Fake Followers Aren’t the Only Problem with Influencer Marketing, but Sylo is Helping – Here’s How:

Did you know that, according to the Economic Times, “influencer marketing is coming up as the fastest-growing category in India’s digital advertising space, for advertisers like PepsiCo, Under Armour, Lava, Sugar Cosmetics and upGrad, among others?” 

In fact, companies in the fashion, automobile, and travel industry have increased their influencer marketing budgets by 20%-30% due to not being able to do regular ad shoots because of COVID-19. 

Nevertheless, the increasing popularity of the influencer marketing industry does not detract from the issues this industry faces as a direct result of a lack of standard industry practices and regulations. These issues include weak pricing and measurement standards, a scarcity of contracts, obsessive focus on reach instead of impact, and a lack of vetting influencers for fraud. Fortunately, Sylo is working hard to solve all of these issues with one easy to use solution! So read on to find out more. 

Sylo Can Solve Pricing Issues in Influencer Marketing

Without proper pricing standards, both creators and brands get burnt. On one hand, brands could overpay a creator resulting in ad spend waste and no return on investment. On the other hand, creators could undercharge what they’re worth or spend more time negotiating the price than creating content. 

Luckily, Sylo is designed to provide the highest quality dataset in the industry. Our software allows you to reduce your risk of ad spend waste at every step of the vetting process and effectively increase your ROI. Sylo will verify the quality of your influencers’ reach to ensure pricing is commensurate with performance! That’s because sylo certification distills millions of data points and insights to convey the investment worthiness of an influencer channel.

What’s more, creators who are Sylo-certified are more likely to exceed contractual performance obligations with a consistent, engaged, and authentic audience. As a creator, you can use verified performance benchmarks from Sylo to negotiate better rates! 

Sylo Moves Away from Obsessive Focus on Reach

Influencer Marketing

How many followers an influencer has isn’t a good indication of how effective they will be in an influencer marketing campaign. One of the most prevalent issues in the influencer marketing industry is the use of bot accounts and paid-for followers. Many influencers will buy their audience, so even if it seems like they have 50,0000 followers, many of those accounts might be fake people who will never engage with your brand or buy your products and services. Instead, it’s more important to focus on quality and higher engagement. 

But how do you know the quality or actual engagement rate of an influencer? The answer is Sylo! Sylo collects thousands of data points on each influencer channel and post, powering unmatched analytics that has been refined through years of observation and testing. We’ve found that Sylo-certified influencers have 5.5x higher impression rates than non-certified influencers, as well as 4.6x higher reach rates and 2.7x higher engagement rates.

Sylo Vets Influencers for Fraud

As we mentioned above, many influencers have been caught paying for fake followers. For instance, the Times Group published a story reported by the Mumbai Mirror about rapper-singer Badshah (Aditya Sisodia). The police are investigating Badshah for allegedly paying money to obtain fake followers and likes to promote his music. Of course, paying for bogus accounts is fraud. These creators know that these accounts will never buy from any brand, but they’re still charging good money to reach fake people. Influencer fraud accounted for $1.3 billion of wasted ad spend in 2018 alone! That’s precisely why Sylo was created. We want to help brands maximize their ROI and stop falling victim to fraud. Our industry-leading fraud detection protects you from paying for fake followers and bot engagement. Sylo uses high-frequency, always-on data collection and sophisticated analytical methods to identify the multiple forms of fraud taking place in the market today. Other solutions on the market fall short for several reasons:

  • They don’t have access to authenticated data.
  • Their data is not granular enough.
  • They lack the sophisticated analytical tools to detect robotic activity. 

Sylo offers the premier solution to reducing ROI risk to influencer fraud in the market.

Book Your Demo Today

Influencer Marketing
Online Education. Smiling Arabic Girl In Hijab Watching Webinar On Laptop At Home And Taking Notes, Using Headset

If you’re looking to get in on the ever-increasing popularity of influencer marketing, you need to book your demo with Sylo today! When done right, influencer marketing is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience, connect with your current market, and build a trusted brand reputation. There’s no reason your influencer marketing campaign needs to lose money or be exposed to fraud when you work with Sylo! Our sophisticated software has gone through four years of rigours observation and testing to identify and avoid the multiple forms of influencer fraud used today. Plus, the process is easy – we’ll invite prospective influencers to grant us access to share their metrics with you. From there, we will arm you with the information you need to allocate your budget as effectively as possible. So get started now.

