According to research from SheKnows Media, there was a time when knowing that an A-list star used a face cream or weight-loss shake was enough to get women to implicitly trust a brand. But, important for marketers to note, things are changing quickly, and these changes in women's buying behaviors matter because they control 85% of all purchasing decisions in America, comprising a $14 trillion market.
Female consumers appear to be increasingly wary of big companies and the celebrities paid to endorse them, says the report. The Internet, has made it much easier to find authentic opinions about products in online reviews and on social media, and women want to hear from everyday people with whom they can relate: 86% of the 1,470 women surveyed said they put the most trust in real peoples' product and service recommendations.
Samantha Skey, CMO of SheKnows Media, says "… today (women) are turning to what we refer to as 'everyday experts' on YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram… "
These "everyday experts" say that they are trusted because they don't appear to have ulterior motives when producing content about products. These influencers recognize that being authentic, honest, and responsive to their readers is important in order to build relationships with them. This means giving bad reviews, when they are warranted.
The study found that women find these these online everyday experts far more engaging than big companies. 52% of women say these influencers do the best job of making them feel connected:
The report says that many bloggers have fanned out onto other social platforms and importantly, most no longer expect to make a living by blogging alone. Today, only 20% of influencers. are paid all the time when endorsing a product, according to the report. 69% of influencers say they won't accept paid endorsements when they don't feel good about the product or the brand.
Millennial shoppers tend to feel the strongest connection with the influencers they see on social media. Conversely, says the report, only 14% of baby boomers rely on experts they find on the Internet when they are gathering information about products.
Concluding, the report says that social media influencers are most effective when they are targeting a very specific market segment, such as people of a particular age group or ethic background. Although their sphere of influence is more narrow, they tend to have greater impact with these groups.
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