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Survey: Most Consumers Do not Know Paid Influencer Messages Are #ads

A new Influence influence marketing study shows that celebrities on social media are effective in getting consumers to buy things. However, most consumers do not fully understand when they see sponsored content.

The survey surveyed 514 American adults who follow influencers / celebrities on social media. The graph below shows that Facebook-owned platforms dominate, followed by YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Just over 39% of respondents said they did not pay attention to brands and products that celebrities publish online. However, the remaining majority said yes (17%) or sometimes (44 percent). In addition, half of the audience said they discovered a brand or product because of a message from a third party on social networks.

Clothing, food and beverages, entertainment, beauty, technology and fitness were the main categories of purchase, in the order, following the exposure to a brand or product on social media. Apparel was by far the leading category, however. Influencer positions were cited as a contributing factor to 38% social-driven shopping, with the vast majority of purchases, at least according to the recall, attributable to Facebook.

It is here that the investigation becomes interesting. About half of the respondents did not know any of the hashtags commonly used by influencers to indicate that the sponsored content was advertising.

Presented with #ad, #pay, #spon, #collab and #partner and asked to identify which of them indicated that a position was sponsored, 46% said "none d & # 39; them. " The hashtag #ad was the most widely recognized (33%), followed by #paid (20%) and #spon (19.6%).

Thus, a majority of consumers seem to not know that they are exposed to advertising in these messages. But when one asks the question hypothetically, is the knowledge that a post is sponsored "changes your feelings about this influencer / celebrity?", 71% said "no".

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The hypothetical focuses on opinions about the influencer. The question that apparently was not asked was, "How does knowing that an influence product was an advertisement affect the product or the desire?" to buy? "We therefore do not know if clearer disclosures would decrease sales of products influenced by influencers.

The main points to remember are the following:

  • Influence marketing on social media sells products.
  • Most consumers are unaware that a large number of these product recommendations are ads (the disclosures are inadequate).
  • but a lot of consumers may not care if disclosures are more important.

The FTC recently abandoned its historical interest in misleading marketing practices of brands and retailers and began turning to individual influencers for failing to properly disclose paid business relationships.