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How to Gain Customer Trust Through Influencer Marketing

49% of consumers think an influencer’s recommendation is more trustworthy than a brand recommendation. Take this further and learn how to build authenticity and customer trust here.

February 6, 2023

Alexandra Smith

Influencer marketing has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

Social influencers are now a marketing campaign essential for all brands, regardless of size – and with good reason.

86% of consumers look for advice and recommendations from social media influencers to help them with their purchasing decisions. A further 49% of consumers think an influencer’s recommendation is more trustworthy than a brand recommendation.

Clearly, influencers are a valuable marketing tool. But how can brands use influencer marketing effectively, to win customer trust and increase sales? Read on to find out.

Use influencers to create authenticity and trust

Success in influencer marketing isn’t just measured by follower count – trust, authenticity and genuineness is the true marker of a powerful influencer.

This has been true for some time. Where influencers with the highest follower counts once commanded premium #sponcon deals, the past few years have seen a swing towards influencers that enjoy genuine, authentic follower relationships.

Influencers are perceived as thought leaders in their industry. From lifestyle influencers like Zanna Van Dijk to cleaning sensation Mrs. Hinch, consumers are more inclined to listen to and trust them.

Association with a credible, trustworthy influencer extends that same trust to the brand – helping strengthen customer loyalty over time.

But today, the relationship a brand has with an influencer needs to be truly collaborative.

Followers know if an influencer’s messaging is original or if it has been written directly by a brand. Consequently, rather than trying to take care of everything from content creation to campaign strategy, brands should allow their influencer partner to build their own narrative.

Influencers are brands within their own right, and they understand their audience and, crucially, what they want from a campaign. They have the skills and commercial awareness to create content that supports your brand whilst remaining true to their own, ensuring the endorsement is authentic and impactful as a result.

  • Trust your influencers. While the end goal and overall product message should be yours, let your influencer guide on content creation and the details. 
  • Authenticity remains key. Building customer trust relies on influencer credibility. Assess your chosen influencer’s content and engagement to ensure they’re genuine. 

Embrace de-influencing for stronger customer relationships

Just as influencer recommendations on products, services or brands help garner customer trust, the opposite is also true.

2023 saw the arrival of de-influencing, a growing trend of influencers actively advocating against what their followers should buy. With the #deinfluencing hashtag currently on millions of views on TikTok, the trend speaks to a generation weary of self-serving consumerist messaging from influencers.

De-influencing speaks to a generation of consumers that are increasingly aware of the environmental and ethical impacts of over-consumption. At the same time, in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, de-influencing offers consumers a way to value-for-money products that don’t break the bank.

For brands looking to build customer trust through influencer marketing, the de-influencing trend offers a new and effective trend to embrace.

  • Seek influencers that you feel will genuinely enjoy and benefit from your product. Don’t be swayed by follower counts – look for people who align with your brand and your values. 
  • Be selective with your product portfolio. Select different influencers for different products to encourage authentic reviews. 
  • Focus on the customer. It’s the people who will actually use your product who matter most, so create and market your product in a way that speaks to their deeper needs.

Diversify with micro and nano influencers for genuine relationships

One of the most effective ways to foster customer trust in influencer marketing is to start at a grassroots level – with micro and nano influencers.

Micro influencers are those with 10-50K followers, whilst nano influencers are those with less than 10K. While relatively small compared to their macro or mega counterparts, the most loyal followers can often be found within the micro and nano influencer space.

While it may appear counterintuitive, partnering with macro or nano influencers with comparatively limited reach offers immense benefits.

Due to their smaller audience size, micro and nano influencers have a much closer relationship with their audience. They communicate directly with them regularly, often on a one-to-one basis.

These influencers also typically operate in specific niches, enjoying a more engaged audience by delivering more specific content that their followers enjoy. As a result, their product and brand recommendations are perceived as more honest and genuine.

In fact, 63% of consumers think nano and micro influencers are more trustworthy compared to bigger influencers and 61% are more likely to follow a nano or micro influencer.

Your brand can tap into this, leveraging this relationship through influencer marketing to strengthen customer trust.

  • Use micro and nano influencers in your strategy. While macro and mega influencers have their place, those with smaller follower counts can help to diversify your audience. 
  • Smaller brands should start with smaller influencers. A core audience of loyal shoppers helps create a solid foundation upon which your brand can grow. 

An influencer marketing strategy that successfully builds customer trust relies on audience research, an awareness of the influencer ecosystem and clear, defined goals.

Handling these various demands alone or in-house can be costly and demanding – but THG Ingenuity can help.

Our marketing services include an influencer platform with access to a 40,000 strong global influencer network. Combined with a wealth of influencer tools, solutions and experts, we’ll help you launch a marketing campaign that strengthens customer trust and grows your business.

With experience working with brands and influencers across a range of verticals around the world, our data-driven approach to influencer marketing gets you where you need to be.

Get in touch today and start building a brand your customers can trust. 

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