Here’s Why Self Regulation Isn’t Working for Influencer Marketing

Have you heard of the movie Dark Waters? It’s a dramatic story about the legal case against DuPont’s chemical manufacturing corporation after they contaminated a town with UNREGULATED chemicals. As you’re reading this, I’d like you to take a moment and focus on the word UNREGULATED. I promise that this will clarify the most pressing issue in influencer marketing. Self-regulation absolutely must change, and it’s up to the brands to make this happen! 

Self-Regulation Leads to Fraud

self-regulation influencer marketing

In the movie, a suggestion was made by the protagonist (the lawyer leading the case) for medical monitoring. He suggested that if a company, like Dupont, exposes a community to something that makes them sick, that community must have independent monitoring. Self-regulation by Dupont was allowing hazardous materials to exist in the water system because the alternative would amount to a major financial loss. They created their own best practices and reported publicly that all actions and test levels were within their very own regulations. So how does this tie into influencer marketing? Currently, there are over 1000 influencer marketing platforms that offer an all in one, 360 degree as they call it, end to end solution for brand marketers (sound familiar anyone?). This means they provide a supply of influencers to search and discover workflow/contracting capabilities and, at the same time, present their very own fraud detection and campaign reporting. In other words, SELF REGULATION. 

Self-Regulation Does Not Allow for Accountability 

self-regulation influencer marketing

Ask yourself this question: What would happen to any of these influencer marketing platforms if clients discovered that a good number of their influencers were committing fraud to grow their audience or that their campaigns were underperforming? This would be a tremendous risk to their revenue stream and could lead to financial loss to competition (with around 1000 platforms, I’d say it’s pretty competitive). So why is this possibility NOT a current threat to their business? Because these supply-side, influencer Marketing platforms currently control all of the information being served to the brand marketers who hire them, from beginning to end.  

If you’re a brand marketer, take a moment and think about how many campaign reports you’ve seen that grossly under-delivered, considered weak, or had a high level of fraud, or as we call it, investment waste? Probably very little. My educated guess, you’ve heard practically nothing about fraud being detected from those influencers you discovered via their respective platforms. Yet, in Q4 campaigns where Sylo was brought in to verify and measure independently, we found that  30% of influencers buy likes and followers on paid-for posts.  Most brands have jumped around from one platform to another over the past few years, and I bet not one of these brands could tell you why or if one platform actually performed better than the next. So I ask you, is self-regulation working for influencer marketing? 

Self-Regulation Puts Your Business At Risk

self-regulation influencer marketing

In the movie Dark Waters, Dupont was clearly the antagonist. However, I do not blame the influencer platforms the way Dupont was blamed. If the brands allow them to self-regulate, why wouldn’t they continue to do so? It really comes down to the brand marketers and their respective  advertising / PR agencies to start requesting independent verification. Without it, influencer marketing will remain the ONLY medium that does not include 3rd party, unbiased verification and measurement. As we see from the movie, Dupont’s self-regulation led to growing risks, and eventually harmed the community it intended to help. Self-regulation is also hurting the influencer marketing space and preventing it from reaching its most optimal level. As a result, Sylo has seen a continuous increase in fraud, an abnormal growth in both the number of “influencers” being presented, and supply-side platforms scraping data and violating privacy laws that could eventually make them and those brands they represent liable. Lastly, we continue to have no pathway to ROI as numerous platforms take it upon themselves to provide their measurement and verification. 

We Must Disrupt the Industry

self-regulation influencer marketing

As New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo recently said during a press conference, it’s always easier to stay with the status quo and not accept a change or attempt to raise the bar. People want to take the easy road and say no. However, at Sylo, we believe disruption is not a bad thing if it takes us to a new and better place. As a brand marketer or media buyer for any agency, we believe you want to take pride in your ability to help shape the influencer industry. That means taking the time to learn more about how independent, unbiased verification sources collect, store, and serve its data. You also need to take into account their fraud detection capabilities and verified reporting to guide your brand towards better efficiencies and a real ROI. 

