The whole point of an ad is to persuade consumers to make a purchase.
But people are fed up of being bombarded by ads and they’ll do anything to avoid them. Eighty-five percent of skippable ads on YouTube are being skipped. Over 22% of the British population use ad blocking software. And there’s a shift from TV to ad free subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Not to mention that during TV commercials audiences are switching from their big screens to their small screens by scrolling through social media. Where amongst all the selfies, quotes and funny pictures of friends, they’ll come across posts of people they follow wearing clothes they wish they owned, going on holidays they’d like to experience, or eating dishes they’d like to try.
That’s right… in their attempt to avoid ads they’re exposed to more of your ads by the influencers they follow. But they’re much more tolerable as they’re less obvious and intrusive.
And that’s where influencer marketing trumps other forms of advertising. It aims for the natural integration of products in the influencer’s feeds. Someone your target market completely trusts promoting your product implicitly. Highlighting the fact that the influencer would have purchased your products autonomously.
Logic follows that you’ll be reluctant to ask influencers to disclose their posts when sponsoring your brand because #ads will have a negative connotation.
So the explicit indication of an influencers post being sponsored, will only divert the consumer from making the purchase, right?
By now, loyal followers can tell whether or not a product is an unnatural fit with the influencers posts, or if it's something the influencer wouldn't typically promote; they don’t need a hashtag to recognise whether a post is sponsored.
In fact 61% of consumers don’t even look to see if a post is sponsored or not as established by our survey taken by over 1000 consumers.
However 84% of consumers agree that sponsored posts should be marked as such. So labelling regulations don’t have a huge effect on consumers purchasing decisions as you might assume.
In line with the current climate of concern and increased data regulation, and given that three quarters of influencers breached the FTC guidelines in 2018, advertising regulators in both the US and UK are policing the disclosure of sponsored posts.
And it seems as though ultimately brands bear the burden of compliance, as 84% of influencers will only disclose their posts if they have been asked to by the brand.
Since sponsored post disclosure does not negatively impact consumer buying behaviour; you may as well ensure that you and the influencer are compliant to avoid the risk of being named and shamed.
I'm head of Content at ZINE, where I use my expertise in fashion consumer psychology to empower brands and influencers in their marketing campaigns. I love to travel, bake as well as shopping online.