Mainga Hachibiti
Mainga is Research Analyst for Consumer Lifestyles at Mintel Germany. She specialises in reports exploring the attitudes and behaviours of different demographic groups in Germany.

A rising interest in climate change, zero waste or political involvement as well as social change are some of the current trends that impact the influencer marketing businesses and that marketers need to consider. At the same time, consumers will become smarter social media users and many will limit their time online or look for more informational content. This will have a lasting impact on the influencer business.

In Germany, one in four social media users seeks information on social or political issues on social media. As consumers spend more time online, they will look for content on serious and relevant topics, wanting to become informed about what is going on in the world. Looking forward, people will increasingly look for influencers who have a real purpose and social media will function as a channel for educational campaigns that convey messages to a broad audience.

Influencers will increasingly use their reach for good causes and to create meaningful content

This has led to the term ‘Sinnfluencer’, a German word comprising ‘Sinn’ (sense/purpose) and ‘influencer’. This new form of influencer, who has the ability to reach many people, will be committed to promoting meaningful content with a purpose, creating awareness around topics such as sustainability, political engagement and social justice. Already now, more and more influencers in Germany are using their reach for a good cause, motivating their followers to live with more consideration for the planet, their fellow human beings and themselves.

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Influencer Louisa Dellert fights for social change. For International Women’s Day, for example, she partnered with LinkedIn to raise awareness for the Gender Pay Gap.
Source: Louisa Dellert @loudellert

Brands and influencers should harmonise their values and goals to ensure an authentic relationship

Particularly the power to influence younger people on social media platforms will be appealing and encourage businesses and brands to choose more credible influencers with a strong meaning. Social media will be ideal for educational campaigns, and brands can work with purposeful influencers to openly educate users about their own ethical initiatives. However, they should make sure to authentically enter the discussion and reflect the real lives and concerns of consumers to remain relevant and compelling. Brands and influencers are well placed to define their values and goals beforehand in order to ensure a long-lasting relationship.

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In cooperation with Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven, influencer HelloPippa raised awareness for fair fashion.
Source: @Hellopippa

But as consumers are seeking for more relevant information on social media, those who represent companies online won’t just be young entertainers, models or those advising on fashion, beauty and fitness – who currently carry the most weight in the influencer marketing industry. We will increasingly see academics, medical professionals and journalists such as German journalist Malcolm Ohanwe or biology student Leon from xskincare.

Respond to consumers’ desire for change

In the future, brands who rethink their approach in a meaningful direction and build up transparent, truthful relationships with purpose-driven influencers will be able to live up to this new level of awareness. As society evolves and asks for greater social responsibility, brands who integrate genuine influencers in long-term relationships will appeal to consumers’ desire for change.