Influencers have proven highly effective for raising brand awareness and reaching new or targeted audiences but new findings suggest they’re becoming a nuisance to consumers.

According to EnTribe’s state of user-generated content survey, 63 percent of users say they see a sponsored influencer post at least every time they use social media. The problem: 85 percent find influencers to be inauthentic and/or not relatable, which is an interesting finding given relatability is the hallmark of influencers brands are investing in these days.

Worse, 29 percent told EnTribe that influencer content negatively impacts their perception of the brand.

Content from actual customers is what 85 percent of people would rather see brands share on social media. Here’s why:

  • 84 percent are more likely to trust a brand that uses content from actual customers versus paid influencers
  • 77 percent would be more likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if that brand shared content from real customers in their marketing
  • 65 percent of 18-44-year-olds would be more loyal to a brand if they were asked to submit a photo or video capturing their experience that was then featured in that brand’s marketing

“Consumers are now seeing through traditional influencer content and want to know that the recommendation for a product or service they’re considering is coming from somebody who actually has experience with it,” said Adam Dornbusch, CEO of EnTribe.

Dornbusch urges marketers to shift their attention away from micro-influencers and to a UGC marketing strategy. It’s more cost-effective and comes with one major advantage not offered by influencers—brands are not only engaging directly with consumers through UGC programs, but they are also building their own army of creators from their actual customers. Along the way, relationships with existing customers are strengthened while brand engagement and trust among new ones are improved.