Influencer Marketing 2018: Why Disclosure Is a Must—and How Branded Content Tools Fit In - eMarketer
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Influencer Marketing 2018: Why Disclosure Is a Must—and How Branded Content Tools Fit In

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: February 13, 2018

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

Influencer marketing has become mainstream, but many marketers and influencers still don’t reveal their ties to one another. With Federal Trade Commission (FTC) involvement growing, the risks of not disclosing are rising.

  • Influencer marketing budgets are rising, and marketers are starting to make the tactic an integral part of their arsenal—not an add-on. Instagram is typically the top choice.
  • Despite the growth, many challenges remain, from measuring return on investment (ROI) to finding influencers that are credible and also a good fit for the brand.
  • Influencer marketing has gotten big enough that disclosing ties between brands and influencers is a necessity, not an option. Although compliance is growing, there are many examples where it doesn’t happen.
  • Marketers and influencers that don’t disclose put themselves at risk for FTC scrutiny and consumer backlash, both of which are rising.
  • Although there is some evidence that disclosure will lead to lower engagement with branded posts, surveys also show that consumers generally appreciate transparency and honesty from marketers and influencers.
  • Branded content tools from Facebook, Instagram and others are helpful in providing additional clarity and access to metrics, but marketers should proceed with caution, since the FTC doesn’t consider these tools adequate for disclosure.

"More than four in 10 influencers said they label their content as #sponsored or #ad only when they are asked to."

Table of Contents

Influencer Marketing Today

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Why Disclosure Is Essential in 2018

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What Marketers Should Know About the FTC’s Guidelines

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How Branded Content Tools Can (and Can’t) Help

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Six Tips for Making Disclosure Work

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13 charts are included in the full report:

Influencer Marketing 2018: Why Disclosure Is a Must—and How Branded Content Tools Fit In

Social Influencers Worldwide* Who Label Content as Sponsored**, Jan 2018 (% of respondents)

Influencer Marketing Today

Social Media Platforms that Are Most Important to Their 2018 Influencer Marketing Strategy According to US Marketers (% of respondents)

Number of US Influencer Campaigns, by Social Media Platform/Channel, H1 2014-H1 2017 (among campaigns on CreatorIQ's platform)

Positive Trends

Attitudes Toward Influencer Marketing Among US Agency and Brand Marketers, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)

Negative Trends

Leading Factors in Executing a Successful Branded Content Campaign According to US Influencers*, Sep 2017 (% of respondents)

Percent of Their Content that Is Sponsored According to US Female* Influencers, Oct 2017 (% of respondents)

Why Disclosure Is Essential in 2018

US Marketers Who Require that Influencers Disclose Sponsored Content to Comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Regulations, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)

Social Influencers Worldwide* Who Label Content as Sponsored**, Jan 2018 (% of respondents)

US Female* Influencers Who Have Ever Been Told Not to Disclose a Piece of Sponsored Content, Oct 2017 (% of respondents)

Why Marketers Should Require Disclosure

Primary Attitude Toward a Celebrity/Influencer When US Social Media Users Know Their Posts Are Properly Labeled as Sponsored Content, Oct 2017 (% of respondents)

Why Some Don’t Want To

US Millennial Internet Users Who Believe Paid Endorsements by Influencers Would Negatively Affect Their Credibility, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)

Hashtags that Indicate a Post Is Sponsored According to US Social Media Users*, Oct 2017 (% of respondents)

What Marketers Should Know About the FTC’s Guidelines