HOW TO AVOID INFLUENCER FRAUD
Did you know that on Instagram, a single day’s worth of posts tagged #sponsored or #ad on Instagram can contain more than 50 per cent fake engagement? As the continued rise of Influencer marketing increases, brands are now able to connect with a global array of influencers whom they may initially deem credible to collaborate with, however, the rise of influencer marketing has triggered the subsequent explosion of fraud, including the use of bots and other tools which allow fake influencers to inflate their engagement rates and follower counts.
This shows that now more than ever, the integrity of an influencer has never been more valued. Now a brand needs to ensure trust within each influencer relationship they maintain and ensure that their credibility remains organic and original.
Continue reading to discover how you can instantly increase your identity online and collaborate with fashion models to achieve true influence.
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HOW TO IDENTIFY INFLUENCER FRAUD
The most powerful way of identifying true talent is through the measurement of an influencer’s engagement rate, this calculates how many likes and comments a post receives.
Essentially engagement measures how many people are interacting with a post and allows you to trust the talent you work with.
So, when it comes to Instagram, we recommend working with influencers with an engagement rate of around 4% or above. This tells you, that they are credible influencers who maintain an organic relationship with their audience and are actively interacting with their posts and online presence.
BATTLING THE BOTS
Another huge issue which many brands discover after sourcing their talent is that the influencers are using Instagram bots to boost their presence, this consequently results in fake engagement and reach.
So in order to avoid this influencer pain and guarantee you achieve organic results, you need to ensure you carefully vet each influencer after sourcing your desired talent.
Here are a few ways you can identify which influencers use bots:
1. Engagement-to-followers ratio:
Large discrepancies between followers and engagements may signal fake or purchased followers (i.e., an influencer has thousands of followers but receives less than 100 likes and comments on their posts).
2. Growth over time:
Significant, unexplained growth in followers and/or engagements over a short period of time is another red flag.
3. Unrelated engagements:
Watch for suspicious comments or hashtags (i.e., #likeforlike) from suspicious usernames. Engagements that don’t pertain to the post content can be indicators of bots.
CASE STUDY: LIL MIQUE
Miquela Sousa, better known as Lil Miquela, is a fictional character created by Trevor McFedries and Sara Decou as a digital art project. Miquela is an Instagram model and music artist claiming to be from Downey, California.
Miquela’s first Instagram post was made on April 22, 2016, and since then she has built an established profile with over 1.5M followers, despite the fact she isn’t even real!
At first glance or swipe, Miquela could understandably be mistaken for a living, breathing person. She wears real-life clothes by streetwear brands like Supreme and luxury labels like Chanel. When she is photographed in the daylight, her body casts a shadow. She even complains about allergies and often references the temperature with tweets like “39 degrees out I’m still getting this iced matcha.”
Despite being an animated character, however, Miquela is a powerful example of how Influencers are not always what they seem and with so many ‘fake’ influencers on Instagram, it’s vital to ensure you are sourcing true talent.
SOURCE TRUE TALENT
Influencers have the ability to help you reach specific audiences so you can create bespoke, targeted campaigns. Instead of you relying on thousands of followers, influencers will help you ensure people read and engage with your brand through the beautiful content they create.
However, in order to work with such inspiring talent, you need to ensure you are working with a credible community which represents true talent.
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO SOURCE TRUE TALENT:
1. Research your competitor
By searching what influencers your competitor currently uses, you can instantly source influencers who understand product promotion and ensure you are working with talent who understand influencer marketing. These influencers will also have an engaged audience who can resonate with your product.
2. Use hashtags
By using hashtags on Instagram, you can easily source content which relates to your brand and discovers influencers who share similar interests. When going through the results, select photos that catch your attention, you can then save these into a collection depending on what event, product or experience you want to promote.
Instagram typically displays posts with the highest engagement first, which is a good way to find quality influencers.
3. Search for bloggers
From guest posting to affiliate marketing, bloggers can present a wide range of potential marketing opportunities for your startup. Even a simple Google search for industry-specific or regional blogs can help you find influencers who will best serve your influencer brief.
Once you find these bloggers online, it shouldn’t take too long to see if they qualify as a real-influencer on the social media platform, be sure to also check their Instagram also and see what other platforms they use.
THE POWER OF FASHION MODELS
Fashion models provide a powerful solution to ensure you avoid influencer fraud. They have an undeniable influence in the industry as they are the first to share bespoke advice, behind the scenes content and off-duty moments as they share their journey overtime with their following who understand who they are and trust what brands they promote.
With Model Village, you can easily build a successful influencer campaign and discover our network of 5,000 hyper-engaged talent who are confident content creators.
Our tech solution provides you with a fully managed service, as we understand that creating the content is just the beginning of an influencer campaign.
So, with over $1.6 billion spent on Instagram influencers this year alone, can your brand afford not to be working with credible influencers who provide real engagement?