Influencer marketing is a powerful tool to promote products on social media.
With the right partnership, brands can gain unlimited awareness online, expose their products to new audiences, and skyrocket their conversion rates.
On social media today, influencer marketing is everywhere. Why? Because it successfully drives sales. According to our report, 27.3% of Gen Z say TikTok influences their purchase decisions the most. And 24.3% say they buy online at least once a month after seeing products on social media.
If you open the TikTok app right now, you’ll see thousands of influencers pushing products to you left and right. It’s almost impossible to avoid.
However, as influencer marketing continues to rise, consumers are becoming more aware of the tactics *some* influencers use to sell products. One of them is using blatant dishonesty in product reviews.
In response, a new trend is exploding on TikTok – enter de-influencing.
What is The De-Influencing Trend on TikTok?
De-influencing flips influencing on its head. Instead of content creators telling viewers what to buy, de-influencing means creators are telling their viewers which products not to buy or use.
The hashtag #deinfluencing on TikTok has garnered over 104.1 million views, igniting a larger conversation around influencers promoting unrealistic overconsumption.
Search the hashtag on the app, and you’ll be met with tons of creators telling the truth about viral products they were persuaded to buy – and the majority of creators are urging viewers to think before spending their money on overhyped products.
Remember, De-Influencing is Still Influencing
At its core, ‘de-influencing’ is still very much influencing. But the goal has changed. Instead of urging viewers to buy every product, the idea is to give consumers a genuine rundown on which products are worth their money.
Some skeptics claim the new trend is another way for influencers to deceptively gain ‘trust’ from their audience by flipping the script. For example – some see de-influencing as influencers saying, ‘trust me, I’m telling you what not to buy, so you’ll trust what I eventually tell you to buy.’ In addition, an article by Refinery29 says they believe de-influencing to be simply influencing rebranded for the recession era.
Despite these claims, de-influencing is a new way to add trust and authenticity to influencer marketing – something consumers desperately crave.
What Started the De-Influencing Trend?
De-influencing isn’t an entirely new concept. Even before TikTok, many influencers gave their viewers the full story of new products to try – or not to try.
However, a recent influencer controversy on TikTok may be why de-influencing now has a name.
TikToker Mikalya Nogueira was recently accused of wearing false eyelashes in a sponsored video for L’Oreal Paris promoting a new mascara. The video sparked outrage in the comment section, with thousands of people questioning whether they could trust what influencers say in their videos.
The conversation then evolved into a discussion around the unrealistic and lavish lifestyles influencers lead that promote unsustainable overconsumption to viewers.
As a result, content creators started to talk about products that aren’t worth the hype or money in direct response to the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend.
What Does That Mean for the Future of Influencers?
You may see or hear people claim that de-influencing is the end of influencer marketing. Well, that’s not quite the case.
While the exact future of influencers is unknown, it’s likely they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Instead, this new de-influencing trend will signal a shift for influencers and their content. We predict de-influencing will introduce changes that will transform the future of influencer marketing for the better.
Here Are 5 Ways We Predict De-Influencing Will Transform Influencer Marketing
1. More Authenticity in Branded Content
The de-influencing trend has sparked an overwhelming demand for authenticity. Consumers are catching onto the tactics influencers use to sell products, and now they demand honesty.
For example, influencers who continue only to praise new products will likely be perceived as untrustworthy in the eyes of consumers. Not every product is the best. More often than not, products are subpar – this is the type of honest content consumers seek. We predict de-influencing will bring a level of realness to influencer content that will help build more audience trust – and it’s already starting!
2. Selective Brand Deals
More authenticity in influencer content means more selectivity with the sponsored content on their pages. In other words, influencers will be more mindful of the brand deals they accept. Instead of partnering with any brand or promoting any product, we predict de-influencing will make creators choose to promote brands they believe in.
Brand deals will be less about the monetary outcome and more about the value it brings to viewers. Now that influencers know consumers can see through ‘fake’ sponsored videos, they’ll be more inclined to deliver authentic content in order to build long-lasting trust with their audience. This could mean influencers have fewer brand partnerships, but the quality will enhance dramatically.
3. More Transparency from Creators
Not only are viewers looking for honest and authentic influencer content, but they also want transparency. There are guidelines influencers need to follow when posting sponsored content, for example, using #ad or #sponsored. But what about other tactics used?
For example, adding a beauty filter to make makeup products look better on screen. Or the luxury trips and experiences influencers get taken on to promote products. We predict more attention around transparency in videos will grow due to de-influencing. And with more transparency comes greater consumer trust, which can lead to more conversions. After all, customers want to buy from real people.
4. Promoting Mindful Consumption
A big part of the de-influencing trend is promoting sustainable consumption. It’s not uncommon for consumers to feel like they need to buy trending products. Especially when influencers claim every product in their video is the best they’ve ever used.
De-influencing promotes the opposite message to viewers. Now it’s trendy to think long and hard about the products you want to buy. Because the reality is tons of viral products end up sitting at the bottom of drawers.
TikTok user @michelleskidelsky says, ‘if you have makeup that works for you, you do not need to buy new makeup. Use what you have.’
We predict the de-influencing trend will only enhance the need for sustainable consumption and leave overconsumption, once glamorized by influencers, behind.
5. Greater Brand Loyalty from Consumers
While the rise of de-influencing directly responds to a lack of trust in influencer content, we predict brands that listen to consumer demands for more authenticity will see a rise in loyalty.
This is the time for brands to sit back and listen to what their consumers want to see – and that is authentic, real and relatable content. Brands that use the de-influencing trend as an opportunity to evolve their influencer content will reap the benefits, including building greater trust, transparency and loyalty from consumers.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool to promote products online. However, many consumers are skeptical of its authenticity. As a result, de-influencing is exploding on TikTok to reveal the truth behind which products are worth the hype and which aren’t. We predict this trend will signal a shift in influencer content towards more authenticity that will transform influencer marketing for the better.
Now, brands using influencer marketing can bring the power of their influencer videos to their website. Using StoryTap’s video platform you can add endless influencer videos on your homepage to captivate the attention shoppers and get them binge-watching your site.
With StoryTap’s advanced video analytics, you’ll have the power to track the performance of your influencer videos to determine which influencers are selling most for your brand.
Chat with our team today to learn how to unlock the power of influencer video marketing on your website.