Authentic connections and transparency elevate influencer trust and drive brand engagement according to new study from Snapchat and MAGNA Media Trials

New York, February 22, 2024 — With media spend on the global influencer market expected to approach $6 billion in 2024, a new research report released today by Snapchat and MAGNA Media Trials revealed how content creators and brand-sponsored content could push the industry even further. The robust study called “Unleashing Influence: A Marketer’s Guide to Influencer Success” explored users’ perceptions and preferences across five countries including Australia, France, Saudi Arabia (KSA), The United States of America (USA), and the United Kingdom (UK). The inclusive group of participants in the study, from different generations and diverse demographics, shared thoughts on influencers and how they feel about brands sponsoring influencer content on social media.

“Creators come to Snapchat because they’re able to build relationships with our community by showing a unique, authentic look at their lives. Authenticity is what draws Snapchatters to our platform to connect with the creators they care about, and this creates an environment that drives brand trust and consideration,” said Alexander Dao, Global Head of Agency Development & Sales Partnerships, Snap Inc. “In fact, 91% of Snapchatters are receptive to brands sponsoring creator content, demonstrating the power of genuine connections with creators on Snapchat.”

The results showed users were highly receptive to brand-sponsored influencer content, with an average of 87% receptiveness, and this was true for Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X participants, all of whom were over 80% receptive. And they were on social media primarily to follow influencers (61%). Engaging with products, especially tutorials and reviews, was a significant driver of content views in all markets. In KSA, restaurant reviews (116) indexed slightly higher than tutorials (115) for most consumed content, unveiling an area of opportunity around experiences for local marketers.

Whilst social media users proved to be receptive and actively engaged with influencer content, there was also a clear imperative for brands to use certain criteria to align with the right influencers on the right platforms. Chief amongst those criteria was trust. Most participants surveyed responded they found influencer content to be only “somewhat” (55%) or not (16%) trustworthy. In fact, when it came to product research in high stakes industries, users trusted influencers less than brands – finance (-24%), apparel (-8%), and skincare (-3%) – as a source of information.

“We are excited that our research findings can help to empower brand marketers and media planners even further as they tap into this sizable opportunity for influencer content,” said Kara Manatt, EVP of Intelligence Solutions at MAGNA. “Across social platforms and geographic markets, there is a measurable impact and appetite for brand-sponsored influencer content to drive brand reputation and awareness at the top of the funnel, as well as the bottom line.”

Honesty was the #1 trait (67%) that brands could seek from influencers to drive engagement in brand-sponsored content, more than creativity (47%) and charisma or “rizz” (38%). Creators who routinely shared personal experiences (58%) and engaged with their audience’s comments (56%) fared well on being perceived as honest and authentic. Transparency went together with trust across countries. Brand-sponsored content should be clearly identified as such, especially if you are in Australia where 92% of research participants ranked this as very to somewhat important. Moreover, transparency about sponsorship increased the likelihood of brand engagement (+63%).

In the USA an additional content viewing experience was shown to participants on a platform that they regularly use. This line of inquiry presented insights on aligning purpose and platform to get the most out of brand-sponsored content partnerships with influencers. Of the users who were on Snapchat, on average 57% used the platform to keep tabs on their favorite creators’ daily lives. They divulged that Snapchat creators “felt like a friend” (55%), which dovetailed with the data on how users engaged with Snapchat as compared to other platforms (nearly 60% use Snapchat to connect with friends and family). This natural alignment made the content and influencer come across as trustworthy and authentic, which led to positive outcomes for the brand including +51% interest in researching the brand and +49% product purchase intent.

Additional Key Takeaways:
– Brand marketers can build trust by working with influencers who are authentic and create connection with their audience through effective behaviors such as talking about their mistakes and lessons learned (60%), providing evidence and facts about their topics (58%), and openly sharing their real lives not just curated lifestyles (57%).

– Transparency is a must for brand/influencer partnerships. Customizing content disclosures for the audience goes a long way – US users prefer voiceovers (28%), users in France prefer to read captions (28%), and hashtags work well in Australia (25%), KSA (30%), and UK (26%).

– Different platforms serve different purposes, from building community to exploring interests, and brands could better connect with target audiences by strategically aligning their products and brand-sponsored influencer content with their preferred platform.

– Marketers can position influencers as trusted partners for audiences in their brand decision making journey, and this can be amplified on platforms like Snapchat where brands can lean into users’ attraction to personal connections.

To read the full Media Trials report, please visit the MAGNA website and click the link here.

The “Unleashing Influence: A Marketer’s Guide to Influencer Success” study was conducted in Australia, France, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, and The United States of America with 5,214 participants across a representative group of social media users aged 16-49 years. The groups were approximately equal size in all countries. Participants in the online panel self-reported using social media on a weekly basis. They were surveyed to gauge current perceptions of influencer content and receptiveness to brand-sponsored influencer content on social media. The U.S. participants also provided feedback about influencer content across platforms.


MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company, and part of the IPG Mediabrands network. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers. We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity, and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity, and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: follow us on LinkedIn.

About Snap Inc.

Snap Inc. is a technology company. We believe the camera presents the greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together. The Company’s three core products are Snapchat, a visual messaging app that enhances your relationships with friends, family, and the world; Lens Studio, an augmented reality platform that powers AR across Snapchat and other services; and its AR glasses, Spectacles. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Suzette Meade
MAGNA / IPG Mediabrands
[email protected]

Ahrim Nam
[email protected]