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What Brands need to know about Influencer Marketing Fraud

As influencer marketing has rapidly immersed into the marketing sphere, the problem of influencer marketing fraud has also been on the rise. The impressive return on investment from influencer marketing for brands, as well as the flexible earnings for influencers have made influencer marketing all the more popular. Many brands end up falling into the trap of collaborating with fraudulent influencers who have generated fake followers. This does not mean that your brand should give up on influencer marketing altogether to avoid the problem. Towards the end of this post, we will let you know how you can shield yourself from this while still being able to reap the benefits of influencer marketing.

While there is an overwhelmingly large number of statistics that show the remarkable potential of influencer marketing to generate high ROI, influencer marketing fraud remains a problem that cannot be overlooked. According to a report by Instascreener, brands in the US and Canada spent $1.4 billion on Instagram influencer marketing, yet $255 million of this was wasted on Instagram accounts with fake followers.

One of the reasons for this is that the engagement rate or number of followers is widely used as a primary criteria for selecting influencers. Influencers know that the higher the number of followers they have, the more money they can potentially make. This incentivizes them into looking for unethical means to boost the number of their followers and creating a fake identity.

Invesp reports that over 63% of brands and marketers have reported previously dealing with fraud in past influencer marketing campaigns. SInce this issue is gradually becoming worse, brands cannot rely entirely on Instagram to amp up its influencer fraud detection and containment policies. Whenever Instagram would make its policy stricter, people would find ways to go around the measures and still manage to generate fake accounts and followers. This is why it is crucial for brands to actively take steps to protect themselves from this kind of fraud.

How can you protect your brand from it?

1. Research extensively

You need to carry out the necessary due diligence before engaging with an influencer to avoid getting stuck in a scam. The first thing to check would be the engagement rate compared to the number of followers. A reasonable engagement rate is around 3%. You also need to ensure that the influencer and their followers are the right kind of audience your brand is seeking to target. You can do so by checking the influencer’s background and history of posts to see whether their style and values align with those of your brand.

2. Look out for the red flags

  • Avoid collaborating with Instagram influencers that have had a sudden increase in the number of followers, especially within a day or two. When this happens, it is a clear sign that the influencer has purchased these followers. 

  • You should also look out for groups of Instagrammers who collude to like each other’s posts. 

  • Another red flag is when the number of followers is very high and the engagement rate (likes, comments) is disproportionately low, as mentioned earlier. 

  • You can also check the kind of comments on an influencer’s posts; if they are unrelated to the actual post or are made by the same few people over and over, it is likely a fraudulent account. 

  • Similarly, if the account has an unusually large amount of self promotion, it is most likely fake.

  • Look at the photos they use. If most of them appear to be stock photos, it is more likely than not that it is a fake influencer account.

3. Let Influencer Hub help you manage your influencers

While this issue is an overwhelming one to combat, your brand can shield itself from the harm of influencer marketing fraud by engaging Influencer Hub in your influencer marketing effort. Influencer Hub has over 100 registered influencers who have been selected carefully after thorough research and scrutiny. This saves you the tedious process of researching into an influencer’s background and identity. You can rest assured that whatever influencer you choose to collaborate with though Influencer Hub, it will be original, authentic and trustworthy! SIgn up with Influencer Hub today to make your influencer marketing hassle-free!