Contact Sylo Today

self-regulation influencer marketing

Fortunately, Sylo is here to help! We partner with brands, agencies, and influencers to provide the only independent data verification, fraud detection, and performance analytics solution. We help you avoid waste, and increase ROI in your influencer programs! Sylo gives you access to the most accurate and comprehensive dataset in the industry, allowing you to optimize every step of your influencer programs and maximize ROI. So get in touch with us today and start disrupting the influencer marketing industry to create real change.

These Sylo-Certified Influencers are Your Best Bet for Attracting New Millennials to your Brand

Are you using Sylo-Certified influencers for your marketing campaigns? Sylo certification represents the risks and investment worthiness of an influencer’s channel. This accreditation is used together with a channel’s performance and benchmarks to assess their potential return on investment. 

Sylo-certified influencers are those that are thoroughly vetted for, and determined to be free of any purchased follower or engagement activity. Sylo sees these influencers as likely to exceed contractual performance obligations. In fact, Sylo Certified influencers deliver 5.5x higher impression rates, 4.6x higher reach rates, and 2.7x higher engagement rates! Plus, when brands exclusively use certified influencers, they will immediately cut back on waste and see an increase in ROI

Now, let’s take a look at four Sylo-certified influencers:

Jared Smith

Jared Smith is a fitness and travel influencer who has close to 85,000 followers. But as we know so well here at Sylo, it’s not about how many followers you have but how many of those followers are really engaged with your brand. Jared averages 75 comments per post, and some posts even get more than 200 comments! The best part? These are all real people who are genuinely interested in what Jared has to say. In fact, his engagement rate is above 5%, which is very high! That means if you work with him as a brand, you can reach a wider audience and gain more attention. Of course, that also means you have a better chance of selling more of your products or services! What’s more, because his performance is of high enough quality to be certified, Jared has been able to secure some amazing brand deals like working with Glenn Close for May Mental Health Awareness Month as part of their #nonormal campaign. 

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips is a Sylo-certified lifestyle influencer who reaches an average of 50% of his followers with his posts, which is far above the norm! Tom has a recent branded post with Roku, and since Tom uses Sylo he can share his authenticated data with them. This means he can independently verify the increased ROI he brought to the campaign, and establish himself as a reliable partner. Sylo invites any prospective influencer, like Tom, to grant us access to share their metrics with you. From there, we arm you with the information you need to allocate your budget as effectively as possible. Since Tom was able to use Sylo to prove his value and show that his 10,000 followers were real and engaged, he was also able to negotiate better compensation.

Angel Elo 

Angel Elo’s Instagram is all about motherhood and business – two things she’s an expert in. As a smart mama and business woman, she knew becoming Sylo-certified was the best way to monetize her profile and secure amazing brand deals with high-profile names like Shark, Briar Baby, and Gathre. Unfortunately, more than 50% of influencers reach less than 25% of their followers on a typical post. Without access to the necessary information, you are at risk of paying for audiences that you will never reach. But that’s not the case when you work with Angel or any of our Sylo-certified partners. We give you the verified channel metrics you need to provide you the transparency to determine rates more effectively. Another win-win for all parties involved!

Johnny Youssef

Not only does Johnny Youssef have a beautiful Instagram feed, but this home realtor, investor, renovator and designer is another shining example of Sylo-certification. Both Johnny and his partners saw ROI on their campaigns. Jonny was able to partner with design companies and hardware stores that made it easier for him to design his dream home. These partners like West Lake Ace Hardware, Murals Your Way, Crystorama, and BIC benefited from the exposure and credibility Johnny brought to the deal. As you can see, Sylo’s campaign measurement and optimization helps marketers determine the efficiency of spend and gain insights into future investment and budget allocations using real-time, continuously verified data. 

Are you ready to work with Sylo-certified influencers and start seeing a real return on your influencer marketing campaigns? Then contact Sylo today, and let’s work together to narrow the gap between campaign investment and impact with trusted, certified influencers!   

Revolutionize Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns with Soapbox Influence and Sylo

Have you participated in a brand lift study? If so, have you outlined your objectives and how your campaign could be measured against them? At Sylo, we all too often see brand effectiveness research become just another tactic in sales negotiations, instead of the strategic driver of digital brand advertising that it should be. Unfortunately, this is bad for the digital marketing world because brands will hold back spending without proof of its effectiveness in driving the “brand metrics” that matter to them. Luckily, this problem is easily solved with Sylo!

