The impact of influencer marketing continues to be controversial among Austrian companies and rightly so as new research by BuzzValue 25 found. The company analysed influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram with over 315,000 interactions. It found that in 64% of campaign photos, the brand was not clearly visible.
The verdict: influencers are staging brands poorly when compared to traditional mobile ad campaigns.
“For this analysis, we selected only labelled ads across different product categories,” said Markus Zimmer, CEO of BuzzValue. “It’s striking that influencers avoid obvious product placements.”
This was partly due to ad postings attracting weaker interactions than ad-free posts. Indeed, campaign post saw 10% fewer interactions than ad-free ones, according to the analysis. By posting the product at the end of an image series, influencers are trying to avoid such an effect.
At the same time, influencer followers aren’t engaging as much with the branded content as previously thought. Just 2.7% of over 4,000 comments referred to the actual brand or product.
BuzzValue says that is because the influencer remains in the foreground not the actual brand or product.
Although the report cautions that influencer marketing may not have as huge of an effect as some brands are hoping for, it also provides grounds for optimism. Where products were included in both photos as well as the text, product-related comments tended to be higher.