The demand for consumer technology is higher than ever. The pandemic forced millions into remote work and caused countless others to try a new piece of tech for the first time to keep themselves busy at home.
But these kinds of products are expensive, and consumers want to buy from someone they trust when they make a major purchase. That’s why more and more companies are partnering with technology influencers and creators who can help share a story of brand love and show their audience first-hand why they can trust a particular product.
Consumer technology changes quickly
Brands are in a constant battle to provide consumers with the latest tech, or at the very least, scramble to keep up with the most recent trends. Brands not only have to ensure they have the technology brainpower to keep up with fickle consumer interests, but they must also be able to effectively come up with new and innovative ways to appeal to their audience, and convince their fans that the new “latest and greatest” is worth the hefty price tag.
Challenges the consumer technology industry is facing today
Early adopter hesitation
Early adopters are some of the first consumers to try a product, and their reaction to a new piece of technology is critical to brands as they target more apprehensive audiences.
Most consumers opt to hold off on the early adopter wave due to the intimidating price tag that typically comes with new technology. Many brands gift their latest tech to influencers in exchange for ratings and reviews, but regardless, early adopters have to deal with glitches or bugs that could turn them off from the product completely.
There is also a growing privacy concern for certain new technology, especially with devices that require a “wakeword” like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant. As this technology advances, traditional early adopters will have to decide if they still want to be the first to test these products, or if they might like to let someone else be the guinea pig when it comes to their privacy.
Supply shortage during the pandemic
The worldwide supply of graphics cards (the component that helps generate images to display devices like computer monitors) is still in short supply as we round out the final months of 2021. There are several conductors that caused the shortage to reach its boiling point, but the main catalyst has been the increased demand for personal computers amid the pandemic.
The fourth quarter of 2020 saw global shipments of traditional PCs (desktops, notebooks, and workstations) grow 26.1% year over year (YOY), according to results from the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. Work-from-home, remote learning, and significantly stronger consumer market for gaming PCs and recreational tech caused demand for those devices to grow 13.1% percent YOY for the full year of 2020 – an annual growth not seen in more than a decade.
Although the shortage has improved over the last few months, IBM President Jim Whitehurst recently said he expects a strain could last “a few years” as the demand for televisions, phones, and PCs remains sky high.
“So frankly, we are looking at a couple of years … before we get enough incremental capacity online to alleviate all aspects of a chip shortage,” Whitehurst said in an interview with BBC News.
Despite the shortage, the use of consumer tech has spiked.
The use of consumer tech is expected to hit record highs by the end of 2021. An annual survey from the Consumer Technology Association predicts consumer tech spending will soar to $461 billion by January 2022, outgaining the 2020’s spending total by $40 billion.
The pandemic “pushed the fast forward button on tech adoption,” CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said in an interview with S&P Global, adding that, “When the economy is at its worst, we see innovation at its best.”
The pandemic also increased the likelihood of tech companies connecting with first-time consumers. According to a Mojo Vision survey, 60% of first adopters in the U.S. said the pandemic caused them to buy various tech products for the first time.
The report also found that 76% of the surveyed first adopters will continue adopting technology at the same pace even after the conditions of the pandemic recede farther back into normalcy.
Hesitation with high-expense products
One of the reasons influencers are so important with consumer technology is because people are normally hesitant to purchase large-ticket items without first-hand testimony from someone they consider trustworthy. While COVID has some consumers less apprehensive, many are still hesitant to buy. Businesses reluctant to change or adapt to work-from-home situations are also less likely to purchase consumer tech for their employees.
Brands already taking advantage of technology influencers for marketing success
Intel recently partnered with YouTube tech reviewer, Linus Tech Tips, to help build a gaming PC for former hairstylist and TikTok superstar, Kris HC. Intel has partnered with countless tech influencers over the years to test and review its latest technology, but the company hopes to branch out to a wider audience with new collaborations such as this one.
You’d be hard pressed to find a tech influencer without a sponsored post from Apple. The most popular campaign Apple deploys is an “unboxing campaign,” which allows influencers to take a new Apple product – typically an iPhone – from its original packaging while capturing their immediate reaction to the product in real time. Influencers can also demonstrate the product’s features and teach their audience how to use the new tech while giving their own personal flair to the videos.
Dell takes advantage of the high engagement rates of nano and micro influencers by inviting them to join their #DellInsideCircle to showcase how the company’s products benefit them in their daily life. While the campaign does have a number of smaller-tier tech influencers, the Inside Circle is open to anyone who uses Dell products including lifestyle bloggers, athletes, musicians, and plenty of other creators who have an active and engaged audience.
20 consumer technology influencers brands should follow
Top 5 TikTok tech influencers
1. Jenna Ezarik
Jenna is the younger sister of YouTube star Justine “iJustine” Ezarik, and a prolific content creator in her own right. Jenna makes videos about her life and travels, which include plenty of tests and tips for various high-expense products.
