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In Other News: Instagram Kids Gets Shelved, Influencer Marketing Keeps Growing, and Consumer Confidence Tumbles

Welcome back to our weekly update, deciphering the latest digital marketing news for you! This week, we take you through the pausing of Instagram Kids, how influencer marketing is here to stay and the latest consumer confidence outlook.

 

Instagram Kids Debacle

A little while ago, the Facebook Group started working on Instagram Kids, a platform specifically designed for tweens (10 to 13 years old). The aim of this new platform was to safeguard against kids misrepresenting their age and using the wider Instagram app, were the content is not age-appropriate.

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them – where parents can supervise and control their experience – than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID.” (Instagram)

However, this decision was met with growing suspicion from child safety collectives and, most recently, sparked a scathing expose from the Wall Street Journal. The main concerns about this project are the following:

  • Instagram Kids would push induce a constant focus on appearance and personal branding from a young age
  • Negative impact on mental health
  • Privacy issues

While the Facebook group denied these claims, it has decided to pause Instagram Kids while it consults parents and governmental bodies alike so as to be able to design a safer and positive platform.

 

Influencer Marketing: Big and Getting Bigger

Even though it already was an incredibly profitable industry, influencer marketing keeps getting bigger! It has proven as particularly effective for brands, especially when it comes to building and consolidating brand awareness and strength. In spite of the pandemic, influencer marketing has established itself as a relatively safe marketing tactic. As such, brands have overall increased their share of budget allocated to influencer marketing in 2020 and 2021.

But what makes influencer marketing so resilient?

  • Distrust of hard-selling tactics coming directly from marketers
  • Rising importance of social proof
  • Taste for authentic content (recommendations)

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” (Scott Cook, Inuit CEO)

As influencers represent what customers aspire to, they remain a good way for brands to subtly influence consumer perceptions while still meeting the mark of authentic customer-made content.

 

Stormy Consumer Confidence Outlook

In September, the general consumer confidence has degraded in anticipation of impaired personal finances and economic hardship. The main sources of worry that led to this drop in confidence are the following:

  • Expectation of rising tax
  • End of furlough
  • Fuel crisis
  • Brexit collateral damage (e.g. shortages)

So what does this mean for digital marketers? When consumers are worried about their disposable income (the amount of money they have left to spend after paying their taxes), they are more likely to be sensitive to price. As such, they may turn to off-brand products, limit spending on higher-end products, prioritise favourite hobbies over passing interests… and be more responsive to sales.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! This suggests that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be even more important to consumers than in previous years. It is highly likely that they will concentrate the bulk of their “interests and treats” shopping to such big sales to maximise the bang for their hard-earned buck. So there’s no time to waste, it’s now time to prepare your BFCM game plan…

 

Do you need help making influencer marketing work for your brand or preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Get in touch with us at maya@pilotfishmedia.com!

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