Influencer marketing is nothing new. Ninety-two percent of consumers say that recommendations from people they know or follow are more powerful than brand advertising, and 74% say that word-of-mouth influences their purchasing decisions. It’s also why 67% of brands plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets this year.
In our new reality, with US consumers currently sheltering in place, influencer marketing has become even more powerful. With less access to non-essential items, consumers are relying on word-of-mouth recommendations more than ever before.
But while most influencers are reputable and have spent years building authentic connections to their followers, there’s a dark cloud hanging over the industry. That threat is influencer marketing fraud.
Last year, fake influencers cost advertisers a total of $1.3 billion. That amount is expected to grow to $1.5 billion this year. It’s easy to be deceived if you’re not sure what to look for. Much of the suspicious activity in influencer marketing fraud is performed via automation in the form of bots, pods, falsified sponsored posts, and fake accounts. To avoid wasting precious marketing budget on fraudulent influencers, watch for these types of influencer fraud.
Bots (computer programs designed to simulate human conversation) are employing more sophisticated strategies to mimic human engagement and are becoming more difficult to detect. Look for influencers who have a large number of followers, but without the proportionate rate of engagement. A meager engagement ratecan indicate that an influencer