while 62 percent shared they have actually never purchased a product promoted by an influencer.
- Of those who have purchased a product endorsed by an influencer, almost half (42 percent) admitted they were unhappy and regretted the purchase.
- On the other hand, a majority of respondents (90 percent) concluded they've purchased a product after being influenced by friends or family.
- If brands incorporated content from actual customers (known as user-generated content, or UGC) into marketing initiatives, 82 percent of those surveyed report they would be more inclined to purchase the brand's products or services.
The survey results highlight the continuous negative sentiment consumers are feeling towards social media influencers, which has resulted in fewer retailers utilizing mega-influencers and instead turning to UGC. Last year, EnTribe published a survey that showed 64 percent of respondents see sponsored content every time they use social media. However, those numbers dropped by almost 20 percent in 2023, meaning both advertisers are beginning to stray away from sponsored content and social media users are also blocking sponsored content from their feeds.
Between economic pressures and recent influencer news, consumers are no longer trusting traditional influencer content. We're seeing more brands begin implementing UGC strategies to gain back consumer trust as these numbers continue to reflect sentiment changes.
What Does This Mean for the Future of Retail Marketing Content?
Understanding that sentiment towards influencers is changing consumer purchasing decisions, retailers should consider focusing their advertising efforts around their authentic community's word-of-mouth, which is best digested through photos and videos. By building and creating one-to-one relationships with consumers to create content, brands will then possess an army of authentic creators that can be an extension of their marketing team and push out high-quality content that's authentic, real and trustworthy.
Retailers should also understand that social commerce is going to become even more targeted and niche. While it has also become more difficult to target audiences because of privacy rules in recent years, the introduction of artificial intelligence and other new targeting mechanisms will allow consumers to begin receiving even more tailored content. Retailers must understand that influencers are at a tipping point and only those that offer true authentic expertise will remain. Due to this continuous change we’re seeing online, retail brands must begin crafting marketing strategies with personalization and authenticity in mind. Brands should begin moving away from the traditional influencer model and prioritize their own customers for marketing campaigns to stand out amongst competitors.
Adam Dornbusch is the founder and CEO of EnTribe, one of the first SaaS platforms helping build a community of creators for brands.
Adam is a digital media executive with more than 20 years of experience developing content strategies for the world's largest brands. Prior to founding EnTribe, Adam spent four years building the groundbreaking Community Content & Rewards program at GoPro (GoPro Awards). During his tenure at GoPro, Adam’s team licensed millions of photos and videos from the GoPro community for Super Bowl Ads, The GoPro Channel, Out Of Home and In Store marketing.
Before GoPro, Adam was licensing citizen journalism from over 50 countries for Al Gore’s Current TV (acquired for $500M). Adam has spent his career building scalable content communities for GoPro, Current TV, Tribeca Film, Starz/Encore, Jaman, Access 360 Media, and Ripe Digital. Not finding any suitable CRM solutions for creator communities, he decided to build EnTribe.