Here’s What You Need to Know to Reduce Ad Spend Waste In Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Wasted ad spend is a significant problem in the marketing industry, especially in influencer marketing! Why? Because influencer compensation is typically negotiated based on an influencer’s ability to reach an audience via their posts. Usually, follower count is seen as an estimate of the influencer’s ability to reach potential customers. However, people are starting to realize that paid-for bot followers are being used to inflate influencers’ follower counts and asking price, significantly contributing to ad spend waste. Fortunately, you can avoid wasting money by understanding what to look for. So let’s dive in:

Access verified data

There are two methods for collecting data. The first is called scraping, which extracts data from social platforms without API access or the influencer’s consent. The second method is authentication, which is consensually sourced and verified data that is accessed through the social platforms’ APIs. Authenticated data is crucial for reducing ad spend waste, and scraped data should be avoided. 

Not only is scraped data against the terms of services and non-consensual, but it also gives you an incomplete picture using only publicly available metrics and infrequent observations. In fact, scraped data can be inaccurate by as much as 129%!

On the other hand, authenticated data provides accuracy, which increases confidence and reduces budget waste. Authenticated data also provides more metrics, which means you have more insight for shaping your influencer marketing campaigns. At Sylo, our authenticated data will give you 1,000’s of data points per channel/post and content and network histories so you can see a real return on investment with your influencer campaigns.

Ask the Right Questions

No influencer marketing campaign can be successful without the proper tools. If you don’t have a mechanism to collect data, you can’t make informed decisions about your campaign. The first question to ask is, where does the data come from? To answer this question, you need to find a trusted third party tool like Sylo. When comparing tools on the market, these are the most important questions to ask:

  1. Can the tool give me access to expertly vetted influencers monitored for “bad” behavior, such as purchasing followers/engagements?
  2. Can it show me verified, real-time performance data from the influencers I’m considering?
  3. Can it provide their verified benchmarks on branded, category relevant programs to assess how their next program is likely to perform?
  4. Can I see real performance data, such as reach, engagements, clicks, etc. (not just algorithmically estimated performance data or numbers from paid social)?

Sylo answers yes to all these questions! This is crucial because when you have access to the highest quality vetting and data on the market, you immediately avoid losses due to fraud, increase your ROI, and build trust in the industry. In turn, this contributes to industry growth, which allows more money to be spent in the market, making it a win-win. What’s more, a tool like Sylo removes the burden of avoiding fraud that frees up resources and makes it so you can focus on optimizing your campaigns! That means you can spend time on growing your business! 

Lastly, Sylo’s data transparency and insight help your marketing efforts as access to verified performance benchmarks makes negotiations more transparent and helps set pricing based on what really matters, which is performance, not follower counts.

Make Informed Decisions

As mentioned above, the only way to see success in your influencer marketing campaigns is to make informed decisions using trusted, authenticated data and influencer vetting. Sylo has discovered that around 50% of influencers reach

less than 25% of their followers! Making informed decisions means using verified benchmarks to identify creators that deliver quality performance, and avoid wasting money on those that don’t! 

Another critical way to make informed decisions is to use reach metrics over follower count. When you use follower count to determine the rate, you don’t factor in performance. Lower performance means a lower return on your investment. In fact, Sylo also found that there’s up to 60% higher cost per follower reached on low performing channels! Using verified performance benchmarks, you can avoid this kind of waste and figure out efficient pricing for your influencer marketing campaign.

Finally, you need to remember that snapshots do not identify fraud! Approximately 20% of influencers inflate their metrics, which is undetected when you used scraped data. The only way to combat influencer fraud and reduce budget waste is to use influencer vetting and fraud detection with real-time authenticated data. 

So there you have it, with these essential factors in mind you’re well on your way to reducing ad spend waste on your influencer marketing campaign! If you’re looking for the most efficient way to see a return on investment with influencer marketing, you’re looking for Sylo. So get in touch with us today and find out how transparent access to verified data will help you optimize your future performance.

