Why Honest Disclosure Is Critical

There have been constant debates in the last couple of years regarding the disclosure of paid influencer partnerships of any kind. Is it beneficial for brands or influencers to do so? While studies have pointed to a more positive direction in terms of influencer partnership disclosures, one-third of the brands are still not revealing influencer partnerships perhaps fearing to have a negative brand impact (Marketing Week, 2019). As the influencer marketing industry progresses, influencer transparency is much needed in order for the industry, which is heavily based on trust and authenticity, to continuously flourish and it will no longer have much negative impact towards brands or influencers. In this article, we will dive further into why honest disclosure is important in any influencer marketing campaigns.

Consumers are intelligent
Consumers generally are able to identify when influencers are posting sponsored content or can sense inauthenticity in the influencer’s content. According to Rakuten’s recent study on influencer marketing, many consumers have said that the awareness of sponsored influencer posts can affect the way they interact with such content. Instead of affecting the interaction negatively, more and more consumers are welcoming sponsored links and content. In fact, 61% of consumers said that they will click on a sponsored link from an influencer to find out more about the product and that 64% of women in the survey said that they generally do not avoid clicking on a sponsored link. Furthermore, 49% of consumers enjoy influencers providing entertaining content which features brands (e.g, product unboxing, challenges etc.).

The new ‘authenticity’ is disclosure
Influencer marketing is all about authenticity and the trust between the influencers and their audiences. Many influencers nowadays are a lot more selective in terms of who they partner with. In fact, some influencers would communicate to their audiences that they would only do sponsored content if they resonate with the product. Therefore, by disclosing that they are paid for content, influencers have redefined what ‘authenticity’ means. Authenticity now not only means posting original and creative content which fits the influencer’s style, but it also means to provide honest feedback and offer genuine advise on products or brands which they promote rather than blindly accepting paid promotions.

Honest disclosure strengthens the relationship between the influencer, the brand and the audience
Influencer marketing is built on trust and authenticity. Therefore, transparency in influencer marketing and honest disclosure means placing consumer’s interest and concerns as the priority. When consumers distrust the influencer, it is more than likely that they will unfollow the influencer who they find unrelatable or inauthentic. With influencers disclosing that they are being more selective in terms of the brand they partner up with, it creates an atmosphere of trust between the influencer and the audience. The audience can trust the advice of the influencers and influencers can confidently say that they believe in the brand’s product. Furthermore, through influencers, the brand can cultivate loyalty and reach new consumers thereby, strengthening the relationship between not only the influencer and their audiences, but also between the brand and the audiences.

All in all, transparency through disclosure of influencer partnerships is no longer viewed in a negative light. In fact, to ensure the longevity of influencer marketing, disclosure becomes mandatory in order to strengthen the relationship between the brand, the influencers and their audiences. As we dive further into influencer marketing and with authenticity being the pinnacle of influencer marketing success, brands should encourage influencers to disclose any type on sponsored content and that influencers should not feel intimidated to post about any partnerships. Influencers who are able to create informative and inspiring content whilst disclosing honest partnerships are what brands should ultimately look for when seeking brand ambassadors. Contact us now for a consultation on influencer marketing campaigns which can create impact.

Photo by: Jessica Wang via notjessfashion.com