Influencers are well-known for their ability to connect brands with audiences on a personal level, enhancing awareness and affinity. While many believe leveraging creators is the way to go, a recent phenomenon unfolding on social media is raising concerns about the future of influencer marketing. In this edition of Muse, we’re exploring the so-called ‘deinfluencing’ trend.

What is deinfluencing?

Deinfluencing is an emerging trend where influencers post candid reviews of the overpriced products they have used, encouraging their followers to opt for more affordable alternatives alongside sharing general money-saving tips.

An expert at We Are Social, a global creative agency, attributed this trend to the cost of living crisis and the growing popularity of minimalism, a lifestyle trend that encourages living with fewer possessions, focusing on only necessities.

By the end of February 2023, the hashtag #deinfluencing generated up to 281 million views on TikTok as creators advised their audiences against unnecessary spending and overconsumption. A prime example includes beauty influencer Manny Gutierrez’s content, sharing makeup items which didn’t win his favour and suggesting better less pricey alternatives.

A Cosmopolitan beauty editor also recently discouraged audiences from buying into superfluous skincare routines with excessive products.

Deinfluencing is gaining momentum in Asia Pacific

Though originating from the West, the trend is gaining traction in Asia Pacific as social media savvies’ expectations of brand credibility remain unmet. TikTok hashtag analytics reportedly revealed that between February and March 2023, content with #Deinfluencing was viewed by almost 3 million people in Thailand alone.

A representative from Culture Group, a culture-based marketing agency, pointed out that this trend underlines the fact that celebrities with massive followings whose social media is dominated by sponsored content are losing ground to nano influencers.

Despite having more modest followings, nano influencers are often praised for their authentic content and genuine community engagement efforts and are emerging as the antidote to the deinfluencing movement.

Will deinfluencing put an end to influencer marketing?

Evidence would suggest that influencer marketing will evolve rather than evaporate. The deinfluencing trend signals a call for reset, reminding brands to adopt a communication approach that places more emphasis on transparency and authenticity to best capitalise on the industry expected to be worth $21.1 billion in 2023.

As young, tech-savvy consumers in Asia Pacific are still willing to pay a premium for high-quality products from trustworthy brands, companies can win their hearts with a more holistic approach to their influencer marketing strategy. Continue reading our next post to find out how you can effectively identify and partner with nano influencers for relatable storytelling.