Some 20 million Italians between the ages of 18 and 54 follow at least one influencer. Of these, 48% follow a macro-influencer; a category that includes not only individuals, but also publishing brands with stand-out social media profiles in their communities of reference and recognised as authoritative in nine specific areas: health and wellbeing, families and children, entertainment, technology and science, beauty and personal care, fashion, food and beverages, travel and tourism, cars and motorcycles.
And it is precisely these macro-influencers that are at the heart of the survey “Italians & Influencers” conducted by Buzzoole, InfoValue and Mondadori Media, aimed at examining more closely the views and opinions of Italians regarding an increasingly significant category in consumer behaviour.
In particular, it looks more closely at the relationship between Italians and influencers and publishing brands, with regard to the social media presence and the type of role that they play in entertainment and users buying habits.
The first interesting element is the frequency with which users consult their profiles: 37% claim to follow them every day, while another 37% check in every 2-3 days.
Why do users follow influencers?
For the advice they give (54%, above all for matters related to food) or for their expertise in specific areas (51%, technology and automotive) or because they are considered models of reference to identify with (19%, fashion and families).
At the top of the list for renown on social media there is Chiara Ferragni (mentioned by 85% of the sample), followed by GialloZafferano (72%) and Benedetta Rossi (71%).
As part of the study, emphasis was given to the role of macro-influencers in buying behaviour, with a different focus depending on the sector of interest for users. This showed that they can play the role of a “tutor” that explains a product (for 54% of the interviewees), especially in the areas of food beauty, a discoverer able to introduce new products (for 47%) for tech and beauty, a friend who can say where and when to buy something (41%), above all for fans of cars and motorcycles, or, also, an outstanding trendsetter (27%).
There is, therefore, a clear recognition of the commercial function: an expectation that influencers and publishing brands can provide information on a wide range of product types and become an “advisor” that in every situation can play a determining role.
Have looked at the role of macro-influencers in buying behaviour, the survey then examined their level of incidence in buying propensity: 85% of Italians claim to take the opinions of influencers into consideration when buying a product.
The study also looked in detail at how many purchases are “actually” made on the basis of the advice of influencers. Over the last year around half of the interviewees bought an average of 2 products or services recommended by influencers or editorial brands on social media: beauty, food, fashion and technology being the most influenced shopping categories.
An examination of buying intention is single areas, showed that in first place among the preference of Italians were the profiles of GialloZafferano (89%) in the food & beverage sector and Mypersonaltrainer for products related to health and wellness.
“The study conducted in along with Mondadori Media and InfoValue,” declared Gianluca Perrelli, CEO of Buzzoole, “has clearly demonstrated the complexity of a now consolidated phenomenon that involves millions of people. In addition, it has highlighted the multiple roles that Creators can have for Italians, not just as repeaters of messages, but as key elements in the purchasing process.”
“Brands remain among the main influencers of consumer buying habits, and central in the discovery of new trends and tendencies,” declared Andrea Santagata, General Manager of Mondadori Media. “The research clearly shows how some of them, the more vertical with a language and approach that is close to users, have maintained, and even reinforced, this role, also in the increasingly important social media environment. I think that it is key for a brand in social media to satisfy specific need, with a view to providing users with help and support.”
As regards the platforms used, Instagram emerged as the social media platform par excellence (67%), followed by Facebook (59%) and YouTube (53%). The younger target follow on TikTok (9%) and 4% on Twitch.
This quantitative survey involved over 1,500 interviewees, representative of Italian web users between the ages of 18 and 54, and examined 9 topics of main interest, arranged by socio-demographic profiles, with a special focus on female targets.
“Italians & Influencers” was conducted in the context of the WeTalks project: a permanent observation laboratory through which Mondadori Media addresses companies interested in information about the dynamics of consumer behaviour. The complete results of the survey are available on www.buzzoole.com and www.wetalks.it.