The End of Instagram Fraud? Independent Vetting Makes Fake Followers a Thing of the Past

Have you used influencer marketing? This type of social media marketing uses endorsements and product mentions from people who have a dedicated social following. These people are known as influencers, and they are often seen as experts in their niche. Influencer marketing can help brands drive sales and reach a wider audience because people who follow influencers often have a high amount of trust in that person. So, they’re more likely to buy a product or service that is recommended by them. Unfortunately, the upside to influencer marketing comes with the downside of influencer fraud. Read on to learn more about Instagram fraud and how independent vetting like Sylo is making it a thing of the past:

What is Instagram Fraud? 

Influencer marketing strategies are challenging to navigate for companies because they often negotiate a rate per post with little way of determining if they got what they paid for. One reason it’s difficult to calculate ROI is due to Instagram fraud. Instagram fraud typically occurs when an influencer lies about the size of their following and how many likes and comments each post gets. Many influencers feel pressured to have large followings with lots of engagement to secure brand deals, so they purchase fake followers and use bot accounts to like and comment. What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to do this. All you have to do is type “buy followers” or “buy likes” into Google, and there are more than 5 million websites that allow you to purchase likes and followers with the click of a button.

Of course, fake followers and bots are not real people even though they can like and comment on a photo just like a real person. Thus, the problem is bot accounts will never buy from your business! Many businesses end up wasting their advertising budget on influencers with fake audiences. In fact, a study conducted by Professor Roberto Cavazos, who spoke at Sylo’s Influencer Fraudnomics Summit in 2019, found that “at least 15% of advertisers’ spending on influencer marketing is lost to fraud, costing them $1.3 billion annually.” Yikes!

Unfortunately, current solutions fall short of combatting this kind of fraud because most readily available influencer reports are based on scraped data collected without influencer permission. This estimated data is often incomplete and inaccurate and these cheaply available metrics do not effectively reduce ad-spend waste or assist in identifying KPI’s that drive ROI.

How Has the Pandemic Changed the Game?

Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, the founder of PR and marketing agency TishTash, says that although engagement rates for influencers have increased during the pandemic, brands worldwide are cutting their marketing budgets. This is why “micro-influencers” are gaining popularity. Micro-influencers are people with a smaller following of between 10,000 to 20,000 people. However, these audiences tend to be more loyal and engaged. 

The problem is that brands have found it increasingly challenging to verify micro-influencers’ ethics due to what we at Sylo see as the vicious cycle of influencer marketing. Brands want influencers to get to a certain level of massive following, but they lose that affinity with their audience once they do. Luckily, independent vetting can automate the process and help relieve  stress on internal resources like freeing up more time to hit enough micro-influencers at scale.  

How Will the Rise of Independent Vetting Continue to Create Change?

If marketers continue to make decisions without adequate data and information, they will continue to spend their budget dollars on fake audiences. Only when brands, agencies, and influencers come together and designate a standard solution, such as Sylo, will the industry’s problems finally be addressed. By using independent, authenticated data to verify influencer audiences and content performance, Sylo provides the tools and insights necessary to tackle the industry’s fraud problem, and more!

When marketers have access to the highest quality vetting on the market, they will immediately avoid almost all of the 15% loss to fraud that CHEQ uncovered. With Sylo preventing fraudulent influencers from winning campaign contracts, ROI’s will increase, trust will grow, and more money will be spent in the market. With the burden of avoiding fraud removed, resources will be freed up, allowing marketers to focus on optimizing their programs, and building on sustained success. The data transparency and insight that Sylo provides will support marketers in these efforts as well, for example: with access to verified performance benchmarks, negotiations will be more transparent, and pricing can be set based on performance, not follower counts.

The independent vetting that Sylo provides will effectively eliminate influencer fraud allowing brands to see better results, allocate more money to the industry, and drive growth!

Contact Sylo Today

Whether you’re a creator or a brand, Sylo works for you! If you’re ready to see an ROI on your influencer marketing campaigns and leave Instagram fraud behind then, you need to get in touch with us today! Book your demo and find out how easy it is to add Sylo to your workflow and get the results you need! 

