If you work in any field related to the influencer marketing industry, then the controversial topic of buying followers is likely all too familiar. In order to better understand all perspectives on this topic, we at The Motherhood recently partnered with research corporation Westat to survey both influencers and marketing professionals.
Our analysis of the resulting data led to an informative piece that was published by the American Marketing Association. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Paid influencer marketing, commonly identified by disclosures or hashtags such as #ad or #sponsored, grew by almost 200% in 2017, composing more than 1.5 million Instagram posts worldwide.
In response to this opportunity, some influencers are buying followers to boost their perceived reach and improve their opportunities for working with paying brands. This practice has invited criticism about a lack of transparency that can deceive consumers, and brands are now boycotting influencers who purchase followers. For example, Unilever recently called on the marketing industry to stop working with influencers who buy followers, and it laid out steps to distance itself and its brands from such accounts.
Working with trusted partners is key to engaging influencers who are legitimate, have trusted followings and can successfully promote a brand or campaign in a meaningful way. Understanding this trend is key to helping marketers and communicators make informed decisions about which influencers are the best fit for a brand or campaign.
To better understand the trends in influencer marketing and gather insights into perspectives from both sides, influencer marketing agency The Motherhood and research corporation Westat fielded two surveys in August 2018. One went to influencers and one to marketing professionals.
More than 400 influencers responded to the survey, with 90% reporting that they have never purchased followers. However, 18% said they have considered doing so for two main reasons…