influencer marketing

Major brands are planning to increase spending on influencer marketing over the next 12 months despite concerns over lack of transparency and fake followers.

New research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) indicates that the quality of followers ranks at the top of brands’ selection lists when deciding who to work with, with 96% of respondents regarding this as “absolutely essential” or “very important”.

The findings are based on a survey of 34 companies and $59bn (£45bn) in global media and marketing spend, and the concerns over lack of transparency were evident. Seventy-one percent declared that the way the relationship is disclosed was an “absolutely essential” or “very important” part of the selection process.

However, these concerns have not deterred brands from investing in influencer marketing, as 65% of brands plan to increase spending. The main aim of the investment is to boost brand awareness (86%), reach new audiences (74%), and improve brand advocacy (69%).

Concerns over influencer fraud

Last month, Keith Weed, Unilever’s markets boss brought the issue of influencer fraud to the fore and detailed how the company plans to combat it.

Unilever won’t work with influencers who buy followers, and promised its brands will not buy followers. It will also prioritise working with partners who increase their transparency and…