Debunked: Influencers have lost their relevance

“Influencers are dead” “No-one trusts influencers” “Blog content isn’t relevant”…and yet, influencers have maintained the revenue of brands, developed stronger trust with their audiences and solidified their position. Don’t believe it? Hear us out…

Engagement

When surveying our CD Babes (chloédigital clients) we found a significant majority of 76% saw an immediate uptake in social media engagement post-Lockdown.  It appears that external sources looking at engagement overall (whether content creators or brands) agreed with the average consumer spending more time on social interacting with content than before lockdown. On a per post level, there were tangible increases in engagement interactions also.

Despite the average increase in engagement, a majority of brands witnessed a significant reduction in social engagement across social post-Lockdown.

Therefore, it could be argued that the statistics from Webindex demonstrating an increase in engagement do not accurately demonstrate the engagement that influencers saw…in fact it underestimates it. As brand content engagement weighs down the average, the heightened engagement with influencer content increased it to the averages mentioned in analysis conducted by the likes of Webindex.

Content

Data collected from CD Babe website traffic analysis showed an average of 56% increase in sessions from Feb 2020 – June 2020. Broken down by content vertical, there were some industries that did better than others. Despite this, even Travel saw a post-Lockdown increase in website sessions compared to pre-Lockdown. 

When finding answers to this uptake, it was clear to see that people were (and still are) actively looking for long-form, value-add content. This type of rich content is primarily housed on websites, to be specific…blogs. 

When delving deeper, the influx of blog traffic can be mostly attributed to coming from either Organic Search or Pinterest – 2 channels where consumers are actively searching for content.

Quick side-note: Despite this heightened non-social traffic, a majority of influencer partnerships were and still are situated within Instagram only, indicating that brands could be more effective in their partnerships to reach consumers where they are actively looking for answers and finding value.

Going forward, brands should look into having a more integrated multi channel approach to target consumers with an emphasis on value-add long-form content as this is what consumers are actively seeking.

Monetisation

How have bloggers found this period?

We surveyed our CD Babes to give us their thoughts on revenue generation this year.

The white space left from brands post-lockdown, in a landscape of increased conversion and engagement, opens the door to influencers launching their OWN products.

Collaborations are more sporadic, and I’ve seen more partnerships come in for Pinterest.

Brand partnerships have smaller budgets but affiliate purchasing has gone up

 

The white space left from brands post-lockdown, in a landscape of increased conversion and engagement, opens the door to influencers launching their OWN products.

Where next?

Hopefully it’s a chance for diverse kinds of influencers to shine.

More video, more communities, more influencer built platforms, subscription focus

..people are craving authenticity and a feeling of belonging so I think community will be vital.

I think it will become much more diverse and inclusive which is very needed. It will continue to grow as well

..there is currently a renewed interest in creativity, and that this trend will continue, as opposed to just generic product placement.

I think that business will continue to depend more on eCommerce and online promotion into the near future. Again, there will be more players and “noise” but I think there is still untapped opportunity.

Increased engagement, need for content and organic conversion have catapulted influencer relevance. Despite this, brand investment has either waned or focussed on the less relevant consumer channels, most importantly neglecting the increasing power of website content.

Furthermore, influencers have taken this time to better connect with audiences, paving the way for more influencers to create new products to market.

As the world contends with an outdated definition of the “influencer”, focusing on channels that do not fully penetrate the needs of consumers, influencers have instead shown their true worth. In 2021 we may be looking at a more diversified, accurate and meaningful definition of the “influencer”.

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