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[REPORT] Food & Drink Reign Supreme: 30% Of Consumers Prefer This Influencer Content

A new report from Sprout Social, which surveyed 2,000 consumers and 300 influencers across the US and UK, offers insights into consumer preferences and expectations in influencer marketing.

The research, conducted in February 2024, highlights significant generational differences in consumer behavior. While Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers prioritize authenticity and alignment with personal values, Gen Z prefers quantifiable metrics. Only 35% of Gen Z respondents cite authenticity as a key factor, compared to 47% who value follower count.

[REPORT] Food & Drink Reign Supreme: 30% Of Consumers Prefer This Influencer Content

Sprout Social’s analysts found that food and drink content captures the most attention in influencer marketing, with 30% of consumers favoring this category

Beauty content follows food and drink in popularity, capturing the attention of 26% of consumers. Fashion (21%), music (19%), and DIY & crafting (18%) round out the top five categories. The report notes that preferences vary by age, with younger consumers showing more interest in fitness, gaming, and lifestyle content, while Gen X leans towards movies/TV and sports.

In terms of content quality, 67% of consumers across age groups prefer honest and unbiased influencer collaborations. Entertainment value ranks second at 48%, followed by educational content at 29%. Surprisingly, aspirational content is least likely to capture consumer attention.

[REPORT] Food & Drink Reign Supreme: 30% Of Consumers Prefer This Influencer Content

The study also reveals platform preferences for influencer engagement. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube emerge as the most popular networks. However, usage varies significantly by generation. Facebook is the platform of choice for 50% of Baby Boomers, while Gen X and Millennials are nearly twice as likely as Boomers to engage on Instagram. TikTok shows strong adoption among Gen Z, with 27% engaging with influencers on the platform, compared to 15% overall.

When it comes to influencer selection, 53% of consumers follow those who align with their personal values. Authenticity, even when posting sponsored content, is important to 47% of respondents. Other factors include appropriate posting frequency (37%), demographic alignment (36%), and follower count (26%).

The report suggests that brands and marketers should challenge assumptions and ensure their approaches are data-driven and audience-centric.

Sprout Social’s research methodology included online surveys conducted by Cint. Consumer participants had at least one social media account and followed a minimum of five brands on social media. Influencer participants identified as social media influencers with audiences of 10,000+ followers on at least one network, earning at least half of their annual income from brand partnerships on social media. Read the full report here.

Nii A. Ahene

Nii A. Ahene is the founder and managing director of Net Influencer, a website dedicated to offering insights into the influencer marketing industry. Together with its newsletter, Influencer Weekly, Net Influencer provides news, commentary, and analysis of the events shaping the creator and influencer marketing space. Through interviews with startups, influencers, brands, and platforms, Nii and his team explore how influencer marketing is being effectively used to benefit businesses and personal brands alike.

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