Are Instagram influencers cheating advertisers? New tool can identify who to avoid

With fake accounts, likes, and comments flooding Instagram, brands should be more cautious when selecting influencers they plan to work with.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Video: Instagram on using Snapchat-like technology

Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online acquisition channel. High demand of influencers provokes bloggers to buy fake followers, likes and comments to enhance their advertising revenue from brands.

It is a constant challenge for brands to identify which platform is going to be the most successful to invest marketing dollars, and which platform will be able to capture the market -- especially for younger consumers.

The eMarketers social network forecast shows that Facebook is losing younger users to other platforms.

Two million users aged 24 and under will leave from Facebook, Instagram will add 1.6 million users, whereas Snapchat will add 1.9 million users.

Younger generations are more likely to say celebrities and influencers have an impact on their purchase decisions, and are more influenced by everything they see online. User generated content (UGC) dominates the content that persuades them. Consumers are brand's best advertisers, and influencers drive sales.

But how do brands identify which of their influencers are authentic?

Nicosia, Cypress-based HypeFactory has created an AI-powered tool that helps marketers to check influencer's Instagram accounts for fake followers and likes. Auditor for Instagram has analyzed over 100,000 bloggers to provide statistics on account authenticity.

Are Instagram influencers cheating advertisers New tool can identify who to avoid ZDnet

It uses an audience quality score, calculated by AI to detect cheating, and identify followers who will never bring in revenue for the brand. It calculates engagement rate, authentic engagement and followers reachability and delivers an audience quality score out of 100

Brands can purchase tokens to check whether Instagram posters are authentic -- or not -- so that they know what to expect from their investment.

Are Instagram influencers cheating advertisers New tool can identify who to avoid ZDnet

Users are savvy and can easily identify UGC versus brand content, but want to know that the UGC is authentic. The Stackla Consumer influence report shows that consumers feel that UGC is more authentic than brand created content.

Instagram is rising as an influential channel for millennials. Around 30 percent say that it is a platform where brands create content that they want to see.

Over 86 percent of consumers said authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. It is good to know that in today's consumerist and celebrity-centric culture, authenticity still drives brand affinity.

It is more and more important that brands make sure that they get the most authentic influencer to effectively extend their reach -- and not commit budget into a fake influencer with fake followers.

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