Research by BlogLovin’ examined how and why women engage with influencer content. They surveyed 20,000 digitally-savvy women in North America between the ages of 18 and 49. The most preferred platform for following influencers was Instagram (61 percent). However, Facebook was a close second with 50 percent. Thirty-five percent of the women reported that Pinterest was their preferred platform for following influencers. However, the research found that 88 percent of the women follow influencers across multiple platforms—two or more. Facebook and Twitter were most popular for following food influencers. Instagram was the preferred platform for following fashion and beauty influencers.
There are various reasons why women follow influencers. The top reason reported by 64 percent of women was that the influencer posts about a niche topic they enjoy. Additionally, 62 percent reported that women follow an influencer because their posts provide inspiration that is actually achievable in their own lives.
According to the women, influencer marketing fails for several reasons. When asked what would keep them from engaging with an influencer’s sponsored social posts, 61 percent of women said that “It doesn’t feel genuine.” The women described reasons why they would perceive an influencer’s post as inauthentic and not genuine. Fifty-nine percent said that posts feel fake/inauthentic when the content is inconsistent. Thirty-six percent said the #paid hashtag and 34 percent said the same product being on other influencers’ feeds on the same days make posts feel fake/inauthentic. Further, 31 percent reported that having brand messaging in the post and the #ad hashtag caused posts to be perceived as such.
Influencers seem to drive action for women. Fifty-four percent of women reported having purchased a product or service after seeing it in an influencer’s posts. Approximately 45 percent reported following a brand directly from an influencer’s sponsored post. The women were also inspired to do other things because of their influencers such as: use a new product/brand they would have not considered (63 percent), take action or plan a new experience (63 percent), or use a product in a different way (58 percent).