The Influencer Marketing 2020 report carried out by Influencer Intelligence in association with Econsultancy, which is based on opinions of both 1,173 marketers and 500 consumers in the UK and US, found that a third of brands admit they regularly avoid disclosing influencer marketing as sponsored content as they think that doing so will impact consumers’ trust, instead choosing to come up with “creative alternatives”.
That’s despite brands saying that they are fully aware that consumer trust in sponsored influencer content is eroding, with 64% of marketers feeling that drastic action to prove transparency is critical. What’s more, 77% of marketers say they are fully aware and are up to date with the latest advertising codes and guidelines set out by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
However, when consumers were questioned, half (54%) said they don’t have a problem with influencers indicating a post is sponsored using #spon or #ad as they don’t believe it detracts from the credibility of a post, as long as the post is relevant. However, concerns have been raised around consumers not fully understanding that a disclosure like #sp, #partner or #thanks(brand) in an Instagram post will mean that the post is sponsored.
Looking ahead, 83% of marketers say better data and metrics that allow more transparency and authenticity will be the biggest trend to impact influencer marketing strategies over the next two years.
“Anyone creating content with a brand they love should be proud to make it clear that they are working with that brand and being compensated. If anyone is ashamed of using #ad at this point, given how many people are doing it, then they probably shouldn’t be working with that brand,” said Lucy Lendrem, head of talent UK at Gleam Futures.
Regulatory bodies have started to take a harder line on individuals who are not properly disclosing their commercial brand relationships. The ASA hs published guidelines to help steer the industry towards more transparency, while ISBA is looking to combat follower fraud in its new marketing contracts.