Despite growing trust in influencers, around 45% of marketers prefer to have full control over influencer marketing content, according to research by Takumi.
Based on the answers of 4,000 consumers, marketers and influencers across the US, UK and Germany, Takumi found that 86% of 750 marketers generally trust influencers. 39% of US and UK marketers and 55% of German marketers would like to have full control over caption and visuals of influencer posts.
“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,” said Adam Williams, Takumi CEO. “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.
However, 46% of the 342 influencers on Instagram trust that brands will work with them fairly.
Around a third (34%) of the 2,000 customers surveyed said they had made a purchase from an influencer post in the last six months. Among the 16 to 24-year-olds that percentage rises to 91%. Meanwhile, a fifth of consumers trusts influencer recommendations more than their friends. When it comes to fake or inauthentic content, consumers are less forgiving with 68% unfollowing an influencer in that case.
Top reasons for losing trust include fake endorsements (72%), unrealistic body image (69%), misrepresentation of character or lifestyle (69%) and fake follower purchases (68%).
Over a third (37%) of consumers also want influencers to mark their brand partnerships, yet 62% of influencers admitted that they had been pressured by brands previously to breach guidelines. But brands agree that regulations are clear in their markets in the US and UK, whilst in Germany brands aren’t as clear.
“Marketers must take a proactive and responsible role in educating about and enforcing correctly labelled ads. Developing and upholding regulations is a shared responsibility,” adds Williams. “This will require good communication with influencers, many of whom are struggling with opaque briefs. Influencers are asking for greater clarity but also want creative licence and the partnerships that can successfully achieve this will be the real winners.”