It can be difficult to quantify the actual influence social media influencers have. But, as recent data suggests, they're making young Britons buy things, with more than half of Gen Y and Gen Z Brits admitting they've bought something an influencer has advertised – more so than a celeb ambassador.

Influencers Gen Y Gen Z Shopping Trends

According to a survey by marketing network afflinet, more than 51% of young British adults age 18 to 30 have made online purchases after being directly influenced by a social media influencer, blogger or YouTuber. And out of the 2,293 Gen Yers and Gen Zers surveyed, a majority of the respondents believed they were five times more likely to buy something promoted by an online star. 

The most common purchases made by young Britons are clothing (44%), makeup/beauty products (36%) and video games (21%). Only one-in-ten of those surveyed (9%) admit they would buy the same product if advertised by a celebrity.

American Tourister are an example of a brand who have reaped the rewards of influencer activity. The Soundbox Suitcase campaign, featuring influencer Helen Anderson, devised and delivered by Carat, helped drive a new audience of over 26,000 new social followers and strongly attributed to a 27.4% uplift in sales. A testament to influence of influencers. 

How did we do it? Audience insight revealed four key categories which resonated with the target market: music, culture, food and fashion. After looking for the perfect match, Helen Anderson was the chosen influencer to run promoted posts on her Instagram feed. Facebook Live activity utilised as the core engagement piece due to its increased reach and engagement figures as a result of its favoritism in Facebook algorithms. Streaming consisted of three live streams in two different locations in four hours, all correlated against the key categories of interest for the audience. 

With celebrity endorsements increasingly being viewed as inauthentic, brands are striving to tip the balance in their favour, opting to collaborate with a newer, greener type of online celeb: the everyman. "Not only are many YouTubers and bloggers relatable in the sense many of them still live relatively ‘normal’ and down-to-earth lives," says Richard Greenwell, head of affiliate development at affilinet, "there is also the notion in many consumers’ minds that they can much more easily attain the lifestyles of some of the more well-known and successful influencers if they set up their own blog, YouTube channel or Instagram page." It's why Stephen Webster teamed up with fashion icon Blondey McCoy for a jewellery collection, and why ColLab launched its cosmetics in partnership with eight beauty influencers.

A version of this article first appeared on the Canvas8 website.


Influencers Gen Y Gen Z Shopping Trends
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