Study: Every 5th person follows an influencer recommendation when shopping

A study by the BVDW comes to the conclusion that influencer marketing works well for people who frequently come into contact with influencers. Overall, only one in five Germans has followed their recommendations so far.

study ( PDF ) by the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) shows that influencer marketing is definitely successful. This is initially good news for advertising companies, which in recent years have increasingly invested budgets in cooperation with social media stars and asterisks.

“Personal recommendations” are the best marketing

It is an old saying from sales psychology that a personal recommendation is the most powerful factor in favor of a purchase decision. So it seems logical to have these “personal recommendations” made by people via social media platforms with whom their followers can identify or who they can get excited about.

Almost one in five Germans has already bought a product because it was recommended by an influencer, according to the study. For men, the proportion is lower at 17 percent, and slightly higher for women at 22 percent. For young consumers between the ages of 16 and 24, the proportion is even much higher at 43 percent.

Conversion success increases with contact frequency

The study further differentiated within the group of respondents. The market researchers wanted to know how often the respondents come into contact with influencers on social media. It was shown that the conversion success, i.e. the purchase decision based on recommendation, increases with the frequency of contact.

Of the 41 percent of respondents who stated that they had contact with influencers at least once a week, almost every second respondent aged up to 45 had already bought a product after an influencer presented it, according to the study.

In the age groups 45 and over, the influence of influencers drops dramatically. That may still be related to the digitization biography and could look completely different in ten years.

In the general population, influencers have a rather moderate effect, with an upward trend. (Source: BVDW)

Incidentally, the study certainly knows how to surprise, because the assumption that it would be particularly the very young consumers who are most likely to be influenced by influencers turns out to be wrong. Here lies the value of those who have already bought a product because they had previously seen it from an influencer, with 53 percent of those surveyed, and thus above all other age groups, among 35 to 44 year olds. Mind you, this only applies to the group of those who interact with influencers at least once a week.

Advertising as such is not a problem for the respondents

The promotional character of the influencer presentations is not a problem for 72 percent of those surveyed. 40 percent say they have no problem with it, as long as the advertisement is labeled as such.

A study by the M-Science Agency from October 2019 ( PDF ) comes to similar results . In their “Spotlight Influencer”, the market researchers come to the conclusion that advertising activities are expected from influencers. It only becomes problematic for the respondents when influencers only create advertising contributions or advertise products that clearly do not match their main topic. In general, the respondents in this study consider authenticity to be the most important factor.

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