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Influencer marketing, responsibility and credibility: the influencer’s commitment to their audience

By Heloisa Castro.

The influencer market is one of the fastest growing around the globe, being responsible for generating billion-dollar amounts involving companies and influencers from all segments. Faced with an increasingly connected generation, Social networks have become one of the main marketplaces todaymainly through the sale of advertising.

According to a worldwide survey by the MuseFind platform, released by Forbes in 2023, 92% of consumers trust influencers more than traditional advertising. In this way, influencer marketing is responsible for capitalizing on the trust and credibility established by content creators with their audience.

Influencers need to be well curated when accepting advertising, so that their reputation is positive.

Unlike traditional media and digital platforms that “only” provide advertising space in their programming schedule, influencers' role is to provoke people's desire to consume, buy or hire what is advertised.

In this case, it is worth highlighting that famous phrase: “with great power comes great responsibilities”. The end of 2023, for example, was marked by serious controversies, from the disclosure of scams and pyramid schemes to destructive fake news.

In the midst of this scenario, it is possible to say that many people are taking advantage of the lack of market regulation to make money unethically and avoid responsibility.

So, we need to look at these cases and understand once and for all that what we do on the internet has repercussions in real life.

When hired professionals prioritize their own financial goals, failing to check the origin of advertisers and the content of briefings, the influencer will be the main one affected if a scandal with the brand breaks out. With this in mind, some points of attention can be highlighted, they are:

1. Check customer reputation

It is the role of creator agents to check a client's reputation before closing the deal. It is essential that they seek to know the product or service offered and always check the influencer's opinion on the subject — warning the creator about the consequences of closing a contract with the potential for controversy.

2. Understand the potential impact of fake news

A 2018 study, carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in the United States, revealed that Fake news spreads 70% faster than true news. With this type of reach and engagement, many profiles use these means to go viral and, consequently, profit.

However, disclosing false information about a person can be classified as slander and constitutes a crime, as provided for in Article 138 of the Penal Code. Therefore, in addition to understanding the destructive impact that this type of news has on other people's lives, it is the duty of every influencer – as well as every Brazilian – to check the information before sharing it. It is worth mentioning that spreading fake news can lead to imprisonment, from six months to two years, and a fine.

3. Value the creator who has ethics

Faced with a complex and highly flammable scenario, brands should value the creators who curate the companies they work with, demonstrating respect and ethics towards their followers.

When choosing a creator aiming only at numbers, it is possible that the brand associates itself with influencers who also promote companies of questionable origin – causing the public to have an erroneous perception about their credibility.

4. Prioritize reputation over money

This advice goes out to influencers, marketing agencies and brands. No money is worth more than your reputation. Doubt “too good” proposals, question suspicious attitudes and always consider the well-being of your audience and consumers in the equation. In an environment where money speaks loudest, it is very easy to lose your principles.

5. Search for professional training

Although the profession of digital influencer is not yet regulated, There are laws and regulations regarding advertising that must be followed when promoting projects and brands on the internet. The creative economy plays the role of making the influence scenario more conscious and ethical, being one of the main paths to a more competitive and healthy market.

A survey carried out by the advertising company INFLR states that 75% of young people in the country want to be influencers. With the increase in demand, more and more people will seek a space in the influencer market.

Therefore, professionalization is an extremely important topic when we consider the challenges of the current scenario in this market and, especially, when we think about the future.

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Graduated in Marketing from UVA and postgraduate in Digital Influence from IBMR, Helô Castro is from Rio de Janeiro and has been working in the Influencer Marketing market for 4 years. In September 2019, she participated in the founding of EPICdigitais, where she has since worked as Head of Influencers.

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