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Influencer Impact Questioned in Study

08 October 2019 - 12:07 by David Aiken

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While the rise of influencer marketing has initiated a major change in the way that brands and retailers promote their products in the past few years, a study from Brandwatch suggests that this is actually a relatively unimportant element of what helps people decide what to buy via safe shopping online.

Only four per cent of the people who responded to the survey said that they saw promoted posts provided by influencers on social media as being an aspect which might affect their next purchasing decision.

Five per cent said that posts which influencers shared that had not actually been sponsored but were merely honest recommendations would hold sway over their opinions on products and services.

At the other end of the scale, by far the most important and impactful thing which consumers take into account is the recommendation of a product or service from a family member, a friend or a colleague. In short, if someone who is personally known to a shopper says that a particular item is worth ordering, this opinion will be weighted far above any other.

This goes above and beyond the impact of online reviews, which just 17 per cent of people said would be a significant element in determining whether or not they chose a particular product or brand.

Even with the apparent lack of interest in influencer marketing, there is no doubting that this form of online promotion will continue to gain traction, if only because consumers are spending more time on social media than ever, and so it makes sense to target them with ads from the people they follow.

Thankfully, it is not possible for brands to sway the opinions of friends and family members, so if a product or service is not up to scratch, the quality of the customer experience still matters and word of mouth remains relevant.