BPG Group and YouGov released the results of the 2019 Social Media Influencers’ Survey. This year’s survey focused on consumers’ views about Social Media Influencers. The survey which is currently in its fourth year, analyzed 1,000 female and male respondents, aged 18 – 35 years across the UAE and KSA.
Here are the key takeaways from the survey.
The survey asked consumers on how they define influencers,
- 64% said they consider celebrities to be influencers while,
- 50% said they believed that those who regularly post about a certain topic or are subject matter experts are influencers.
In 2019, the survey found that,
- 85% of consumers in the UAE and KSA follow social media influencers.
- 79% of consumers have unfollowed many social media influencers due to their increased promotional content and contrasting values and ethics.
Despite the alarming numbers, influencers with relevant content have still managed to retain the trust and loyalty of their audience, which ultimately impacts purchasing decisions.
Why is this so?
Because consumers are now able to distinguish between what is paid content and what is authentic and genuine. According to the survey,
- 73 %of consumers can tell if content on a social media influencer’s page is paid for or authentic.
- 59 % are less likely to trust influencers’ reviews or recommendations if they have been paid to advertise it.
Barring aside all the so-called false influencers, those who have managed to gain the trust and bond with their audience have managed to create a drastic impact on purchasing decisions. The survey stated that,
- 73% of consumers have purchased from a brand or tried a service mentioned by an influencer.
- 73% of consumers discover new trends by following influencers.
- 78 % of consumers have followed a brand on social media due to an influencer’s post.
So what is their secret?
What is the key ingredient these influencers are using to be able to retain their audience and simultaneously gain their trust?
The answer is good content. 77% of consumers believe that the quality and type of content on an influencers page is more important to them than the number of followers they have.
“The survey confirms that content is the key factor driving consumers to follow influencers. Numbers still affect perception and trust, with a majority stating that they trust Macro-influencers the most, however, content still remains a priority. There’s no longer room for shallow content that fails to resonate with consumers or for advertising content that masquerades as authentic content. Brands and influencers have to invest in developing content that resonates and connects with consumers.” said Arif Ladhabhoy, Business Director, BPG Group.
Taghreed Oraibi, Business Director from BPG Group, said: “Brands and agencies alike are following international and local regulations and guidelines in a step to support authorities, regulate influencer marketing and increase content transparency to protect consumers. Disclosure statements and hashtags are being used more than ever, hence consumers are more aware of the nature of an influencer’s content. ”