Consumer trust cannot be bought

Kate O'Sullivan is MD of ADPR Kate O'Sullivan is MD of ADPR

As consumers, we have grown savvy to adverts. We would rather trust the opinion of someone like us, someone who has ‘tried and tested’ the product and tell us whether it works or if it’s worth the purchase price.

As consumers, we have grown savvy to adverts. We would rather trust the opinion of someone like us, someone who has ‘tried and tested’ the product and tell us whether it works or if it’s worth the purchase price.

To date, this is where social media influencers come in. They are like us - but at scale. We find them more relatable and engaging than traditionally authoritative voices.

However, according to the recently launched 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in influencers has plummeted to an all-time low.

Why is influencer trust at an all-time-low?

  • There are many faux influencers - fauxfluencers – this is people who gain reach through purchasing new followers.
  • Many influencers offer to provide positive product reviews in return for cash or free products.
  • Many provide influencer advertising. Producing ill-thought out sponsored content for brands and no connection with their audience’s tastes.

However, these are not representative of true influencers. Influencers are called influencers through third-party endorsement because they genuinely influence. They form or change opinions and alter behaviours.

How can influencers ensure trust?

  • Build up their own credentials and use their content to demonstrate their subject matter expertise.
  • Nurture a few, mutually-beneficial relationships with brands that share their voice and values.
  • They use their creativity and social capital to deliver expert resources.

Why are journalists now seen as more credible?

This year, trust in journalism jumped five points while trust in platforms dipped two points

Journalists compete with each other to ask questions and race to report on facts to us, their readership. All of which means people are more likely to trust in what’s being reported.

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