5 Reasons Why Deinfluencing Isn’t A Bad Thing

If you’ve been on TikTok or Instagram lately, you know that there’s a ton of buzz about this newer concept of deinfluencing. 

Deinfluencing is a growing trend where content creators use their platforms to explain reasons to avoid certain products or services. This trend is common on all social media platforms, but first took off on TikTok and Instagram. TikTok, in particular, has over 509.4 million videos tagged with #deinfluencing as of April 2023. 

It’s clear from creator content that no product is completely perfect. Even holy grail items that have been lauded by pros and everyday consumers alike have been called out — most notably the $600 Dyson Air Wrap that was on everyone’s holiday wish lists in 2021. The viral Stanley cups, luxury brands like Dior, Charlotte Tilbury cosmetics, mini UGGS, and more have been featured in creator content that promotes more cost-effective dupes — or saving money by opting out of purchasing altogether.

Consumers are gravitating towards deinfluencing content because it can help them make more informed decisions about the products they want to buy. However, it’s important to note that deinfluencing is not always accurate — and at its core, it’s still influencing, just with a different name and primary purpose. It’s best to encourage consumers to conduct their own research before making a purchase, even if an influencer they trust has spoken against it.

As a marketer, we know that this growing trend is a bit concerning. But to understand how to avoid getting caught in the metaphorical crossfire, it’s important to recognize why it’s happening in the first place — and reasons why it could actually help your brand. 


Why Is Deinfluencing Popular? 

There are a few reasons why deinfluencing is all over social media. Let’s dive in. 


1. More consumers understand the #sponcon game

First, many shoppers are more aware than ever that content creators are often paid to promote products, even if they fail to disclose their brand partnerships. Between sponsored content, affiliate programs, ambassador opportunities, and more, influencer marketing has always been an advertising tactic that leverages the authentic connection creators have with their audience. It’s something that marketers have always been well aware of  — but not all consumers have paid attention as closely or understood this as well. 

Now, shoppers are catching on — and it can make them less likely to trust recommendations from content creators. And as we all know, when people have something to say, there’s a high chance they’re going to post it on social media for all to see. 

That said, influencer promotion is still a valid and lucrative strategy that isn’t going anywhere. According to a 2022 survey by Oracle, 80% of consumers have made purchases in their lifetime because of content they saw on social media. So, even though sponsored content may be more visible than before, in a less-than-ideal light, we don’t yet see a case for it negatively impacting brand sales. 


2. Consumers want to save money

Second, the cost of living is rising — and many shoppers are looking for ways to save money. 

In 2022, inflation in the United States peaked at 9.1% in June. Since then, it’s been on a decline. According to Forbes, the core inflation rate had risen just 0.4% between February and March 2023, a record month-over-month low since 2021. 

But that’s still not enough to make up for the challenges of the last few years. With many people around the world now struggling to make ends meet, there is a crucial need for folks to focus on money-saving moves where they can. The need to curb the cost of living crisis is one of the most prominent reasons for deinfluencing and the profound impact of this trend that we’ve seen thus far. 

This is why consumers value deinfluencing so much. Information about products that they may not need or that are not worth the price is vital to helping people stay out of debt.


3. Consumers are focusing more on sustainability

Finally, many shoppers are becoming more environmentally conscious. Deinfluencing can help consumers who are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint, waste output, energy pollution, and more by providing them with information about products that are not sustainable — or that have a negative impact on the environment.

Shopping during COVID-19 marked a notable shift in ecommerce. Then more than ever, contactless shopping took priority, and folks ordered online or via delivery methods as much as possible. As a result, energy levels and transportation-related pollution is at an all-time high. In a world with environmental deterioration being a constant, looming threat, there is also a growing change in consumer mindsets, with a shift to prioritize sustainable shopping practices now more than ever.


Why We Think Deinfluencing Can Be A Good Thing

We know that while deinfluencing may benefit consumers, brands are still going to struggle to fight against it. But what if there is a silver lining (or more than one) to this trend? Here’s what we think.


1. Look at deinfluencing as a research tool

Did an influencer roast one of your products for having a high price point while pointing out that another product works just as well? Has one of your services been called out for persistent bugs? That’s rough — but, this is an opportunity to address product and pricing issues.  

And luckily, instead of spending lots of time and money on market research, the feedback is highly accessible directly via your social channels. Legitimate criticism serves a valuable purpose: how to improve.


2. It helps brands see what their competition is doing well

Competition is always going to be fierce, but the benefit of deinfluencing is that brands can understand what their competition is doing well. Whether it comes down to certain features, functionality, product ingredients, taste, appearance, smell, and so much more — deinfluencing unintentionally shows who the big players are in the eyes of consumers. 


3. It shows what current consumers value most

Every brand wants to launch the perfect product or service, but inevitably, some imperfections may exist because of time constraints, budget, and more. Criticism from deinfluencing content can help brands solidify a priority list of issues to fix. It can also help brands get ahead of similar problems by creating content that owns up to product features that consumers may not like. 

Plus, if you’re a brand that has a competitor getting backlash from deinfluencing, don’t be afraid to utilize that momentum! Take the risk of partnering with a creator that has challenges with a competitor product to see if your brand can meet their needs.


4. It empowers brands to steer into their flaws

Hear us out. Some issues raised by content creators can be fixed. But we both know that not every criticism is as easy to erase as a formula revision or a service upgrade. 

What if the price point is the biggest deterrent? Brands like Nomadik have made its outdoor subscription box’s high price point part of its advertising, but it also has legitimate reasons to back it up. Its paid media ads own up to the cost — but the ads also imply that a product made sustainably with high-quality materials often has a higher price tag. We can infer that the cost threshold is a reasonable investment for goods that last longer, perform better, and support the brand’s employees.


5. It’s a trust-building exercise

Consumers resonate with those that seek to make improvements. If a brand accepts criticisms with grace, prioritizes improvement, and shows that they take influencer feedback seriously, this can be a big plus in the eyes of customers and content creators alike.

Acting on deinfluencing criticisms tells consumers that their concerns are important and that the brand is listening. It also validates influencers by demonstrating that their words have power and that brands are willing to change — and that is a major plus for future partnerships. 


Don’t Be Afraid of Deinfluencing

Deinfluencing can be good for brands because it can help them build even more trust with consumers. When influencers promote products, they often do so in a way that makes the products seem perfect. Deinfluencing can help brands by providing shoppers with honest and unbiased information about their items, which can help brands build trust with customers and make them more likely to buy their products in the future.

The trend of deinfluencing can also help brands identify areas where they need to improve their merchandise. When content creators deinfluence products, they often provide feedback about the things that they don’t like about the items in question. This feedback can be valuable to brands because it can help them identify areas where they need to make changes to their products.

It’s important for brands to be aware of deinfluencing and to be prepared to deal with it if (or when) it happens. By understanding deinfluencing, brands can minimize its impact on their businesses and use it as an opportunity to improve their products or services.


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