According to a new report from GRIN on the power of influencer marketing, men trust influencer endorsements slightly more than women. The findings also show that men are more likely to buy influencer-recommended products, and also inclined to spend more per purchase. At the same time, GRIN found that consumers are gravitating less toward macro-influencers and celebrities with over 1 million followers and more toward relatable, mid-size influencers whose lives mirror their own.
Consumers are drawn to creators whose content addresses their real-world problems or empowers them to achieve their goals. But winning consumers over through influencers isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Certain elements of a creator’s online presence communicate greater authenticity to consumers. This authenticity, as GRIN notes, translates to consumer trust and purchasing intent.
Out of GRIN’s data, marketers can understand who their influencer marketing campaigns should target and how to strengthen the consumer-influencer relationship.
Of those surveyed, 70 percent of people follow more than 10 influencers and roughly a quarter of respondents say that distrust of an influencer was the main reason for unfollowing them. But it’s important for brands to understand what leads a consumer to lose trust in their favorite influencers. GRIN set out to uncover why.
In analyzing consumer-influencer relationships, GRIN found that an influencers’ audience size and the way they approach brand sponsorships can have an impact on their trust. For example, roughly 70 percent of social media users say they’re bothered by a lack of transparency when an influencer doesn’t identify sponsorships on a post. For 20 percent of respondents, it’s a deal breaker: they’d outright unfollow the influencer if they didn’t disclose paid promotions.
The Appeal Of Influencers By Size
Despite the fact that mid-sized influencers—those with between 50,000 to 500,000 followers—are the most popular overall, more than half of those surveyed reported that an influencer’s size does not impact trust in that influencer. The second most popular cohort of influencers are micro-influencers (10,000 to 50,000 followers), followed by nano-influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) and macro-influencers (500,000 to 1 million followers). Mega-influencers (over 1 million followers) trailed last.
Additionally, 46 percent of users are inclined to follow everyday influencers and 36 percent are inclined to follow a mix of relatable influencers and celebrities. But only 10.3 percent of respondents are drawn to celebrities.
Consumer Engagement With Influencers Prior To Purchase
Of those surveyed, 54 percent report that follower count isn’t a consideration in deciding whether they’re willing to purchase a product endorsed by that influencer.
Still, influencers do have the power to nurture trust with their followers pre-purchase by engaging with their comments, as noted by 60 percent of respondents. Another 30 percent said they sometimes interact with an influencer post or privately message them before their purchase.
Appeal Of Content By Type
The ultimate reason followers believe an influencer is inauthentic is when that influencer promotes a product that they don’t genuinely care about, according to GRIN.
In terms of the promoted posts consumers like to see from influencers, respondents listed short-form video on Instagram Reels and TikTok (27 percent), visual posts on news feeds (24 percent), long-form videos on YouTube and Twitch (23 percent), ephemeral content on Instagram Stories and Snapchat (14 percent) and text or written posts on Twitter (11 percent).
Over half of respondents report that in general, word-of-mouth and social media are their preferred mediums for discovering new brands. And unsurprisingly, about 80 percent state that social media directly impacts purchasing decisions, roughly 95 percent have purchased items on Instagram or Facebook, and 35 percent have confirmed that they were “very” or “extremely likely” to purchase influencer-endorsed products online.
Of the influencer endorsements, the most popular sponsored post is a product review, while banner ads are the least popular.
Product Selection And Consumer Spending
When it comes to how much social media users are willing to spend online, GRIN found that 44 percent would spend less than $50 on a new product they saw in an ad. On the other hand, the number of people who said that they would spend over $100 on a single influencer-promoted product rose from 29 percent to 33 percent.
Influencer Marketing By Industry
Respondents told GRIN they favor influencers in fashion (50 percent), lifestyle (48.1 percent), sports and gaming (42.6 percent), beauty (41.7 percent), travel (40.9 percent) and health and wellness (35.8 percent).
Without seeing the product beforehand, more men (26 percent) are likely to spend $500 or more than women (13 percent) when an influencer promotes a product. Half of the women surveyed aren’t willing to spend more than $50 on a product without seeing it first whereas 29 percent of men surveyed are willing to do so. Only 5 percent of female respondents and 13 percent of male respondents would spend between $250 and $500 on a product sight-unseen.
GRIN’s findings are based on a survey conducted among 1,000 US consumers—57 percent women and 43 percent men. Roughly 70 percent of the respondents were between the ages of 25 and 34, 29 percent were between 18 and 24 and 2 percent were between 16 and 17.