Jean Naim

A scientific approach to busting the fake influencer

May I have your attention please? Will the real influencer please stand up!

As Instagram is becoming a lucrative business channel for influencers, it inspired a whole generation to put themselves out on social platforms, creating stories and sharing daily moments of their lives in the hopes of appealing to audiences, growing a fanbase and then turn it into a profitable business.

This process encouraged individuals to go as far as cheating their way up the ladder in order to charge brands big bucks.

What these individuals miss on are very key facts:

1. Audiences are becoming smarter and more observant

There is a little self-aware influencer who lives within everyone.

2. For the fanbase to sustain, it needs to be built upon real foundations

A fake foundation will only make it collapse

3. Platforms have always fought attempts by third parties to game their algorithms

The next rising platform will have to do the same. And most importantly…

4. Data will validate all metrics and brands already have access to influencer data

thanks to the proliferation of data tools made available by various tech companies.
How can brands then utilize data to validate the influence? This also serves influencers in adjusting their strategies to stand out.

a. View Rate

Large influencers may fail at getting their audiences to view their content. This is where view rate comes to measure content viewability. On average, you should be looking at influencers with VR between 7% and 15%.

b. Engagement rate

When looking into collaborating with an influencer, It is the ultimate metric. revealing the level of affinity between the influencer and their respective audience, on average the effective engagement rate ranges between 1.5% and 3% for tangible campaigning.

c. Engagement Authenticity

Is the influencer audience authentic? One easy way to detect it is to manually track people who engaged with the posts. Are they real followers? Or the result of services like Instagress and InstaPlus.

d. Affinity level

Does the influencer audience match your brand’s target audience? Many brands today select influencers without taking note of their audience demographic, resorting instead to the classical way of measuring the image and content value irrespective of whom it is intended to be targeted to.

e. Retention / Consumption

Today’s short attention span exerted by audiences is putting more emphasis on content consumption and stickiness. While total number of video views matter, what matters more is the view watch % and whether the brand exposure happens during that time.

f. Consistency

Are video views and engagement rates consistent throughout the posting frequency? Some influencers might have inconsistent views and engagement rates, which signal an inconsistent content strategy which raises the risk for any branded content not to succeed, and shall raise the question of the authenticity of the influencer.

"The above can be summed up in one keyword for influencers: authenticity. You’re either authentic or you’re history!"

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