The influencer marketing industry has its own set of risk factors and drawbacks, with influencer fraud being one of them. As a result, this becomes a problem for brands to trust influencers to promote their business when their social metrics, content or following is not authentic.
In this blogpost, we’re diving into the details and discuss how to help keep your brand awareness away from influencer fraud.
What Is Influencer Fraud?
Influencer fraud occurs when an "influencer" decides to use fraudulent Instagram growth methods (buy followers and likes, use bots to generate comments or work with pods).
So, main types of Influencer fraud:
Bought Followers (via spam accounts) and likes. The influencer creates a profile or buys an existing one and acquires services that will automate the process of following that profile. Many bloggers buy followers to kick-start the growth of their accounts. A typical fake account: has no profile picture, has no posts or few, has a small number of followers (in some cases less than 30 followers), has high number of followings, empty, hidden or copied bio. Influencers that buy automatic likes tend to have an almost identical number of likes on every post they make.
Inauthentic comments. Such comments made by services that sell automated likes and comments to make audiences believe that blogger is generating a positive reaction to the content. Comments that consist of only emojis or words like "great," "nice" and "lovely" are of very little value.
Pods. These are groups of influencers collaborating to run up their activity. It’s a great way for influencers to have guaranteed engagements on their content (they use phrases like "here is my post", "follow me" "like my last post", "live some comments for my new post", and etc.),
What Brands Can Do To Avoid Influencer Fraud
Here are some tips on how to avoid influencer fraud:
Look at your influencer’s main metrics. Look for an unusual follower-to-engagement ratio; - analyze engagement rate and audience quality; - be wary of sudden follower growth (it could be a sign that the blogger has bought new followers); - look into the influencer's top-performing posts and check if they're aligned with their main interest (because, the influencer post сan be about one topic, for instance food, but the engagement with the audience with the only happening when they post about different topic, for example lifestyle. This is a sure rad flag that those comments are fraudulent);
Track your influencer’s history and background. You need to know what’s the evolution of the number of followers, likes and comments? What is the tone of the influencers posts, and have those posts remained consistent with that influencer’s brand?
Analyze campaign performance. Check the influencer’s prior influencer marketing campaigns to determine the quality of content and overall performance (If you’ve collaborated with amazing bloggers in the past, then it would be ideal to create a long-term influencer strategy with those you trust so that you don’t have to look for new ones who maybe frauds).
Verify an influencer’s numbers with third-party data. For example, with Persollo Analytics tools you can use to check someone’s level of influence.
How Persollo Detects Influencer Fraud
At Persollo, we leverage our latest AI-Powered tool Post Analyzer, which thoroughly analyzes the follower profiles of a public Instagram account to detect influencers that use fake/mass followers and bots to commit influencer fraud, and also analyze post caption and comments. Such a feature like Post Analyzer helps brands spot fake followers and bots and allocate ad spend with confidence and save time.
Also Persollo Post Analyzer will help you to: get insights about influencer Audience Quality Score (AQS), сheck the Audience of Value (AoV) for each influencer & authentic Engagement Rate (ER), see how your ER changed over time and сompare ER with influencers with similar follower numbers, define Brand Safety Index, explore the demographic, psychographic characteristics of their audience and much more. This helps brands easily ensure their campaigns are being executed by the influencers who best fit a brand’s goals.
Use Persollo AI-Powered Analytics to easily find credible influencer’s, analyze audiences and save your budget, reputation and authenticity from fraud.
Persollo Post Analyzer Example is here.
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