Why Saturation And Trust Are A Challenge For Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been with us for a long time, although the arrival of the internet and social media has created a plethora of new opportunities for them to engage with audiences. But they can face a myriad of challenges to their effectiveness.

Writing for Drum, senior manager of the retail customer engagement and loyalty team at Capgemini Invent, Christopher Baird, noted that this form of marketing faces some key issues.

Saturation may be an inevitable one as so many seek to jump on the bandwagon, with Mr Baird noting that as they do so, they chase short-term success rather than the longer term relationship building aims of past influencers.

However, he noted, as they are paid for their #gifted promotions and their strategy is “now aimed at getting the product in front of as many people as possible,” trust has waned. Endorsement and promotion has now become seen as the preserve of pipers who are well paid by those calling the tune.

Mr Baird said he had previously considered the issue of whether the absence of #ad messaging revealing paid sponsorship could erode trust. He noted that a survey by SocialPubli found that 77.8 per cent of consumers believe influencers should reveal any paid collaborations they have.

Alongside that, only eight per cent believe the information they see on social media is true – and just four per cent for influencers. Trust is clearly in short supply.

These findings may provide the best reasons for using student influencer marketing on a more peer-to-peer basis. It seems having a well known face – whether a celebrity for something else or someone simply famous for being an influencer – endorsing a product appears less likely to cut it with increasingly sceptical audiences.

Indeed, cases like the recent Advertising Standards Authority ruling against several celebrity influencers for breaching ad disclosure rules may continue to erode trust against the well-known influencers. This means consumers may increasingly look elsewhere to find someone whose endorsements and recommendations they will be more likely to trust.

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