Influencer marketing has evolved over the years, leading its way towards becoming a standalone marketing strategy for the brands. Statistics suggest that leveraging the services of a social media influencer can help brands in creating awareness about their products or services, increasing consumer engagement and driving sales.
However, influencer fraud is one of the most important factors brands need to take care of when working with any influencer. Some influencers have been working hard for several years to build their reputation on all social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. These influencers have put in an extra effort to provide relevant information to their audiences and personally interact with them.
Unfortunately, the influencer marketing is not new to frauds as many of the new influencers are buying followers and using bots to generate comments. They show themselves as genuine influencers with a large number of dedicated followers, but in reality, more than half of their followers are fake. In this situation, brands end up losing a considerable sum of money and fail to engage with consumers. Besides, this also spoils a brand’s reputation in front of the real audiences. This is where brands can save their reputation by connecting with the top influencer marketing agencies.
Types of Influencer Fraud
Some of the most common types of influencer fraud include:
1. Fake Followers
Buying fake followers on social media platforms is one of the most common influencer frauds. Many influencers gradually buy followers in lower numbers so that they seem genuine. These followers aren’t interested in what a brand is trying to promote and are also less likely to comment on the offerings.
2. Fake Comments
As the digital world is evolving on a daily basis, merely leveraging a large following isn’t sufficient for influencers to attract brands. Hence, they buy automated likes and comments to ensure brands that their followers engage in all their posts.
These are groups of people on social media that come together to increase engagement on each other’s posts. It is not uncommon for influencers to form an alliance with pods to show brands of their popularity among their followers. Although these are genuine people, such an alliance won’t do any good to a brand’s reputation.
How to Identify Influencer Fraud?
Some signs that can help you to identify influencer fraud include:
- Sudden increase in followers that cannot be explained by a major event
- Ratio of likes/comments to the number of followers isn’t equal
- Irrelevant comments on posts
How to Prevent Influencer Fraud?
The best way for brands to prevent influencer fraud and save their reputation is by connecting with the top influencer outreach agencies. These agencies have great experience in identifying genuine influencers, and help brands to connect with the right influencers for promoting a product or service. Some of the other effective ways include:
1. Influencer’s History
Tracking the influencer’s history can be an effective way for brands to determine the authenticity of an influencer. This includes the time since the influencer has been active on social media, his/her evolution in terms of the number of followers and audience engagement, and the consistency of his/her posts.
2. Campaign Performance
It is important to thoroughly analyze the past campaign performances of influencers in order to determine their content quality and overall performance.
While leveraging the services of influencers can boost the success of brands, it is equally important for brands to stay away from fraudulent influencers in order to protect their reputation. In such a scenario, the influencer outreach programs designed by the best influencer marketing agency can be of great help for brands to connect with the right and authentic influencers for their campaigns and achieve a higher return on investment (ROI).