With thousands of sponsored influencer posts crowding social feeds daily, the key to an influencer’s power is authenticity, according to new research from Bloglovin’, the leading lifestyle social discovery platform.
The study found that a majority — 61 percent — of women won’t engage with an influencer’s sponsored post if it doesn’t feel genuine, and one in three — 36 percent — women won’t engage because they know the post is paid.
As consumers demand authenticity more than anything else, it’s essential for brands to build influencer campaigns with this as a priority, the study concluded.
Bloglovin’ surveyed more than 20,000 female users from 18 to 49 years old from their global user base last month to get an in-depth look at what makes influencer campaigns and posts successful from a consumer perspective.
Among their key findings was that influencers’ sponsored content must be consistent with the rest of their posts in order to feel trustworthy to consumers. More than half — 52 percent — of women reported that inconsistent caption writing on an influencer’s feed makes a sponsored post feel fake or inauthentic. Some 38 percent believe that photos inconsistent with the influencer’s normal feed make the post feel inauthentic, and 31 percent of respondents think too much brand messaging in the post can make it feel fake.
Although many brands and influencers believe that disclosures may have an impact on authenticity, with some even going against FTC guidelines to avoid them, it’s surprisingly not a top reason that women found posts inauthentic, with 64 percent not bothered by #paid and 69 percent not bothered by #ad.
The research found that a connection and trust in influencers has brought more than half — 53 percent — of women to purchase a product or service from an influencer’s post. The survey found the key to sustaining that trust is an emotional connection, with 32 percent of women reporting that is why they follow influencers on social media.
Among the reasons why a woman follows an influencer is because of the niche topic they post about, 63 percent; their posts provide inspiration that’s achievable in their own lives, 62 percent; their pictures are beautiful, 60 percent, or they receive a product giveaway, 28 percent, or a discount or promotion, 26 percent. Fifty-two percent follow influencers because they like the brands the influencer introduces them to or partners with, the survey found.
When consumers were asked where they’re engaging the most with influencer-sponsored content, the results showed Facebook, 57.1 percent; Instagram, 48.4 percent; Pinterest, 31.4 percent; YouTube, 24.6 percent; Twitter, 20.5 percent, and Snapchat, 7.0 percent.
“As the power of influencers continue to grow and become more evident to marketers, it is essential that brands understand how consumers really want to engage with this form of distributed content — which in turn drives the best results and ROI,” said Kamiu Lee, vice president of business development at Bloglovin’.
Bloglovin’ partners on native advertising and influencer marketing campaigns with such brands as Burberry, Gucci, H&M, Nars and Tom’s of Maine. Bloglovin’ connects more than 10 million users with their favorite influencers, and helps influencers reach a wider audience through its media platforms.