More people are crediting influencers for their purchase decisions, with 3 in 5 younger consumers (ages 16-24 years old) saying that influencers have inspired their purchases in the past six months. However, while consumers generally trust influencers’ opinions on products, they do have their limits. Indeed, they will unfollow an influencer who has breached their trust, per surveys [download page] by Takumi of more than 3,000 consumers, marketers and influencers from the US, the UK and Germany.
Trust is an essential factor for the consumer/influencer relationship, with some 7 in 10 (72%) consumer respondents saying they would unfollow an influencer for disingenuous endorsements. Similarly, more than two-thirds (69%) say they would no longer follow an influencer who dramatically misrepresents themselves or their lifestyle, while 68% would choose to unfollow an influencer who has bought fake followers.
The issue of fake followers is not just a problem for consumers. Other research has found that one of influencer marketers’ biggest challenges is spotting fake followers or inauthentic engagement. Not only that, but the problem of fake followers is also a factor that has led to mistrust between marketers and advertisers. A previous study by Influencer Intelligence also adds weight to the importance of trust, with the vast majority of marketers agreeing that transparency and authenticity are key to influencer marketing success.
In the US and UK, about two-thirds (67%) of consumers say they will unfollow an influencer if they find out they have incorrectly labeled a paid post, making it unclear that it is an ad.
The vast majority (88%) of marketers surveyed in these two countries say that the advertising guidelines on labeling paid-for influencer posts, as outlined by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), are clear. Notably, correct labelling of posts was a top concern for only 25% of US marketers and 19% of UK marketers.
Still, 62% of the influencers surveyed say that they have been pressured by brands to violate these advertising guidelines at least once.
To read more, download the full report here.
About the Survey: Consumer results are based on a survey of 2,251 nationally representative respondents from the US, the UK and Germany.