Less than half of the influencers trust brands to work with them fairly, claims research

Half of marketers feel they should have complete control over the written captions and visual elements of an influencer's post, claims new research by influencer marketing platform Takumi.

Its latest study ‘Trust, transactions and trend-setters: the realities of influencer marketing’ also shows that almost half of all marketers want industry guidelines to be developed further, whilst less than half of the influencers surveyed trust brands to work with them fairly.

Key findings

  • 45% of marketers feel they should have complete control over the written captions and visual elements of an influencer's post
  • Almost half of marketers want industry guidelines to be developed further
  • Less than half (46%) the influencers surveyed trust brands to work with them fairly
  • One in three (34%) consumers credit influencers with purchases made in the past six months
  • Two thirds (62%) of consumers will unfollow an influencer if they incorrectly label posts

Influencer power

Discussing the power of influencers, Adam Williams, CEO of Takumi, says: “The influencer marketing industry is growing in both size and importance. This year, it’s set be valued at $6.5 billion, following growth of 300% over the past three years. Our research shows this investment is translating into impactful brand campaigns with genuine returns, as more than one in three consumers credited influencers with driving recent purchases, rising to 60% among 16-24-year olds in the UK.”

Trust matters

Talking about why trust is so important, Williams explains: “There is every indication that consumers trust influencers if they are honest about brand partnerships and their lifestyle, and follow regulations. But trust between influencers and brands or agencies isn’t as strong. Brands and marketers are reluctant to relinquish creative control to influencers, with two-fifths of marketers across the US and UK wanting to completely control the caption and visual elements of any social media post by an influencer. This hampers the creative control that influencers named as their number one priority.

“Brands are suffering from a reputation problem: only 56% of US influencers, 46% UK influencers and 38% German influencers trust brands to work with them fairly. There’s a huge opportunity here for PR professionals to improve trust, creativity and authenticity in these partnerships, reframing perceptions of influencer activity away from being low-cost creative.”

PR’s role

Williams further discusses the PR function’s role in making sure influencer campaigns improve: “Communications professionals are uniquely placed to get the most out of influencers and brand partnerships. They can add huge value by providing the clearer briefs both sides need, influencer management at scale, and ensuring that the content produced authentically speaks to target audiences rather than being treated like a normal advertising creative.”

Methodology

In August 2019 Takumi, Censuswide and Civey executed and commissioned this study of: 750 marketers across Germany, UK and US in August 2019; 1,000 Nationally representative UK respondents (aged 16+); 1,000 Nationally representative US respondents (aged 16+); 251 Nationally representative DE respondents (aged 18+).; and 342 Instagram influencers across UK, US and DE who have been active on Takumi brand campaigns within the last three months (aged 18+).