Is social responsibility the future of Influencer Marketing?
Consumers are looking for more transparent communication
From advertising to content
While the trend has long been towards one-way top-down communication (TV, radio, posters, etc.), social networks have changed the situation by offering consumers the opportunity to speak out in their turn. Mass communication no longer works, and brands have quickly begun to collaborate with choice influencers to get their messages across. In fact, we talk more about content than advertising on social networks. For example, brands do not hesitate to share their values or their social and environmental commitments.
This trend towards more transparent communication meets a strong expectation on the part of consumers who have become increasingly demanding about the quality of the information they receive. They are also wary: according to the Stackla Report on Influence in the Digital Age, 57% of consumers believe that less than half of brands create authentic content.
Transparency as a purchasing tool
There is a growing awareness that consumers are increasingly seeking authenticity and transparency from the influencers they follow. 86% of consumers say that authenticity is a key differentiator that leads to a purchase decision. Among Millenials, the figure rises to 90%.
The Influencer Marketing sector is becoming more professional and transparent
In 2020, more than 1 in 4 pieces of content were not transparent about commercial collaboration
Even if the Influencer Marketing sector is becoming more and more professional, the figures are still somewhat alarming. According to the Observatory of Responsible Influence conducted by ARPP, in 2020, more than 1 in 4 contents were not transparent about commercial collaboration. Either because they do not disclose their commercial intentions, or because they are improvable with the mention of a partnership not explicit enough.
There is nevertheless good news in all this since it appears that influencers are more respectful of the rules when they become more professional.
An ethical framework that is becoming stricter
Faced with this observation, the ARPP, whose main role is to regulate advertising for professionals, has created, with Media Institute, the Responsible Influence certificate for content creators. In concrete terms, this certificate, obtained after an awareness test, is aimed at influencers concerned about protecting their community and mastering the keys to ethical communication. It is also an opportunity to differentiate oneself from thousands of other influencers.
Brands that play the game: the Club Med’s example
The first brand to show its white paws, Club Med quickly adopted the ARPP Certificate and now systematically imposes it on the influencers with whom the brand collaborates. This strict decision on the part of the tour operator only reinforces its commitment to a greener model and is part of its global communication strategy. Tiphaine Neveu, Head of Influence, Social Media & PR at Club Med, stresses on LinkedIn a point that should appeal to many brands: “All the influencers (France) we work with are really comfortable with this approach, which they consider essential to clean up the industry and perpetuate the lever!”
#InfluenceforGood launched by Kolsquare
In the midst of the COVID crisis, Kolsquare launches the #InfluenceforGood movement and allows brands and institutions to quickly identify KOLs ready to support them. Moreover, by integrating an environmental and social mission within its statutes, Kolsquare becomes a Benefit Company. Through a Manifesto, Kolsquare clearly displays its commitments: training for foundations, making Kolsquare technology accessible to organizations and individuals who have a positive impact on the world, 1% of annual revenues to social and environmental causes…
4 tips for a responsible influence
1. Choose the right influencers
As with any influencer marketing campaign, the success of your campaign will depend above all on the influencer you work with. It is therefore important, and even essential, to spend some time with them. Beyond the statistics he displays (number of subscribers, engagement rate), the chosen profile must above all correspond to your brand image and your values. It is the content creator who will spread your message, hence the importance of selecting him or her carefully. In this logic, micro-influencers can bring a wind of sincerity to your Influence strategy.
2. Transparency of partnerships
As you will have understood, there can be no responsible influence without transparency in the communication of your partnerships. Since the loss of trust of some consumers, influencers are increasingly displaying their content as sponsored. Brands and influencers have realised the importance of being completely honest and honest with their audience, who will continue to trust them. In the United States, the mention “Sponsored Post” is mandatory.
3. Inclusion in the selection of influencers
Increasingly, consumers are looking very carefully at the ability of brands to display a certain diversity in the profiles they surround themselves with for their influencer marketing campaigns. Conducting this type of inclusive campaign is a very simple way to gain authenticity and therefore better address the current consumer.
4. Authenticity of content
The last lever for responsible influencer campaigns is to create spontaneous and authentic content. This is how you will be able to arouse emotions in your audience and therefore also engagement. This is done through the speech above all, which is more human, but also through the choice of formats you choose to broadcast your messages. Video is an excellent immersive format that easily generates engagement.