Did you know Sylo is part of the Nielsen Connect Network? Using Nielsen retail sales data combined with the unique way we monitor influencer accounts, we can set informed KPI’s, measure brand lift, and evaluate the return on investment with accurate influencer performance benchmarks. With Sylo, you can determine the efficiency of spend and optimize future budget allocations to increase your results. 

So let’s take a closer look at brand lift, how we optimize ROI, and why it’s turn key for your business:

Spot Brand Sales Lift 

What is brand sales lift? In marketing, “lift” means an increase in sales due to some form of advertising or promotion. It’s imperative to monitor, measure, and optimize lift if you want to help your company grow more quickly. It is crucial to understand how any form of marketing impacts your business, especially when it comes to influencer marketing. Why? Well, according to a study conducted by economist Roberto Cavazos from the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business, $1.3 billion was wasted on online spending in 2018 alone. Cavazos equated it to a 15% tax on whatever you do in influencer marketing. Yikes! 

So that’s precisely what Sylo is fighting against. We believe that there’s no need to waste your ad spend budget when you use the proper tools. That’s why we provide independent, authenticated data that delivers precise influencer audience and performance metrics. We remove the guesswork from influencer partner selections and campaign measurement with this data, so your hard-earned ad dollars work for you! 

Offer a New Tool that Optimizes ROI  

As you can see, Sylo is all about optimizing your ROI and making sure influencer campaigns work for you! Current studies and analytical tools lag behind campaign execution and leave you guessing about your programs’ impact. Sylo and Nielsen have come together to bridge the gap between your campaigns and brand sales, allowing you to optimize current and future influencer activations, and measure ROI like never before.  

So what is Nielsen Connect? The Nielsen Connect Partner Network is a crucial resource to help you make critical choices when operating your business today. A recent Nielsen survey discovered that 57% of our clients in the U.S. work with more vendors and technology today than they did just two years ago. Therefore, Nielsen Connect is the best way to work with this ever-growing array of data and technology to solve daily market challenges. The Nielsen Connect Partner Network 

provides access to an arsenal of innovative companies like Sylo that enable you to capitalize on and enhance the Nielsen data and services you already purchase. 

Connect Partners like Sylo is here to help you solve business challenges that can be trusted. Here’s an example of what we do:

It’s Turn-Key for Brands/Agencies

Sylo is all about making the process easier and freeing up more time to work on your business. That’s one reason Soapbox Influence selected Sylo as a partner. They understand influencer marketing and the need for authenticated data. Soapbox is about real people with real voices and real influence. When you work with Soapbox, you work with Sylo-certified influencers that have extensive followings of engaged, loyal and motivated people ready to hear about your business. So if you’re looking for a hassle-free influencer marketing campaign that’s backed by real insight, Soapbox Influence in conjunction with Sylo is your turn-key, trusted solution. 

Contact Sylo Today

Influencer marketing can help your business reach a wider audience and drive sales through the roof – but only when it’s done correctly. That means partnering with a tool like Sylo that provides the only independent data verification, fraud detection, and performance analytics solution. When you work with a trusted third-party, you’ll avoid waste, and increase ROI in your influencer programs! So get in touch with us today and learn more about how Influencer marketing paired with Sylo can help you reach your business goals.

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

Fake Followers on my Instagram Account – Does it Really Matter Long Term?

Instagram launched in 2010 and has soared in growth and popularity since its inception! Now influencers are more popular than ever on the social media platform, and many brands want to engage in influencer marketing campaigns. However, one issue we continually see here at Sylo is inorganic follower growth and engagement acquisition on Instagram. Fake accounts are computer-based or bot accounts, which means no human is behind the likes and comments these accounts leave. 

Every Instagram account has some low level of fake accounts following them and engaging with their content. However, when an influencer purchases these followers, it pollutes the data, making it impossible to separate the real humans from the fake bots. Unfortunately, many brands view followers and engagement rate as the most crucial metrics, so there is a lot of motivation to inflate the numbers to show a big following that is highly engaged and significant growth. Furthermore, there isn’t much repercussion, and it’s not expensive to buy fake accounts. 

