Imogen Lancaster
Imogen Lancaster 3 August 2023
Categories B2C, Research, Social Media

Brits Turning Away From Flashy Influencer Content During Cost Of Living Crisis

Accenture's research reveals a shift in consumer attitudes towards influencer content, with 24% of 25-34 year-olds and 19% of 16-24 year-olds unfollowing unrelatable accounts. The study also shows a rise in engagement with 'deinfluencer' content, which questions unnecessary consumerism. Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, consumers are favoring brands offering practical financial tips and cheaper alternatives.

New research from Accenture Song reveals that flashy and unattainable influencer content is losing its grip on consumers with almost a quarter (24%) of respondents aged 25-34 years old and nearly a fifth (19%) aged 16-24 saying they have unfollowed accounts they felt presented a lifestyle not relatable to them.

Accenture’s research - which conveys the views of 2,000 UK consumers - also shows broader shifts in consumer attitudes towards influencer content with a fifth (21%) of people less likely to be swayed by their content and recommendations.

The research indicates the impact of influencer content is waning, with consumers being more likely to skip past ad content from influencers (20%) as well as nearly one in five (16%) stating they’re less likely to watch influencer content during the higher cost of living crisis.

In addition, almost a third (32%) of all consumers have stopped spending with a brand because of something it did which felt unfair, unethical or offensive, with a third (33%) of those saying it was due to the company feeling out of touch with the higher cost of living.

The brands which consumers follow on social media have also been impacted by the higher cost of living, with people leaning more into channels which offer practical tips on how to save money on food shopping coming out as the top change (21%).

Interestingly, the other top options follow suit, with a fifth of consumers (20%) favouring brand social accounts which give financial tips, for example on budgeting, while the same proportion (20%) favour content which suggests cheaper alternatives or 'dupes' to popular products.

Deinfluencers are Cutting Through

Accenture’s research indicates nearly a quarter (22%) of consumers have engaged with deinfluencer content since the start of the cost-of-living crisis – which calls brands and influencers into question and encourages consumers not to purchase unnecessary products or services.

Amongst 16-24-year-olds, this figure rose to 33% and, critically, 64% of this age group who decided not to spend with a brand as a direct result of engaging with deinfluencer content, highlighting again that consumers are being more discerning with their spending.

Commenting on the study, Vix Jagger, executive creative director, at Accenture Song, said: “We’ve all seen the shift from influencers to creators; from perfectly curated feeds, and only showing life’s ‘best bits’. To storytellers and entertainers, sharing more of their lives. This year, however, has signalled an even bigger shift towards not just a warts-and-all approach but a willingness to call out polished content and unrealistic lifestyles especially, against the backdrop of trying times. It has prompted a much-needed reassessment of the social and influencer landscape and put values front and centre once again for brands.”

Brand Attitudes Towards Influencer and Deinfluencer Content

To get a full 360 degree view of the current influencer ecosystem, Accenture’s research also spoke to 100 senior marketers at consumer-facing brands.

Despite shifting consumer attitudes towards influencer content, two thirds (65%) of senior marketers say they’ve spent more on the medium over the last 12 months - with a fifth (20%) investing significantly more.

However, with this rise in spend, nearly two-fifths (39%) of marketers surveyed favour the shift to authenticity and ‘real talk’ - believing influencers need to stop being so flashy with money, as people increasingly engage with more relatable content.

In terms of deinfluencer content, more than half (51%) of marketers polled express concerns about how deinfluencing could impact their brand – and a similar number (53%) have altered plans or campaign activity as a result. Interestingly, more than two fifths (44%) of marketers polled say they think deinfluencing is a good thing and gives all brands a fairer playing field.

About the Research

The research was conducted by Censuswide from 26.05.2023 - 31.05.2023.

Two separate surveys were conducted online with 2,006 people from across the UK, conducted as nationally representative across age, gender and region, as well as 101 senior marketers at consumer-facing UK companies with 250+ employees.

Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

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