AANA Guidelines Won’t Influence Influencer Content

AANA Guidelines Won’t Influence Influencer Content
SHARE
THIS



With the new AANA guidelines launching last week, some commentators have questioned if this will decrease the impact of influencer programs. Sharyn Smith, CEO of Social Soup, analyses what is really going on.

Put simply, a key question for the industry is: are followers less engaged with content if it is disclosed that influencers are working with a brand or receiving product? At Social Soup, we strive to continually understand this dynamic market and have conducted the first Australia-based comprehensive research study into the use of disclosure hashtags and their impact on content engagement.

Sharyn Smith CEO of Social Soup

Sharyn Smith CEO of Social Soup

The most commonly used hashtags by influencers when working with brands are the following, along with their current usage levels.

#ad – 3,359,310

#sponsored – 595,182

#ambassador – 490,231

#spon – 100,321

For this research, we chose to analyse #sponsored and #ambassador as these were recognised as the clearest hashtags used by influencers when working with a brand. We didn’t use #ad in the analysis as this covered a wide variety of posts from brands, influencers and random content not associated with advertising. We also believed #spon in its shortened form may not be sufficient disclosure.

Using the #sponsored and #ambassador hashtags, we analysed engagement rates of content posted by influencers with a filter on Australian content. Engagement gives the best indication of how content is performing as it takes into account the total number of comments or likes a post receives, and divides that by the total followers. We also know engagement rates are correlated to the number of followers an influencer has, and for this research we looked at the engagement impact by different levels of followers.

Using our proprietary social analysis tools, we selected a random sample of 3,855 Instagrammers across all ranges of followers using either of these hashtags analysing close to half a million posts. We recorded their engagement rates across likes and comments on posts containing sponsored hashtags and then analysed their average engagement rate across a sample of their posts which did not use these hashtags to have a comparison base. Through this robust methodology, we analysed 29,198 posts with the #sponsored or #ambassador hashtags, and 450,660 of their posts which did not include either of these hashtags. We were then able to look for any significant differences in engagement across a directly matched sample.

The results we found showed no significant difference in total engagement rate across posts using the brand associated hashtags compared to organic content, across all levels of followers. The overall results showed a small drop in engagement of 0.27% across posts with sponsored hashtags, but this was not a significant difference. At the super micro influencer level (under 1,000 followers) we saw a positive uplift in engagement rates for content posted with a sponsored hashtag. We believe this is mostly related to increased effort for content that may have been provided or incentivised. Overall, followers are still engaging with content that has been labelled as sponsored or which has been disclosed as working with the brand as an ambassador.

Analysis of engagement rates using comments alone saw a slight positive uplift in engagement across all levels of following (except 20,000-100,000 which showed a minimal 0.03% dip). This means that sponsored content is driving slightly more action to comment. This is likely related to some additional questions and comments about the products featured.

From this research, we can infer that:

  • Influencers who are clearly disclosing their brand relationships are managing their precious social followings well with the level of brand content and the quality of this content, to maintain engagement.
  • Influencers are smart – they have worked hard to build a following and work hard to manage it and maintain engagement levels.
  • On the whole, they are not interested in taking work or products from brands they don’t believe their followers will engage with.
  • On the other side of the Instagram app, their followers are savvy too and they like to see quality content created including brands.

We weren’t able to look at the impact of influencers who are not disclosing sponsored content but it is only a matter of time before their savvy followers catch on to unbranded sponsored content, and unfollow.

This research isn’t about whether we should have guidelines, however, historical analysis does show that for those already following disclosure policies, the impact of content hasn’t been affected. The AANA guidelines should be embraced by the industry: it will only make it stronger and lead to a more impactful channel. Influencer Marketing is set to continue with significant growth this year and this is a sign of a maturing industry.

Sharyn Smith is CEO of Social Soup the leading Influencer Marketing Platform across Australia and NZ. Sharyn is passionate about helping leading brands succeed in a consumer-led marketing environment by connecting them to Social Soup’s 170,000-strong community of influential consumers. Social Soup believe creating meaningful partnerships between influencers and brands produces the most impactful positive influence. Sharyn has also led the charge for measurement in Influencer Marketing and recently partnered with Quantium to provide the most advanced measurement system. Sharyn has produced award winning campaigns for brands such as PayPal, Coca-Cola, Unilever, CUB, Dyson, Woolworths, Nestle, L’Oréal and P&G.  Sharyn is an experienced lecturer, public speaker and authority on Influence, Social Media, Word of Mouth and Advocacy. Her company Social Soup is a BRW Fast Starter and winner of the Telstra Business Awards People’s Choice. 

