Sep 20, 2019
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Trust issues mean marketers seek more control over influencer posts

Sep 20, 2019

With influencer marketing growing in importance as each year goes by, brands’ and retailers' marketing teams are dedicating more of their budgets to this area. But it seems that many of them are seeking to take greater control of what's actually published.

Influencers are meant to use the #ad hashtag to denote paid posts - @marilynetran

This might not please some of the influencers signed up by these labels, but it seems to be in response to ongoing issues with social media influencers not fully disclosing paid posts.

That's the conclusion of a report from influencer marketing service Takumi, which said that as many as 45% of all marketers want total control over written captions and the visuals in an influencer post. That divides into 39% in the UK and US feeling that way and 55% in Germany. If it happened, it would convert posts completely into paid ads and would most likely have an impact on the type of content being posted.

And it seems that as well as these brands not trusting that the influencers they work with will obey the rules, 54% of the influencers themselves have trust issues with the brands. Their concerns include issues around long-term partnerships, the clarity of the brief and creative control. And 62% of influencers claim to have been “pressured by brands to contravene the guidelines at least once.” Trust in the brands is highest in the US, followed by the UK but is quite low in Germany.

Takumi spoke to 4,000 consumers in the UK, US and Germany, plus marketers and influencers to come to its conclusions. Its CEO Adam Williams said that while consumers are clearly inspired by what influencers post, they’re able to see through sponsored posts that aren’t properly labelled and are calling out for “transparency, authenticity, honesty”.

That can be seen from other survey results that showed close to three-quarters of consumers saying they would unfollow an influencer over trust issues and that they particularly disliked influencers trying to magnify their importance. They gave a firm thumbs-down to the purchase of fake followers.

Overall though, almost all UK and US brands and influencers feel that the guidelines around what they have to disclose are clear enough to work with, but this view is held by only 52% of German marketers and 38% of the country’s influencers.

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