Here’s How You Can Start Making Influencer Marketing Accountable and Why You Should!

India’s Ministry of Information Technology has banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, after receiving several complaints from many sources about apps that were stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner. What’s more, Apple has removed TikTok from its app store after they too discovered that the new social media app was collecting user clipboard data (what we copy and paste) even though TikTok blamed it on Google’s SDK. 

This is a classic example of how companies and brands often unknowingly enable influencers, search/discovery platforms, and agencies because many brands try to catch the latest trends without proper research or understanding of how a marketing campaign should work on a new platform. Unfortunately, this only serves to accelerate budget waste and it goes to show that the platforms themselves don’t always function in the best interest of their users! 

At Sylo, our goal is to partner with brands, agencies, and influencers to provide the only independent data verification, fraud detection, and performance analytics solution to help companies avoid waste, and increase ROI in their influencer programs. We believe the influencer marketing industry needs to be responsible! With that in mind, here are the ways you can start making influencer marketing accountable:

Bots and Fake Followers are Not the Norm 

As an influencer, there is always pressure to grow your following and have as many followers as possible. Many people wrongly believe that a large follower count is the best way to be a successful influencer. As a result, influencers often turn to fake followers and bots to make it seem like they have a broad audience with many likes and comments per post. Of course, bots and fake accounts contribute to budget waste because they will never buy a brand’s products or services!  

Sometimes bots and fake followers can infiltrate Instagram accounts without the Influencer knowing, so there will be a small degree of fake followers that’s unavoidable. Still, contrary to popular belief, brands have more power than they think! Companies have access to partners and tools to help identify suspicious activity, such as followers who were bought by influencers, irregular engagement and account growth, or robotic language. In fact, Sylo and Nielson have come together to bridge the gap between campaigns and brand sales, allowing you to optimize current and future influencer activations, and measure ROI like never before. Our industry-leading fraud detection is designed to protect you from paying for fake followers and bot engagement!

Monitor Important Metrics 

When you’re tracking metrics in your influencer marketing campaign, you need to focus on data stability and predictability. It’s essential to require that influencers produce independently verified data about their engagement, impressions, reach, and audience before a contract is signed, just like they do with publishers. Authentication is the only way to collect accurate and complete influencer data. However, many platforms simply scrape data, which only shows surface-level information—scraped data supplies users with metrics that are inaccurate by over 125%! Scraping doesn’t offer the data quality necessary to vet and measure influencer performance adequately and will lead to 50-60% waste in your influencer campaigns. 

That’s why Sylo only uses independent data verification on influencer audiences and content performance. We provide the essential tools and insights you need to make smart financial decisions by gathering thousands of data points on each influencer channel and post. We power unmatched analytics refined over years of observation and testing. Our transparent access to verified benchmarks allows you to set pricing commensurate with channel performance. Plus, Sylo certification distills millions of data points and insights to convey the investment worthiness of an influencer.

 Learn How to See the Value 

When a business purchases media on a website, it’s easy for them to understand the value because they can measure it using CPM, impressions, reach, audience, and CTR. However, when it comes to influencer marketing, brands often negotiate a rate per post with little direction to figure out if they got what they paid for. Therefore, another critical way to make influencer marketing accountable is to learn how to see if your business got the value paid for! Sylo is built to not only independently verify influencer audience data and detect fraud but also to validate campaign metrics, which makes it easier for brands to see if there is a return on investment. Unlike platforms, Sylo has nothing to gain by obscuring or altering campaign results, so our measurement (and judgement) is never clouded. You can trust that our insights are based on verified data that’s free of bias, allowing you to make informed decisions to optimize your future campaigns and maximize ROI.

As our advisor, David Beebee, said, “It’s what Nielsen ratings are for TV. Can you imagine if networks reported their own viewership numbers and ratings? The industry would be a mess. Influencer Marketing shouldn’t be any different.” So if you’re looking to hold the influencer marketing industry accountable, combat fraud, and see a real boost in business from this marketing strategy, you need to contact Sylo today