Attractive Social Media Influencers Hinder The Success Of Products
- New research reveals effect of using social media influences to create and promote products
- Influencers who help in the creation of products can improve design
- Products could flop if beautiful influencers are too similar to their followers. Being unique is seen as more important
Using Influencers for marketing is a form of collaboration that stormed the marketing world ever since the growth of platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
And if you have used any of these sites you know image is everything. The platform is full of beautiful model lookalikes who know their angles. And with celebrities like Kylie Jenner who currently boasts over 200 million followers, a figure not to be sniffed at, it’s hard to deny they have influence. However, the question is exactly what the influence is worth and does using these influencers as part of your product promotion automatically equate to product success?
Well, actually, it’s not as simple as you might think. Attractive influencers might just ruin your chance of success.
Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing, but in today’s digital world there are many types of social content creators with niche audiences that can often offer more value to brands than just a picture. These people may have dedicated makeup, fashion or travel audiences – the list is endless.
“Cewebrities” can be defined as web celebrities who have gained fame mainly via their presence on the internet, especially on social media platforms. They are deemed as an effective marketing tool for firms to improve their brand awareness and business performance.
New research from Trinity Business School in Ireland reveals that using social media influencers to develop new products can ultimately make them more successful. However, one type of influencer does not fit all.
The researchers interviewed young people aged between 17 and 25 years old, all of whom reported having heard of fashion influencers, from whom more than 50% of respondents had purchased or used product samples. It found that the involvement of fashion influencers in the value co-creation process can significantly influence new product development performance, proving that consumers do trust influencers to represent them and that collaborating with them can help firms develop innovative fashion products. However, surprisingly, if the influencers are deemed attractive it can have a negative effect on the success of the product.
According to Dr. Xiaoning Liang, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Trinity Business School, “Celebrities are now more involved in new product development activities due to their association with innovative clothing and fashion design. Our study has identified and validated five key attributes of fashion cewebrities; attractiveness, trustworthiness, expertise, interactivity, and intimacy.
Dr. Liang, who co-authored the study with Professor Hao Zhang, Northeastern University in China and Professor Hakil Moon, Eastern Michigan University in the USA, says the research reveals that different attributes of fashion cewebrities can impact new product development in different ways.
“For instance, the expertise and interactivity of fashion cewebrities are found to improve product design, production, and commercialization performance, whereas intimacy is found to affect only the performance of product design and commercialization,” she says. “Surprisingly, attractiveness is found to have negative impacts on both product design and production performance. This may be because, since attractive Chinese fashion cewebrities may appear similar to their followers, the perceived uniqueness of their co-created fashion products may be correspondingly reduced as exclusivity and uniqueness are considered more important attributes. This may lead to a negative impact of attractiveness on new product development performance.”
It could be debated whether influence on social media equates to power, but in recent years it is clear that social media influencers can make a very comfortable living from promoting brands and products, so that influence is clearly worth money. And there is no doubt that using social influencers in your marketing strategy can help you reach your target audience quickly. The research has also made it clear that using influencers who help in the creation of products can improve design.
There are clearly some big benefits attached to using social influencers in your business. And given the success derived from social influencer marketing, many companies nowadays set aside dedicated budgets specifically for this. However, Dr. Liang advises that companies should also invest the time in making sure they choose to work with the right people. Selecting the most effective influencer and not just the most attractive one or the one with the most followers could really make all the difference when it comes to the success of your new product.