Marketing Influence: Everything You Need to Know Part 6
The stakes of content creation today? Between «fake» and authentic
According to a 2017 study called “psychology of following”, 82% of Internet users report following the advice of a trusted influencer. People who have purchased a product as a result of the publication of an influencer constitute a third of followers. According to the study, the content created by the influencer has a greater impact on his or her community when he or she uses his expertise (he can give an opinion, or share his creativity with native content). The study also points out that 39% of Internet users prefer an influencer post to a brand post since it is perceived to be of better quality, hence the appeal of influencers to brands.
Nowadays, consumers carry out a lot of research before deciding to buy a product or to consume a service: they search, analyze, compare the offer present in the market, This explains why 42% of respondents think that influencers share more information about the product or marketing department, while many are wary of brands because they are not seen as transparent enough in their speeches. Thus, their trust in certain influencers is “measured” by the authenticity of the influencer and his or her speech.
With influencers, brands are no longer an impersonal figure, but a personified entity. They are people who look like us, often in the same age group, and are “wise friends” with whom we easily identify. Internet users want to look like influencers and therefore consume like them in order to get closer to their community.
Federating your community is not easy, which is why some influencers resort to controversial and questionable practices.
On Instagram everything can be bought, there are ways to artificially increase your audience through the purchase of followers for example, likes, views, etc. These bad practices are used by the “fake” influencers in order to be spotted by brands and agencies for the purpose of claiming income or benefits and it is difficult to unravel the true from the false.
Some sites allow followers to analyze influencers’ Instagram accounts: criteria such as the evolution of the number of followers, the quality of the commitment etc. are analyzed and allow the detection of fake accounts.
To show how easy it is to deceive her audience, American influencer Gabbie Hanna published in 2019 photos and stories simulating her trip to Coachella, she subsequently published a video explaining that all the content was photoshopped; it thus proves that social platforms can be misleading.
However some types of “fake” content generate the buzz on social networks: robots-influencers. They are called Miquela, Blawko, Bermudaisbae or Shudu Gram and literally represent everything that is false. They are images of synthesized characters that bring together a large number of followers (2.4 million for Miquela ). They are young, closely resemble humans, “passionate” about fashion and “endowed with feelings”, some are even “activists”. Their followers act as if these robots were human, however many experts like Michael Stora, co-founder of the Digital Worlds Observatory in the Human Sciences denounce the emergence of these robot influencers, arguing that they are confusing young audiences with the aim of using their data and getting them to consume.
What career changes are possible for influencers?
Being an influencer is a business in its own right, but changes are possible. Even if this is more common in some countries than others, many are embarking on entrepreneurship.
Like celebrities, influencers can also write and publish a book (sports books, autobiography, cookbook, etc.). Some become presenters on television or radio. Some influencers in the field of fitness in particular have created their own gym, such as Steve Cook. Some influencers become marketing consultants, others choose a different voice and enter the profession of actor, singer or musician.