Latest News

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Meet Your Judges For The 2018 B&T Awards!

B&T is calling this year's awards judges probably the finest ever assembled. As a chamber choir, arguably less so.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’
  • Media

CBS Snares Format Rights For Quiz Show ‘Have You Been Paying Attention?’

CBS Studios International has announced an agreement with Working Dog Productions for the exclusive, worldwide format rights to comedy quiz show Have You Been Paying Attention? Now in its sixth season, HYBPA? is broadcast on the CBS-owned Network Ten in Australia, and is the number one quiz show and the third-highest-rated overall show on the […]

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Delacon Appoints Kenshoo Sales Chief As Director Of Operations

Call analytics provider Delacon has appointed Ezri Lerba to the newly created position of director of operations to manage partnerships and business development. Lerba joins Delacon after more than eight years with marketing technology company Kenshoo where he most recently held the role of director of sales across Australia and New Zealand. As first boots […]

Abstract spherical technology network background.
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Tech Is The Best Thing That Happened To Agencies

In this opinion piece, Schedugram CEO Hugh Stephens (pictured) tackles the complexity of agency business models. Agency models are high touch, human resource heavy and require the constant balancing and correcting of clients to account managers. With too many clients, staff will struggle under the workload (a big part of high agency attrition rates) or […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Weet-Bix Celebrates 90 Years Of Aussie Kids Being Weet-Bix Kids

This year Sanitarium Weet-Bix via The Mix Agency, Shopitize and The Kanga Group, is celebrating 90 years of Australian breakfasts. Sanitarium is celebrating by inviting Aussie kids (young and young-at-heart) to help them celebrate with the release of limited edition birthday packs and personalised Weet-Bix bowls. From Kalgoorlie to Kiama, Bowen to Broome and Darwin […]

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software
  • Media
  • Technology

Admation Agency Management Software Integrates With Mediaocean Finance Software

Automaton integrates finance software with admation – its agency management and workflow solution to enhance productivity for ad agencies. Automaton is always evolving admation, its agency project management and approval workflow software, to enable ad agencies to better manage their creative projects and resources. The business recently completed phase one of its integration with Mediaocean’s […]

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account
  • Advertising

Indie Agency KWP! Snares Tourism NT’s Creative Account

Tourism NT has appointed KWP! as its lead strategic and creative agency. The independent agency, with offices in Darwin and Adelaide, has won the two-year contract following a competitive pitch in September this year. As the lead agency, KWP! is required to formulate sound strategic insights based on ongoing analysis of market research, consumer insights and […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game
  • Campaigns

McCann’s Action-Packed Army Ad Plays Out Like A War Flick Or Video Game

Most army recruitment ads tend to steer clear of the blindingly obvious of military life – you get a gun to shoot the enemy or you get shot yourself. More so, agencies aren’t overly keen on promoting recruitment ads that are heavy on the guns or violence, preferring lifestyle or technical aspects of military life. Not so McCann’s new action-packed spot for the US […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?
  • Opinion

Are You Dragging The Wrong People Into Pointless Meetings?

Donna McGeorge (pictured below) is a speaker and  mentor who helps people make their work work. McGeorge is also author of The 25-Minute Meeting: Half the Time, Double the Impact. In her latest guest post for B&T, McGeorge offers her tips on avoiding every workers’ hell- the pointless meeting… We all complain about having to attend too […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor
  • Media

Francis Leach Joins The New Daily As Sports Editor

Famed sports reporter Francis Leach has joined online publisher The New Daily as sports editor. A prolific broadcaster, journalist and program host, Leach brings his encyclopedic knowledge of sport and no-holds-barred critical analysis to the role. “Let’s face it, sport these days is big business. I’m interested in connecting and contextualising sport with the big […]

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision
  • Advertising
  • Media

AIME Appoints Eleven To Champion 2019 Vision

Eleven has been appointed to manage all PR for the Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings & Event (AIME) 2019, the leading show for the business events industry. Selected by Talk2 Media & Events, Eleven will drive a global PR campaign, working with sister agency FleishmanHillard, to leverage international media networks across Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East […]