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!