Brands and influencers are fighting the good fight against Instagram bots but fake followers are becoming less relevant as high quality content is becoming a more highly prized influencer marketing KPI than reach.
Vamp influencer @thesundaychapter went from 25k to almost 400k followers in just over a week.
The creator, Angela, achieved her rapid success not by purchasing fake followers but by her use of Q&A templates on Instagram Highlights. The templates, which went viral, were reposted by celebrities and even made the news.
It didn’t happen in a vacuum. Angela was already a full-time influencer before her following skyrocketed. She spent five years building a strong brand and creating high quality content to populate her feed. Now her opportunities have broadened and she talks about plans to travel the world and start a business.
It’s every influencer’s dream. Or does it come at a cost?
Recently there has been some negative press accusing influencers of purchasing followers to cheat brands.
With brand spend in influencer marketing looking to sit on the $2 billion mark by 2019, the stakes are higher and they need to be assured that they are investing in the right influencers.
For genuine influencers like Angela, the increased scrutiny of getting a larger audience has a dark side. She writes about her experience of internet trolls abusing their anonymity to accuse her of being a fake,
“I’m not going to further try to prove to everyone that I haven’t bought followers because I know I haven’t, and I don’t think I’d be able to live with myself if I did. How do you even keep up an account with 200,000+ fake followers? Do you have to buy bots (which I hate with every part of me) to keep it looking legit? Who has the time/money/energy to even do all this?” (Source)
Buying followers is the kamikaze move of the Instagram world. It’s self-destructive. Influencers know that their reputation is everything and wouldn’t risk damaging it.
Bots are an irritant for brands and influencers alike. Brands are hiring bot detective companies to hunt them down and influencers are blocking new followers they fear aren’t legitimate.
These methods aren’t fool proof but fake followers won’t last long as the technology becomes more sophisticated to identify them.
We pre-vet influencers on our invite-only platform to ensure they adhere to our strict authenticity criteria and keep a close eye on any unusual activity on their accounts.
We can’t stress enough though that it’s not about policing influencers when the majority of them wouldn’t dream of achieving reach or engagement through inauthentic means. The industry is shifting its focus away from reach towards high quality anyway which can’t be faked.
Brands are finding that influencer marketing campaigns are just the beginning. The high quality content is an extremely cost effective, high performing and scalable way of targeting consumers with relevant paid media using Facebook and Instagram’s Ad platform.
If you are interested in learning about Vamp’s new Media package, feel free to get in touch.