A new report digging into the reality of the burgeoning field of influencer marketing has found that close to half of all marketers (45%) feel they should have complete control over all written captions and visual elements in an influencer’s post – treating such content as the equivalent of an advert.
This absence of trust was reflected on the side of influencers themselves where 54% admitted they did not trust brands to work with them fairly. Instead, influencers cited creative control, long-term partnerships and a clear brief as their chief concerns.
Additional findings include the fact that nearly half of all marketers wish industry guidelines to be developed further in the wake of a succession of scandals involving celebrity social media users failing to disclose paid promotions.
The survey findings were obtained by influencer marketing service Takumi which quizzed 4,000 consumers, marketers and influencers to gauge wider sentiments.
Chief executive Adam Williams said: “Over the course of 2019, the influencer marketing industry has come under increasing scrutiny, and trust among consumers, brands and influencers across the world is being put to the test.
“Influencers continue to directly inform consumer purchasing behaviour, but consumers are increasingly savvy. Through this research, consumers have made it clear what wins their trust, and what they value; transparency, authenticity, honesty.”
On the consumer end, 72% said they would unfollow an individual over disingenuous endorsements with 69% parting ways over the promotion of an unrealistic lifestyle or body image or evidence that people were ‘dramatically’ misrepresenting themselves or their lifestyles. The purchase of fake followers was also a no-no for 68% of consumers.
The ASA has demanded use of the hashtag #ad as its minimum requirement for influencer disclosure.