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The Power of Deinfluencing: Redefining Marketing for Savvy Marketers

Learn what deinfluencing is and how it may impact influencer marketing for brands.

Influencer marketing has been one of the most popular and effective strategies for brands to reach and engage their target audiences. Collaborating with influential content creators on social media makes perfect sense in modern times with the sheer proliferation and ubiquity of social media platforms and services.

However, influencer marketing has its own challenges, drawbacks, and even controversies. You may find yourself hesitating to use influencer marketing simply because industry saturation has made the process difficult to navigate. That saturation also increases the possibility that an influencer may use dishonest practices and cannot give you the value you pay them for.

Moreover, some consumers have become skeptical of influencers and influencer culture. While influencer marketing still moves billions of dollars, there’s a growing dissatisfaction with it and even a backlash in the form of deinfluencing.

But what is deinfluencing?

Deinfluencing is a new trend where influencers discourage their followers from buying certain products. Deinfluencing discourages individuals from purchasing unnecessary products, whether that be Ugg minis, hair products, or various other products. Continue reading to learn more about the rise of deinfluencing and how it impacts the influencer market.

Understanding the influencer marketing industry

Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing where brands partner with influencers to create and share content highlighting products or services. These influencers typically have very large followings, and those followers listen very closely to what the influencer says or recommends.

An entire influencer culture exists, and many people want to become influencers themselves because it can be a very lucrative business. In some cases, products are only popular because a social media content creator with an influence and a huge audience promoted them.

Influencer marketing isn’t a fleeting trend, and it’s worth billions of dollars. Many marketers have included influencer marketing as a major part of their overall marketing plans because it’s almost a necessity for those who want to increase their reach and sales through social media.

Brands have increasingly made use of influencers over the years, and the influencer marketing industry isn’t slowing down any time soon. Influencer marketing now plays a large role in consumer culture in general.

What is deinfluencing?

Instead of telling followers to buy a product, deinfluencing involves people telling their followers not to buy a product. This deinfluencing trend has recently exploded in popularity.

The reasons for deinfluencing vary, but typically a content creator wants to urge people not to purchase a product or service that may:

  • Cost far more than it should
  • Consists of shoddy craftsmanship or poor quality
  • Cause environmental harm or excess waste
  • Cause physical or mental harm
  • Be ethically questionable

Deinfluencing isn’t completely about rejecting influencer marketing and the latest trends. The movement seeks to empower consumers to help them make informed choices. A deinfluencer wants to educate, not just complain.

The growing skepticism towards influencer marketing created deinfluencers and the trending #deinfluencing hashtag. It doesn’t help that many people are also now aware that influencers are paid to promote products, even if they don't actually use them.

People now want more authenticity and transparency from their influencers. In this sense, you can still think of a deinfluencer as a type of influencer. Many people now consider the environmental impact of consumerism, so they’re ready to hear more about what a product or service does in that regard.

Many TikTok users have also begun making deinfluencing videos where they speak about their experiences with products and services they paid for because an influencer said they should. Or, they make videos critiquing those products or services and sharing better or more sustainable alternatives. These types of videos have started to go viral on TikTok, which is where the deinfluencing trend all started.

Examples of deinfluencing campaigns

One of the most prominent examples of deinfluencing is the #AntiHaul movement on YouTube, spearheaded by Kimberly Clark. Social media influencers often created haul videos where they would make huge purchases of things like makeup or clothes and urge followers to also buy as many of the same products.

Kimberly, instead, made anti-haul videos to caution people against making unnecessary purchases just to follow a trend or because an influencer said so. Many other related deinfluencer movements sprung from the #antihaul movement.

You can easily find other deinfluencing campaigns simply by following the related hashtags to them. Some others include #detoxyourfeed, #buycott, and #dupe.

It's important to note that what separates these campaigns from being only negative reviews is that creators will explain their reasoning as to why you shouldn't purchase the product and suggest an alternative.

How did the deinfluencing movement start?

The deinfluencing movement started mainly on TikTok within the lifestyle and beauty industry. However, the deinfluencing TikTok trend now covers a lot more and exists on practically all social media platforms. You can find examples of deinfluencing on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and everywhere else.

