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Half of Britons would avoid clicking an affiliate link to prevent an influencer from making commission 

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The vast majority of Britons believe that influencers should be more open and transparent regarding the amount of money they are making as a result of sponsored posts and affiliate links, with the average respondent estimating that the typical influencer with more than 100,000 followers can make as much as £95,000 a year through their work.

The team at affilinet (www.affili.net/uk) polled a total of 2,299 UK adults aged 18 and over for the research. All those taking part revealed prior to the study that they were active on social media and followed a range of different influencers boasting at least 100,000 + followers. Each respondent was asked a series of questions about their knowledge and perceptions of influencers, with particular emphasis on their financial motivations and transparency with audiences.

Firstly, all participants were asked if they’d ever clicked through to buy a product or experience after seeing it featured or reviewed on an influencers blog or social media pages, with just under one quarter (23%) admitting they had done so. When also asked if they’d ever avoid clicking on an affiliate link (a unique link allowing bloggers to make a commission through sales made through their sites) in order to prevent the influencer making a financial gain, just under half (48%) confessed that they would do so.

All those who confessed they would actively avoid using an affiliate link for a product they’d spotted on an influencers site were given a list of reasons and asked to state the biggest reason behind their motivation for doing so, with the top five answers revealed as follows:

  1. I think influencers already make too much money I don’t want to reward them with any more – 29%
  2. I don’t think influencers are honest with their followers about the products they promote and the money they make through commission/sponsored ads – 21%
  3. I don’t agree with making money through blogs/social media – 14%
  4. I’m jealous of influencers lifestyle and lack of ‘proper’ jobs – 9%
  5. I don’t like my online purchasing being tracked – 5%

When all respondents were then questioned on whether they believed that influencers should be more open and transparent about the amount of money they make as a result of promoting products for brands on their blogs and social media channels, the vast majority (82%) agreed that they did. When then asked to estimate how much they believe the typical influencer with 100,000+ followers make per year because of paid-for ads, sponsorships and affiliate links, the average answer emerged as £95,000.

Rick Leake, Client Services Director at affilinet, says: “For those that don’t fully understand the ins and outs of running a successful blog and highly engaged social media channels, it can be all too easy to assume that everyone with a certain number of followers are making the kind of money that the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr are reportedly bringing in. Jealousy will undoubtedly play a role in why so many don’t want to financially contribute to influencers pockets, but in reality, with such a growing number of influencers emerging, it’s never been harder to stay afloat as a freelance blogger and content creator.”

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