Brands and companies are paying influencers to get real humans to learn about their products and buy from them. So, if an influencer uses fake followers, then a brand or company will see zero return on investment! That’s why we’ve developed Sylo Certified, which can tell if an influencer has currently or in the past purchased followers! Of course, fake followers on your Instagram account really matter long term! Here are more reasons why:

Fake Followers Cloud True Reach

Reach is how many people see an Influencers post on Instagram. For example, if you post a photo and 100 people see it, then your reach for that post is 100. However, as a brand or company looking to partner with an influencer, you need to understand that follower count alone is not helpful in making influencer hiring decisions. It’s better to have 1000 real people who genuinely like, follow, and interact with an influencer’s account than having 10,000 people who aren’t in your target audience and will never engage or buy your product. Plus, a higher follower count doesn’t even necessarily mean more reach! 

Unfortunately, Instagram can’t always tell which accounts are fake, so they include these accounts in the number of people reached. If you’re looking to pay an influencer to market your products, then fake followers will cloud true reach. As an influencer, it’s also a bad idea to buy fake accounts because a brand will quickly realize they don’t see a return on investment, and it will hurt your reputation.  

Fake Followers Hurt Engagement Rates 

Did you know bot accounts can actually engage with content? Bots can like and comment on posts, just like real people. But unlike real people, bots will never purchase your product or service! If an influencer decides to buy fake followers, then authentic engagement rates go straight down. One way to tell if an engagement rate is false is to look for likes-to-follower or likes-to-comment ratios. If these ratios are too high, it can be a sign that an influencer is buying likes and comments, and the engagement rate is false. 

Fake Followers Spam Your Fans 

Not only do fake followers on your Instagram account hurt your reputation and make it impossible to secure high-paying brand deals, but they also ruin things for your real followers. Fake bot accounts can spam your real followers and even harm them! For example, data security company Imperva conducted a bot report, and found that 28.9% of bots can crack passwords or carry viruses! Yikes! 

Fake Followers Will Get Your Account Shut Down 

In 2018, Instagram started cracking down on fake followers. They began removing inauthentic likes, followers, and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity. If you’re caught using fake followers, Instagram can shadowban your account, which means the platform will partially block your content, so only users who follow you can see it. This will really hurt your real follower count and make it difficult to reach new people. 

You also run the risk of having your account banned entirely. If Instagram bans your account, they will permanently block your username, so you can’t recreate that account! Imagine spending time building a brand only to get that account shut down forever and never being able to use the name again? It’s not worth it! Plus, in the most severe cases, Instagram can even restrict your IP address from accessing Instagram all together.

Use Sylo to Vet Out Influencers with Inorganic Followers

Whether you’re an influencer looking to secure higher-paying deals or a brand who wants to make sure they partner with the most authentic influencer, Sylo is for you! Purchased activity on influencer accounts is well hidden and often takes place over short periods. Today’s tools are ineffective at protecting from the sophisticated forms of influencer fraud that are taking place. Sylo uses high-frequency, always-on data collection and advanced analytical methods to identify the multiple types of fraud in the market today. Sylo can detect bot activity that other solutions on the market can’t! So book your demo today and start using Sylo, the premier solution to maximize your ROI and reduce the risk of influencer fraud!

The Instagram Data Brand Marketers Are Missing – Monitor these 5 Metrics to Improve Influencer Selections

Did you know that according to a survey conducted by Facebook people said that they perceive brands on Instagram as popular (78%), creative (77%), entertaining (76%) and relevant (74%)? While many brands partner with influencers on Instagram, Sylo data has found that marketers are unable to effectively determine the quality of influencer audiences, and their ROI has suffered as a result. If you want your influencer marketing campaign to work, then you need verified data monitoring to set accurate KPIs and interpet Instagram data. With that in mind, here are 5 metrics you should be keeping track of to improve your influencer selection:

Follower Growth Rate

If you keep track of the follower growth rate, it’s easier to see which influencer is doing better than their competitors. For example, one influencer might have less followers because their account is newer, but when you track follower growth rate, you will see that they could be gaining traction much faster than their competition. 

The follower growth rate is calculated as the number of followers gained divided by the number of followers started with, times 100% (for a specific period).

