How would you feel if everyone you liked on the internet tried to sell you things? Irritated, right? Well, that’s exactly what’s plaguing the Influencer Marketing industry right now. Too many promotions and brand collaborations have increased skepticism among the audience. People are beginning to get hesitant about the products influencers endorse. And brands are beginning to notice this.
The new consumer base, especially late millennials and Gen Z, have begun to see through the marketing techniques of influencers. This might lead to market saturation sooner than expected and cause a dip in conversions. And as brands hire influencers primarily to convert engagement into sales, the whole purpose of the marketing exercise gets defeated. As a result, they’ve started seeking out Genuinfluencers: engaging, relatable, and genuine social media personalities who may have a smaller following but are known for their dedication towards quality content.
The new consumer base, especially late millennials and Gen Z, have begun to see through the marketing techniques of regular influencers. Hence, for their promotions, brands are now inching towards Genuinfluencers. Click To Tweet
Genuinfluencers – The influencers among us
WGSN, the global authority on consumer and design trends, coined the term ‘Genuinfluencer’ back in 2020. The term included any individual passionate about sharing advice on their relevant field, discussing the specifications and spreading unbiased information rather than selling brands or products. Simply speaking, a Genuinfluencer is not someone who would endorse a T-shirt brand on one day and a hair gel on another. Genuinfluencers, as the name suggests, are genuinely interested in the content they create and less interested in marketing it.
Predicted as one of the biggest trends of late 2021 and beyond, Genuinfluencers have a stronger connection with their audience — perhaps more than traditional influencers. These truth crusaders present vetted information and work wonders for a qualified, niche-specific audience. Brands have begun to recognise their value and are now including Genuinfluencers in their brand promotion campaigns.
Difference between influencers and Genuinfluencers
Regular influencers and Genuinfluencers differ on one crucial aspect – expertise. Regular influencers can promote any product depending on their audience, niche or the collaborations they land. However, Genuinfluencers usually stick to the knowledge expertise. It is safe to say that the content of a traditional influencer leverages their digital presence and is directed towards selling, while the content of a Genuinfluencer leverages their knowledge and is aimed for the sole purpose of educating the audience.
Many brands are already using a mix of celebrities, macro-influencers and micro-influencers to make their campaigns effective. They should also include Genuinfluencers in the mix and target the left out niche-specific audience. Click To Tweet
Marketing conundrum: To sell or not to sell
If the whole purpose of a Genuinfluencer revolves around not selling a product outright, how are brands going to use them to their advantage?
Here’s the tricky part. As a brand, you’re going to expect that no marketing opportunity goes wasted. But if you demand excessive promotions from Genuinfluencers, there will be little difference between them and regular influencers. To avoid this, you must place trust in Genuinfluencers and follow their lead. You must invest more in longer campaigns that make room for the educative content that these influencers are famous for. Brands must also let loose and provide more opportunities to Genuinfluencers for honest reviews and feedback, depicting both pros and cons of the product or service.
Another way for brands to use Genuinfluencers is in integration with regular influencers. Many brands are already using a mix of celebrities, macro-influencers, and micro-influencers to make their campaigns effective. They should also include Genuinfluencers in the mix and target the left out niche-specific audience.
Predicted as one of the biggest trends of late 2021 and beyond, Genuinfluencers have a stronger connection with their audience. These truth crusaders present vetted information and work wonders for a qualified, niche-specific audience. Click To Tweet
Genuinfluencers in Non-Profit Organisations
Apart from brands, non-profit organisations and government divisions, too, have started showing interest in Genuinfluencers. The government of Finland named 1,500 Genuinfluencers as ‘essential workers’ and tasked them with spreading vetted information about pandemic safety. Going forwards, governments and NGOs must aim to increase the use of Genuinfluencers to combat the evil of misinformation prevailing in society.
Genuinfluencers in India
The Influencer Marketing Industry in India, too, is seeing a rise of Genuinfluencers. We have subject matter experts who share vetted information on various industries, from medicine to education.
Industry – Medicine
Dr Anjali Kumar (@maitriwoman) – Dr Anjali, aka maitriwoman, talks all about women’s health – Gynaecology, Sexual Health, and Pregnancy – in an authentic and engaging manner.
Industry – Travel
Varun Vagish (@varunvagish) – Mountain Trekker Varun Vagish is more interested in travelling like a local, sharing his experiences of couch surfing, hitchhiking, and meeting new people.
Industry – Finance
Rachana Ranade (@ca_rachanaranade) – CA Rachana Ranade shares her financial expertise and engaging content around her profession with her audiences.
Industry – Tax, Finance, and Business
Neha Nagar (@iamnehanagar) – Neha Nagar educates her audience on tax savings, finance mistakes, and business solutions, from IPOs to Bitcoins.
Industry – Education
Learn English (@englishgate4u) – This education influencer presents the audience with engaging posts, stories, and reels, all aimed at learning better English.
Apart from these, we also have Genuinfluencers who have collaborated with brands or non-profit organizations to support various causes.
Popular wildlife photographer, Shaaz Jung (@shaazjung), collaborated with Nikon to showcase their beautiful journey via visual imagery. The social media post itself gathered more than 1 lakh views. Awarded wildlife biologist and conservationist Krithi Karanth (@krithi.karanth) collaborated with the Centre for Wildlife Studies (@cwsindia) on a podcast to reimagine the elegance of an elephant’s trunk.
The rise of the importance of Genuinfluencers is going to transform Influencer Marketing. The sea of authentic and well-researched information that they bring with them is appealing to a big section of the audience. Thus, with more and more brands including Genuinfluencers in their marketing campaigns, we can be sure that the next phase of Influencer Marketing is here. However, as a brand, you need to tread carefully and ensure that you do not exhaust your opportunities by focusing on too many brand promotions at one time. Spread them out and allow Genuinfluencers creative freedom; you’ll eventually see that you’ve amassed a loyal customer base through these efforts.