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The Rise in Influencer Fraud

June 20, 2018

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Improving digital integrity.

 

The global brand Unilever have announced this week at Cannes Lions Festival that they are to stop working with any influencers who purchase social followers. This form of online promotion may be a fantastic marketing technique, but it also has its downsides. Unilever explain the decision was made in order to decrease the amount of fraudulent marketing, and increase their visibility to accurately measure influencer engagement.

 

Critiquing what an “influencer” actually is, they revealed that they will be focusing on using social platforms who work to reduce this behaviour within all digital platforms.

Brands such as L’Oreal and eBay have also announced they are contemplating the value of influencer investment and deciding whether it would be beneficial to follow suit.

 

Increasing brand value.

 

Influencer marketing is now a large online practice involving products or services and trusted consumers who hold authority within a certain target audience. This modern way of marketing gives authoritative figures the role of power between consumers and the brand. Growing rapidly, this marketing technique has continued to grow over recent years helping to increase the popularity of many brands through ‘valued’ and ‘authentic’ investment.

 

However, the rise in influencer fraud has began to surface, revealing influencers who purchase their followers using bots to look as if their posts are getting much more engagement than they really are. This new revelation will have been a shock to brands and marketers who pay their influencers based on the number of followers or amount of interaction their posts receive.

 

Finding the right fit for your brand.

 

Authenticity is one of the most important things a brand can pride themselves on, and as consumers we crave the knowledge that a brand is honest. Platforms such as Instagram are being told to take urgent action by removing all misleading engagement.

 

In order for brands to be transparent with their consumers they need to partner with responsible platforms, who ensure to have a positive relationship and impact on society. Influencers are essentially your content creators, they are there to make your life easier. Brands often have extensive marketing teams to create their content for them when they could be utilising UGC and influencer marketing. UCG is often highly trusted by consumers as it works similarly to peer-to-peer and is incredibly believable. When done correctly and honestly, this can simplify a brand's marketing plan and take pressure off having to curate every single post. 

 

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