Is Influencer Marketing Dead? The Rise of De-Influencing

Since the rise of TikTok, they’ve changed the social media landscape. TikTok creators have focused on being truly authentic and the algorithm has rewarded them whereas creators who invest in “ad-like” content were punished. The latest trend on the social media giant has a “less is more” approach and has influencers and brands worried. So, what is “De-Influencing”?

If you’ve been on TikTok over the last few weeks, you would’ve seen “de-influencing” videos and it’s a growing movement, but what is it? 

Is Influencer Marketing Dead? The Rise of De-Influencing

What is “De-influencing” 

Over the past decade, influencers have been telling other people what products they can’t live without and encouraging their followers to buy, buy, buy! The “De-influencing” campaign is taking the platform by storm by encouraging users to take a breath and consider their spending habits. TikTok influencers are changing the usual chain of events by urging listeners to think twice before buying into consumer culture and advising on how to make more mindful choices. 

How Did This Come About?

 This trend has been developed through the economic uncertainty consumers are facing and the amount of “influencers” on the channel alongside GenZ becoming more focused on transparency and sustainability. 

Elaine Moore of the Financial Times reported that the “De-influencer” campaigns have started due to a downturn in digital advertising and funding fell from $3 billion in 2021 to less than $1 billion last year. 

If you look under the hashtag #deinfluencing you’ll find thousands of creators (over 200m views) sharing their tips on how to avoid the temptation of buying the latest trending product. 

However, many marketing experts are making the argument that “de-influencers” are still influencers as they are shaping consumers' behaviours and choices. Some influencers have jumped on the trend and begun recommending cheaper alternatives to luxury products. 

Should brands be worried?

Influencer and De-influencer campaigns still have a massive impact on consumers but it does highlight the level of overconsumption in the influencer market, especially in industries like fast fashion. However, clever brands will use the “de-influencer” campaigns to their advantage to promote their brand's strengths compared to alternative products.

With the current economic climate, and the public tightening their belts, it’s obvious that an influencer will react and try to stay on their side. At Zen, we believe this latest trend is just another follow-up of “genuine influencers” as customers become more aware of influencer marketing. The desire to have genuine, transparent influencers can be seen through the use of “micro-influencers” and brands investing in sub-cultures to have a genuine connection with consumers. 

Do you think it’ll last, or will we revert back to the established campaigns? Let us know!

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