New research carried out by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) shows that 80% of people believe that digital advertising should be regulated in the same way that traditional advertising is.
The research, which was carried out by Amarach Research, sought the views of 1,224 people and covers digital advertising, social media and influencer marketing.
When it came to influencer marketing, the research found that 59% said content that appears false, not authentic and it annoys them. In addition only 7% have trust in what influencers post. While younger respondents are more familiar with the practice of influencer marketing (93%), the research found 80% of respondents in the 45-54 age bracket surveyed believe greater regulation is required in the influencer marketing industry, with 76% of under 35s also in agreement. In addition, just 19% believe influencer content is responsible.
When it came to the use of social media platforms, YouTube and Instagram were ranked the highest by under 35s, with 80% using these social channels daily, closely followed by Facebook at 76%. Of those who use social media, 70% follow influencers, bloggers or celebrities. When it came to content, the research revealed social media users follow musicians and bands more frequently than other types of content (50%), closely followed by political activists and politicians (40%). Surprisingly, fitness bloggers or influencers were the least popular cohort at 22%. Of those who use social media, 70% follow influencers, bloggers or celebrities and a significant 76% use social media for tips and inspiration, with 41% saying they use social media for this reason frequently.
According to Orla Twomey, chief executive of the ASAI: “The growth of social media over the past decade has undeniably changed marketing and advertising in a lot of ways – a major part of that has been the rise of social influencers. Responsible influencer marketing involves being upfront and clear with the audience so that people are not misled and know they are being advertised to. However, more often than not many still fail to meet the specific requirements. The ASAI has worked to increase compliance in this space as advertisers continue to up their investment. Influencer marketing has enormous potential if it’s done right but if done wrong, it can have long-term negative impacts on brand and personal reputation.”
She points out that the ASAI has strict guidelines around how influencer content should be flagged having introduced guidance on the ‘Recognisability of Marketing Communications’ – covering posts that have been sponsored and gifted.
“In terms of what’s next for influencer marketing,” she adds, “the ASAI will be holding a virtual webinar in February 2021 where we will reveal the second half of our research which looks at consumer attitudes and the effects of influencer marketing on consumer behaviour. We would encourage as many influencers as possible to attend as there will be a full panel discussion on the future of influencer marketing and how better trust-based relationships can be achieved from the onset.”