Celebrity influencers are a turnoff for some consumers

Influencer marketing is booming across social channels, with the value of the industry expected to surpass $20 billion in 2023 and over 80% of marketers attesting to its effectiveness. Those statistics come from an Influencer Marketing Hub report.

An alternative perspective is provided by new research from Storyblok, the headless CMS platform.

By the numbers. Based on a survey of 1,000 consumers, endorsements by influencers and celebrities can present a risk to holiday sales.

  • 25% of consumers are turned off of purchases by celebrity or influencer endorsements.
  • Only 19% would be actively encouraged to make a purchase.
  • Almost 60% say such an endorsement does not encourage them to make a purchase.
  • Older customers are more likely to be put off by these endorsements (only 13% of those aged 35 and up care about them).

Age matters. The percentage of consumers put off by celebrity and influencer endorsements grew steadily with age in the Storyblok sample. This matters because there is data suggesting that the value of customers also grows with age.

“An influencer endorsement is a double-edged sword. Although it might attract a younger audience to a brand, it can actively discourage other, higher value shoppers,” said Storyblok VP of marketing Thomas Peham in a release. “This goes beyond mere ambivalence — it makes a significant number of consumers less likely to buy a product.”

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Why we care. It’s obvious why the Influencer Marketing Hub cares about the value and effectiveness of influencer marketing. Does Storyblok have skin in the game? It’s actually unclear.

As a headless CMS, its chief proffer is agnosticism as to the digital channels used to present content to consumers (traditional CMSs were designed with websites in mind). As one might expect, younger consumers in this sample value mobile (just) ahead of websites, with social media not far behind. But those valuable 45+ customers favor websites over mobile by 20%. And websites, as we observed, are well-served by a traditional CMS.

But here’s our takeaway. Celebrity and influencer marketing is not about paying any well-known face to represent your brand. It’s about knowing which audience segment is most valuable to you; the channels on which you can find them; and the influencers and celebrities most likely to generate a positive response from them rather than from the public in general.

Dig deeper: Beyond boundaries: The future of digital content

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