When you have a product to launch, or a sale to promote, it might be tempting to think that what you need is a celebrity influencer with millions of followers to get the virtual cash register jangling. But that might not be the case as Bazaarvoice argue that consumers are tiring of the endless supply of ex reality TV stars and prefer to hear from real people like themselves.
New research from Bazaarvoice reveals that UK consumers care more about the product opinions of average social media users than celebrity influencer endorsement. The data – from a survey of 2,000+ UK respondents – reveals that the majority (61%) of consumers have purchased a product based on the recommendation of an everyday social media user (often with less than 1,000 followers and sharing posts with friends and family), while only one in five (19%) said the same about celebrity influencers.
Over a quarter (29%) of people said everyday social users are who they are most influenced by when purchasing a product. In fact, when asked who they would like to see brands partner with to create content for their products, the majority (62%) responded to everyday social media users.
This is both good news and bad news for brands, it’s relatively easy to pick a suitable celebrity and throw a ton of cash at them to promote a product, you just need them to buy into your brand and approve of your product. It’s a bit more work to find everyday social media users who will promote your product – they’ll often do it for free with the right inducement, and that might include running competitions, giveaways, discounts, and other promotional activities to encourage them to share your products.
There is a middle ground, and that’s to work with one of the burgeoning raft of social media and TikTok agencies, who will have a roster of everyday social media users who are making a living out of paid promotion and affiliate work. Most agencies will be able to recommend a group of creators who, again if they buy into your brand and approve of your product, will happily create content in exchange for a fee, an affiliate payment based on sales, or a blend of the two.
The allure of celebrity influencers has certainly diminished over the last few years, making way for the popularity of everyday people just like you and me. Because while most of us are not celebrities, all of us are shoppers. We seek to hear from authentic people just like ourselves; we find these people to be more trustworthy and are more likely to purchase products based on their recommendations.– Zarina Stanford, CMO, Bazaarvoice
Overall, social influence on purchasing decisions is increasing. Survey respondents said that over the last five years, their trust in everyday social users and subject matter experts has increased. Nearly a third (30%) say they now trust everyday social users more, and nearly half (43%) said the same about subject matter experts.
However, in contrast, of those who are aware of the de-influence trend that swept TikTok in early 2023, nearly half (49%) have become more cautious when interacting with social media influencers and celebrity influencers when they are promoting products online as a result.