These trends represent a direct response to the growing commercialism and lack of authenticity many felt was becoming the main model of influencers and influencer marketing. Many deinfluencers started as traditional social media influencers themselves.

Difference between influencing and deinfluencing

Influencing involves someone with a sizable following on social media promoting a product or service. These are brand deals where an influencer receives money or a free product in exchange for promoting the brand on their social platforms.

On the contrary, deinfluencing involves giving honest reviews of popular or expensive products while offering affordable alternative products.

Some of the main differences between the two include:

  • Influencing persuades consumers to buy or use a product or service based on an influencer's recommendation or endorsement.
  • Deinfluencing tries to empower consumers to make their own decisions based on their own research or experience rather than an influencer's opinion or endorsement.
  • Influencing relies on social proof, word-of-mouth, and storytelling to build trust and credibility with consumers.
  • Deinfluencing relies on facts, evidence, and logic to expose the flaws or drawbacks of popular products or services.
  • Influencing aims to create a positive image for a brand or product by highlighting its benefits and features.
  • Deinfluencing aims to create a realistic image of a brand or product by revealing its limitations and disadvantages.

Despite anything else, you can still look at both these things as social media marketing methods, as both utilize social media and require a content creator. Reputable influencers and deinfluencers alike are content creators who promote products they believe are of good quality and that their followers will like.

Benefits of deinfluencing

Deinfluencing can offer many important benefits to brands, marketers, and consumers, such as:

Improves credibility and trust

Deinfluencing can help brands improve their credibility and trust by showing the brand’s honesty, transparency, and accountability when it comes to a product or service. By acknowledging shortcomings or criticisms, brands can show that they care about customer feedback and are willing to improve their offerings.

More transparency

Deinfluencing adds transparency to marketing efforts because it discloses partnerships with influencers. By being more open and honest about sponsored content, brands can demonstrate their values and ethics and attract consumers who share similar beliefs or interests.

When influencers are open about the products they don't like, it helps to break down the illusion that all influencers are always promoting products that they love. In turn, you can address those concerns openly, which adds not just transparency but also improves a brand's credibility.

Increases engagement

Deinfluencing can help increase engagement with consumers by creating more meaningful and relevant content that addresses their pain points, questions, or needs. By providing more value and solutions for consumers, brands can foster loyalty and advocacy among them.

Deinfluencing can also help consumers increase engagement with brands by creating more feedback and dialogue that expresses their opinions, concerns, or suggestions. When influencers share their honest opinions, it sparks conversations and debates among their followers. This can help to keep followers engaged.

Better long-term results

Deinfluencing can help brands achieve better long-term results by building more loyal and engaged customers who are less likely to switch to competitors or abandon their products. By focusing on quality over quantity, brands can also reduce their costs and increase their profits.

The future of deinfluencing in marketing

Deinfluencing will not put an end to influencer marketing but will evolve it. Your business or brand will have to accept the challenge of offering more transparency and solutions, but it will gain a lot from the process.

Marketers will have to be more creative and strategic in finding and collaborating with deinfluencers who can help them spread their message and build their reputation. But brands will also have to be more respectful and responsive to consumers who want to have a voice and a choice in their consumption.

As more people become concerned about the environmental impact of consumerism and the ethical implications of buying products from certain companies, deinfluencing is likely to become more popular. You may have to rethink your approach to marketing to incorporate deinfluencing, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do so.

In today's world, people want authentic and trustworthy information. This means that marketers and brands only need to offer them just that, especially going forward. This isn’t a trend that’s going to disappear any time soon.

Embrace deinfluencing for more authentic marketing

As a marketing method, deinfluencing can help you improve your credibility and trust, achieve more transparency, increase engagement, and get better long-term results. It can also help you stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

This isn’t a rejection of influencer marketing, but rather a redefinition and one worth taking immediate advantage of.

Deinfluencing can be an especially powerful tool for new brands looking to build that initial level of trust and credibility with their audience. If you're willing, to be honest and transparent, you can use deinfluencing to create a more authentic and engaging marketing experience.

MailChimp offers a variety of tools you can take advantage of to leverage influencer marketing. You can also consider running TikTok ads to promote your business on the platform. Check out Mailchimp today to see how these marketing strategies can help your business grow.

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