Just how serious is the problem of influencer marketing follower fraud to companies? It will interest you to note that influencer marketing fraud is a $ 1.3 billion affair and both big and small businesses are suffering alike, according to InvespCro. According to CBS, advertisers lose 15% of their ad spend to fraud annually. For instance, a mega influence with 1 million follower can earn upto $250,000 per social media post but almost $38,000 will be wasted because of inflated follower counts.

Influencer Marketing Fraud – Statistics and Trends

Infographic source

Most popular influencers that even small businesses can afford normally have a million or more followers. Top influencers like Hollywood stars will easily boast of tens of millions of followers. Getting approval from the right influencer to endorse your product can make a big difference in terms of taking your products from obscurity to the shelves of Walmart and in the process making you hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales/profits. Influencer marketing is that serious. No wonders brands that can afford it have no problem breaking the bank to spend on influencer marketing. It is estimated that brands will spend upwards of $10 billion by 2020.

How do you spot influencer follower fraud?

Despite the appetizing success that influencer endorsements promise, the bad guys will always find their way in the market and try to exaggerate their numbers in order to reap where they did not sow. Nearly 20% of medium influencers of between 50,000 and 100,000 have fake followers. These fraudsters wither use artificial methods like bots to grow the number of their followers or engage in engagement fraud where you will see fake comments and likes.

Experts says that it easy to spot follower fraud. If for example you see many recently created accounts with little engagements, then you are staring at influencer follower fraud. If you post on an Instagram with 2 million followers but the post end up with only 80 likes, then that is fraud right there. Conversely, if you notice unusually follower or engagement spikes the moment you post something then something is definitely a miss.

At least 50% of marketers say they have spotted fake followers in their influencer marketing campaigns while a further 69% of marketers say they have had an experience with fake influencer follower marketing fraud.

What does fake influencer followers mean for marketers?

The demand for influencer marketing is growing by the day and the generous earnings influencers make per post can tempt even the average tom, dick and harry to exaggerate their follower numbers in order to get a share of the pie. What does this mean for marketers? It means the possibility of wasting your hard earned money on users that don’t actually exists is there and you need to take active steps to ensure that you don’t get ripped off.