Influencers are adopting new tools to create more engaging content with Instagram Stories leading the way. One in three Instagram sponsored posts is now an Instagram Story.
In 2018, 400 million people viewed Instagram Stories every day, meaning a great opportunity for influencer adoption. Unedited Instagram Stories seem to be a more authentic and engaging way for influencers to connect with their followers.
But it is not all about the major influencers. Micro-influencers posted 84 percent of sponsored posts worldwide.
Micro-influencers tend to be highly valued and trusted by their followers. Micro-influencers offer quality over quantity -- with highly engaged, targeted communities instead of casual followers.
Brands tend to prefer Micro-influencers over celebrities with the majority of sponsored feed posts receiving up to 1,000 likes per post. Women, Micro-influencers and Millennials continue to dominate Instagram, posting the highest number of sponsored posts.
But if brands want to utilise influencers for their marketing campaigns, they do need to be wary of influencers who buy followers, or provide fraudulent information to a brand or an agency in order to participate in a given program.
When many influencers participate in this form of deception, it causes overall influencer marketing fraud and brands are unable to see success from their programs.
New York, NY-based Influencer marketing agency Socialyte expects influencer fraud to continue to be a major issue for the industry throughout 2019.
So what do brands need to look out for when deciding which influencers to use for programs? The six primary red flags are:
Low reach or views in Stories compared to others with similar followings.
Large ad to organic content ratio.
Too many non-engaged comments such as lots of emojis, many comments from the same person which indicates they are buying engagement.
The same number of likes or comments on every photo. Authentic accounts have a variety of engagement across posts
High following with super low engagement – perhaps consistently below one percent.
Large, or sudden increases or decreases in follower count tracked over time. Suspect influencers may quickly regain their following due to buying the amount of followers needed to recover their follower count after their bots are removed by Instagram.
Even though Facebook and Instagram have been purging fake accounts for some time, brands still need to be vigilant before spending marketing dollars to reach influencer's followers that vanish as the fake follower purge continues.