Brands which are ploughing their money into influencer marketing have been given some food for thought on the back of a new study which reveals the majority of Brits not only feel many influencers are out of touch, they would not touch them with a barge pole.
New research from unified customer experience platform Emplifi quizzed 2,503 UK consumers to identify the impact of an increasingly saturated influencer market on consumer trust.
It has found most Brits simply do not trust that either mega influencers (57%) or micro influencers (51%) are transparent and declare all ads. Meanwhile, two in five (41%) Brits ‘never’ trust the products and services being promoted to them by influencers, particularly mega influencers with over one million followers.
In fact, one in five (19%) UK consumers value transparency most in the influencers they follow, specifically those that clearly declare all ads – more so than those that prioritise sustainable brand collaborations (6%).
The research also discovered that amid record-high UK inflation, over half (51%) of consumers do not think that mega influencers with more than one million followers can understand or relate to the pressure of rising living costs. This is perhaps why only 7% of UK consumers place most value in influencers with an inspirational lifestyle.
Furthermore, the majority (59%) of Brits do not believe that the influencers from the upcoming series of Love Island 2022 will be authentic and trustworthy.
Meanwhile, with the influencer market becoming increasingly saturated, over half of Brits either ‘never’ (30%) or ‘rarely’ (21%) trust that mega influencers truly believe in the products or services they are promoting.
This scepticism extends to micro-influencers, with two in five Brits ‘never’ (26%) or ‘rarely’ (16%) trusting that these influencers believe in the products or services they are promoting.
Emplifi reckons this should be a key consideration for brands, with almost one in five (19%) Brits confirming that they would not purchase from a brand again if they did not trust the influencers associated with the company. A further 13% confirmed this would ‘somewhat’ impact their willingness to purchase from a brand.
The study follows separate research from Takumi that showed seven in ten (70%) brand marketers are more likely to use influencers in campaigns since the pandemic. In fact, influencer marketing budgets now represent the largest proportion of overall marketing budget for the majority (69%) of brands.
Emplifi chief marketing officer Zarnaz Arlia said: “Amid the current cost of living crisis, it’s more important than ever for brands to lead with empathy. While influencer marketing should remain a priority for marketing budgets in 2022, what needs to change is how brands select the right influencer with whom to partner.
“Brands whose influencer messaging is centred on authenticity will provide more relatable experiences that better connect with consumers, particularly Generation Z who regard their spending choices as a reflection of their individual identity.
“It starts with understanding what your brand stands for and then rigorously applying that story alongside the entire customer journey, with influencer marketing remaining a vital component of multichannel marketing strategies.
“In today’s climate, brands should invest time in identifying influencers that align best with their core values. This will ultimately remove short-term risk from marketing campaigns, ensuring they do not feel contrived and inauthentic, while building long-lasting brand loyalty.”
Just last week, the Advertising Standards Authority warned brands which jump into bed with “high-risk” influencers they face legal action in a new crackdown on serial offenders who fail to disclose when a post is an advertisement.
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