The follower growth rate calculation is:

Follower Growth Rate = New Followers / Starting Follower Count x 100%

For instance, if influencer A has 1000 followers to start and gains 100 followers in a month, they’re follower growth rate is 10%.

Now let’s say influencer B has started with 10,000 followers and gains 100. They’ve only seen a follower growth rate of 1%.

Both influencers saw the same number of raw followers in a month. Although it looks like influencer B has more followers overall, it’s influencer A that is more successful when it comes to attracting new followers!

Some influencers use Giveaways to artificially inflate this metric, and will often subsequently delete the posts to hide the evidence. Fortunately, Sylo can see this type of activity because we retain all post data even if the influencer deletes them.

Instagram Impressions 

Impressions measure the number of times users saw your post or ad. This metric doesn’t take into account unique users, which means if your post or ad is shown 150 times to one person, it would technically count as 150 impressions. It’s best when both reach and impressions are high, but you want the number of impressions to be higher than your reach. Why? Because it’s a sign that your followers have viewed your content multiple times. When people see your post or ad more than once, they start to become familiar with your brand, so even if people aren’t in the market for what you’re selling right now, their awareness of your brand might lead them to purchase in the future.

However, it’s important to note that platforms often estimate impressions because they aren’t publicly available. To get the real number of impressions on Instagram, it requires authentication. In fact, Sylo highlights a case study on our website that cites how a platform over-reported impressions on a campaign by 631%! That goes to show that only independent, direct access to your verified campaign data guarantees that your brand receives what was paid for.

Story Engagement Rate 

How do you calculate story engagement rate? Good Question! Although there are no likes, comments, or saves on Instagram Stories, you can measure interactions such as swipe ups, replies, tap backs, and tap forwards to figure out the engagement rate.

Swipe ups are available to influencers with 10K followers or more. Once an influencer has unlocked the swipe up feature, they can add a link to your product or website so users can swipe up on the story and be taken to your landing page. Instagram Story analytics will track the number of times someone has swiped up on a story, which is key to understanding what content is best for driving traffic to your website. Approximately 15 to 25% of Instagram users will swipe up on a story.

Another great way to measure Instagram story engagement is by tracking how many users reply to your story. Instagram is about creating a community, so it’s essential to have conversations with your audience. That’s why influencer marketing is so successful because they encourage more people to tap the reply button and send a message! 

Also, how many people tapped backward is a good indication of story engagement. When people tap backward, it often means that your story was interesting, so they wanted to watch it again! If you see too many taps forward, it could mean that your story is boring, has too much text, or maybe you have too many stories posted. 

For a full breakdown, we love this guide from Social Media Examiner. 

Audience Composition

Instagram Insights will let you know about an influencer’s audience composition. That means you can track crucial stats about followers, such as age range, gender, and location. This is important because you don’t want to select an influencer who has 100,000 followers if none of those followers match your target audience. Once you have the data about an influencer’s audience composition, you can combine it with your buyer personas to help gain a clear picture of what your Instagram target audience should be. 

Reach  

When it comes to Instagram, your reach tells you how many unique viewers saw your story or post, while impressions let you know how many times each viewer saw your story or post. For example, if one person viewed your story three times, you would see a reach of one and an impression of three. Typically, the longer an influencer is on Instagram and the more followers they get, the more reach they gain. 

Besides total reach, you also want to monitor the reach rate. This is the percentage of followers that see your post, and it’s calculated by dividing the total reach of a post by the total number of followers. For instance, if you have 300 reach and 1000 followers, your reach rate is 30%. According to a study conducted by Sylo, close to 90 percent of influencers reach less than half of their audience; while more than 50

percent of influencers reach less than 25 percent of their audience. 

Sylo is Here to Help

Keeping track of vital data for your influencer marketing campaign doesn’t have to be hard. When you use Sylo, not only do you get Campaign Data Verification & Benchmarks, but you also get Vetting & Fraud Detection! Sylo provides access to the most accurate and comprehensive dataset in the industry, allowing you to optimize every step of your influencer programs and maximize ROI. With Sylo, you get authenticated data that delivers precise influencer audience and performance metrics and removes the guesswork from influencer partner selections and campaign measurement. So if you’re looking to reduce risk, avoid waste, and increase ROI, contact Sylo today!