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Twenty five percent of consumers say influencers have driven a purchase, says research

Influencer recommendations now drive a quarter of consumers claims the UK Influencer Consumer Attitudes Report 2018 from communications firm Golin. The research found around one-third (31%) of consumers are open to sponsored content with one in five actively keen for relevant product recommendations from influencers, as long as it aligns to their interests and values.

Key findings

  • One in four individuals have purchased a product as a direct result of a recommendation from an influencer
  • Brits are not put off by #ad with 31% of Britons open to sponsored content and one in five keen for product recommendations
  • Brits are 30% more likely to engage with a ‘real-life’ influencer – popularity of smaller ‘micro’ influencers for a more personal and relatable connection continues to grow
  • But there’s a big watch out for both brands and influencers, with 42% calling for better quality control of fake news and offensive opinions

How to create successful influencer campaigns

Discussing how to create an influencer campaign that positively affects consumers, Will Cooke, executive director strategy and innovation at Golin, says: “First and foremost it’s about influence and relevance. To find the collaborators who share your purpose, it’s critical to spend time establishing what relevance means to the brand, business and audience. At Golin, this involves qualitative analysis (brand fit, aesthetic) with quantitative tools to avoid the distraction of follower numbers and identify true influence.”

Highlighting the importance of being authentic, Cooke adds: “Our report found that consumers increasingly favour ‘real life’ and ‘honest’ influencers who reflect their values. Consumers are savvy enough to see through hype, polish and false perfection and are not prompted to purchase by influencers simply because they have status or massive reach.”

But this does not mean being open about sponsoring content is a bad idea. As Cooke says: “Interestingly, there was a sense of openness and acceptance around sponsored content, consumers see #ad as part and parcel of social platforms such as Instagram. But they are only willing to respond to product recommendations on the condition that they were relevant to their lives. As measurement becomes more integrated and expansive, we are getting a better understanding of the impact influencers are having at every stage of the customer journey.”

Influencer marketing is not a fad, but brands must be creative in how they use influencers. Cooke concludes: “We’ve always believed in the power of earning attention, and think it’s time to move away from transactional influencer marketing. We need to embrace ‘always-in’ culture approach and work with influencers on long-term partnerships to create genuine results. We’ve seen that influencers have the power to do more than just raise awareness, that their advocacy has the power to drive purchase, but brands need to think creatively about how the brand-influencer partnership benefits the influencer-audience relationship.” 


The Golin Consumer Attitudes Report looked at consumer attitudes towards influencers, celebrities, journalists and thought leaders. The survey was commissioned by Golin and carried out by research company Toluna who surveyed 1,500 consumers in the UK ranging from 21-60 years old.

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