Effective influencer marketing = weeding fake followers

Effective influencer marketing

Effective influencer marketing relies on weeding out fake followers. It’s hardly news to anyone. But what may surprise some is just how much cash is being thrown away as a result of bots, fraudulent accounts, false likes and automated engagements.

Brands face a minefield when looking to tap into influencer marketing’s clear potential. One look at our free guide to influencer marketing is enough to prove this. Nevertheless, the discipline’s market size is expected to exceed $8billion by 2020 and $22billion four years later. So it’s not going anywhere.

How can we better protect ourselves against the unsavoury side of this discipline, then? According to a recent study by CHEQ, $1.3billion in advertising revenue is ‘spent on fake followers’ each year. That’s up from the $500million reported in a 2018 Influencer Marketing Show keynote speech.

Our CEO, Rick Guttridge, penned a piece for Prolific North on Love Island, and why companies should be cautious about contestants’ social media followings. That reveals some of the warning signs of accounts that may have large numbers of fake followers. Ignore these and you’re never going to have effective influencer marketing. Here’s a quick, two-point summary:

*Accounts with rapid follower growth should be treated with suspicion

*If follower numbers and/or growth does not equate to engagement, something is wrong

How do we engage in effective influencer marketing?

Welcome to the Holy Grail. Or the hunt for it. Effective influencer marketing isn’t so much an exact science with definite conclusions as it is a methodical process with a range of possible outcomes. What works in one situation and circumstance may not within another set of variables.

There are several steps to take to ensure a robust approach to establishing new relationships with influencers. But which influencers you target depends on a number of things. For example sector, audience, brand identity and overall aims.

Here are some pointers that can protect you against falling foul of the bad guys, ensuring you are engaged in the most effective influencer marketing possible…

*Thoroughly research sentiment— how has your target audience responded to other brands in the sector that use influencers?

*Understand why you want to work with influencers, what the priorities of the campaign are and the desired outcomes

*Shortlist potential candidates and conduct comprehensive audits— analyse followers and engagement levels, personality, attitude and reliability

*Clearly define targets and expectations when approaching potential influencer partners, agreeing to a written contract protecting all parties, and include clauses relating to fraud and fakery

 

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