Transparency and honesty about brand associations emerge as the paramount reasons for influencer trust among consumers

ASCI frames guidelines of virtual digital assets and services

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) released a short report titled ‘Influencer Trust Report’ preceding its Brand Influencer Summit 2023 to be held at the end of Feb 2023. ASCI conducted an online dipstick with 820 respondents above the age of 18 about their trust in social media influencers who promote brands online. The report reveals how much consumers trust influencer advertising, what builds trust and what depletes it. 

According to the report, 91% of people trust advertising in general, and 79% of respondents trust social media influencers. Transparency and honesty stood out as the key reasons why consumers trust influencers on social media (63%), followed by relatable content (57%), and personal stories at (53%).

The report revealed that consumers stayed away from influencers when they sensed a lack of transparency (43%), repetitive content (42%), and over-promotion (41%). Overall, it was found that both brands and influencers gained from meaningful partnerships. Around 64% of consumers felt the brand became more trustworthy when influencers endorsed it, while 58% of those surveyed thought that the influencers became more trustworthy when they endorsed the brand.

Other key findings of the report include:

·  6 out of 10 respondents claimed they spent at least 2 hours on social media, daily

·  90% of the respondents revealed they made at least one purchase based on influencer endorsement, while 61% claimed to have made three or more purchases. This behaviour was particularly prevalent among consumers ranging from 25 to 44 years of age

·  Besides established brands, newer brands benefited considerably with their products being discovered through content advertised by influencers

Ever since ASCI launched its influencer guidelines in May 2021, it has processed 2,767 cases against brands and influencers for not declaring material connections. Platforms where the violations occurred included Instagram at 58%, YouTube at 33%, Twitter at 7%, and Facebook at 2%. 

Talking about the findings of the report, Manisha Kapoor, CEO & Secretary General, ASCI, said: “While ASCI released its guidelines in May 2021, the Central Consumer Protection Authorities also now requires disclosure of material connection between brands and influencers. Hence, non-disclosures are potential violations of the law. An important aspect of the dipstick is the revelation that non-transparency was among the prime reasons why influencers lost the trust of their followers. On the other hand, transparency in their communication significantly built trust. We will be having several important conversations on this and other interesting aspects of brand-influencer partnerships at the #GetItRight Brand Influencer Summit 2023 with brand leaders and top influencers. The summit will help both brands and influencers understand how to build robust and sustainable relationships in the social media space.” 

The survey was conducted across multiple locations including metros, Tier I and Tier II cities. 

Read the full report here: Watch Here

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