2. Tomi Adebayo
Tomi Adebayo, also known as Gadgetsboy, is a London-based techie and electric supercar enthusiast. He is the former head of tech for UNILAD and has worked more recently with major brands like Samsung and BMW Mini. He is currently a presenter for Electrifying.com, an electric car news, review, video, and advice outlet.
Enobong Etteh brings the latest in tech and entertainment by way of daily reviews and two weekly podcasts. He is also the editor and founder of booredatwork.com, a website that aims to consolidate the most relevant tech and entertainment news all into one place.
Wow truly astounding
Joe Thio is known for making videos about tech news, reviews, and tips with a humorous twist. Joe is known for his unique style of editing and mission of making complex technology topics “less boring.”
Will it Survive 🧐
Taras Maksimuk, better known online as TechRax, is a Ukranian creator now based in California. Taras started as a traditional tech blogger but has since pivoted to “testing the durability” of some of the most popular new devices.
Top 5 Instagram tech influencers
Marques Brownlee, better known as MKBHD, has the highest name recognition of anyone on our list, and for good reason. Millions of people across multiple platforms count on Marques for his reviews, and tune into his podcast, Waveform, where he discusses the latest technology to hit the market.
Sara Dietschy is a Dallas-based influencer specializing in docuseries, tech reviews, and vlogs. Sara is passionate about the creative community and enjoys sharing how technology can help inspire her own creative process. She hosts a weekly podcast titled That Creative Life where she interviews artists and business professionals from around the world.
3. Kaiman Wong
Kaiman is a tech lover and popular blogger, but the self-proclaimed “photography nerd” mostly focuses on camera-related content. He is also known for putting his quirky sense of humor on display and regularly posts popular challenges and parodies.
Techme0ut is a tech reviewer who covers everything from product reviews to jailbreak and app reviews. Her mission is to reach those who want the perspective of an “everyday” customer presented in a clear, concise, yet engaging review or tutorial.
Brandon Havard is a designer, creative director, cinematographer, theatre actor, and tech reviewer. He has worked with MKBHD, Jonathan Morrison, Google, OnePlus, Wix, and a number of high-level production companies.
Top 5 YouTube tech influencers
Simone Giertz is a Swedish inventor and robotics enthusiast, television host, and former editor for Sweden’s official website. She is perhaps best known to her more than 2 million YouTube subscribers for transforming a Tesla car into a pickup truck.
Marie-Philippe is a Montreal-born influencer and a software engineering student. She live streams study sessions and shares anecdotes about her life in the technology industry as a part of her mission to get more women interested in the field.
3. Zaryab Khan
Zaryab Khan shares the latest in tech updates, news, leaks, reviews, comparisons, and more with his 1.5 million YouTube subscribers. Often referred to as “The Smartphone Guy.” Zaryab specializes in product reviews of the latest phones to hit the market.
4. Krystal Lora
Krystal Lora has now surpassed 310,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel where she posts regular unboxings, reviews, and comparisons of some of the latest tech industry products. She is also a contributor for Android Authority, an online publication dedicated to Android products and its operating system.
Tom Honeyands, better known online as “Tom the Tech Chap,” is one of the most popular tech influencers in the UK. If you’re wondering which phone to buy, how much to spend on a laptop, or thinking about upgrading your gaming PC – Tom is the chap for you.
Top 5 tech writers
1. Cherlynn Low
Cherlynn Low began her career writing for Laptop Mag and Tom’s Guide after graduating with a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University in 2013. She spent her early career reviewing smartphones, laptops, wearables, and cameras before joining Engadget as a reviews editor.
Nilay Patel co-founded The Verge and is now the editor-in-chief. He was named one of 10 “voices that really matter” in technology journalism by SAY Media because of his ability to explain complex legal situations in everyday terminology. Nilay also co-hosts the Webby Award-winning podcast Vergecast.
3. Samara Lynn
Samara Lynn boasts nearly 20 years of experience in information technology and was included in Black Enterprise’s “20 Black Women in Tech You Need to Follow on Twitter.” Samara’s work has appeared on The Wirecutter, Tom’s Hardware, PC Mag, and numerous other outlets. She currently works as an editor for ABC News.
Ashley Carman is a senior reporter for The Verge. A former cybersecurity writer for SC Magazine, Carman took over as the lead writer for The Verge’s Hot Pod newsletter and now delivers the latest news, analysis and opinions on the audio tech industry.
5. Drew Prindle
Drew Prindle’s work covers a wide scope of topics most commonly associated with science, emerging technologies, and the future. He joined Digital Trends as a staff writer in 2012 and now serves as the senior features editor.
Conclusion: Partnering with tech creators can help you build trust with a potential hesitant customer base
With more people staying at home, both in their personal lives and a remote-work environment, the demand for consumer products is higher than ever. But despite the increased demand, the pandemic has caused many consumers to watch every dollar they spend. These cost-conscious consumers want to do their own research and buy from people they trust. Partnering with technology influencers and creators accomplishes this goal, and also ensures your brand is getting the most out of every marketing dollar it spends.