Is Earned Influencer Marketing Dead? 

By Samantha Miller

Have you heard? Last June, Ahalogy launched Tri-Verified—a third-party verification solution— by partnering with leading analytics company Moat in an effort to combat follower fraud in the influencer marketing industry. In just over six months, Ahalogy is seeing a positive shift in the influencer marketing ecosystem, and some pretty incredible results for our clients.

Here are a few standout results: 100% of Ahalogy influencers now pass the quality traffic test, having less than 1% invalid traffic versus Moat’s 5% benchmark. Additionally, every influencer post contains a Moat tag to validate quality traffic and content engagement which is helping Ahalogy identify the best influencers to use for campaigns, and better evaluate influencer content quality based on their Moat results. Read on to see how and why we’re getting these results every time and then join our webinar on February 22. We’ll be sharing our insights on the conversation surrounding paid vs. organic reach and how it’s affecting your influencer marketing success. 

"100% of Ahalogy influencers now pass the quality traffic test, having less than 1% invalid traffic versus Moat’s 5% benchmark.”

A CHANGING LANDSCAPE

You probably remember the buzz surrounding verification that overswept the CPG marketing industry in 2017. Perhaps most notable was P&G’s CMO Marc Pritchard—the biggest advertising spender in the world—

who nearly one year ago called for all digital media to be verified by third-party audits. Since that announcement, P&G has saved $100 million—and is still hitting its sales goals—by cutting out ad fraud.

And it doesn’t stop with traditional digital ads. Influencer marketing is growing in importance and taking a larger share of brand budgets, yet its reliance on social followers and claimed metrics has left marketers asking for comparable measurement and independent verification.

At the time, we recognized the major shift that was happening. We decided as a company to clean up the industry by integrating a similar approach to every influencer marketing campaign—something no one else seemed to be doing. Six months later, our competitors are still serving up unverified impression numbers and sketchy campaign reporting to their clients. And despite the success we’ve seen using 100% paid media to ensure accurate audience targeting, we still get countless questions about organic traffic and follower counts.

 

THE PROBLEM WITH THE FOLLOWER MODEL

The “follower model” employed by most brands and agencies to select influencers for campaigns has led to issues for influencer marketing.  You’ve probably heard the bad press surrounding “Instafraud”—the platform’s recent crackdown on “follower bots” is just one story of many causing heightened concerns.

The number of followers an influencer has is often the only public number available, which means many influencer companies have to patch together enough influencers with high followings in hopes of getting the impressions they’re promising for a given campaign. As a result, most companies pay influencers based on how many followers they have, but this leads to a lot of questionable activities behind the scenes.

You can see the issue for yourself just by googling “buy followers” for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. You’ll find a wide range of companies running paid search to attract influencers to buy their solutions. Followers and traffic are often inflated by bots and offshore accounts. These days, there are literally hundreds of ways to buy followers or game the system so that you can make your numbers look bigger—and get paid more from brands and agencies.

That’s not to say that influencers intentionally add fraudulent followers . In reality, many influencers with some off-target followings still produce exceptional content and play a huge role in the success of influencer campaigns. Regardless, brands and agencies should know what they’re paying for through third-party verification solutions and Ahalogy is adding this to the laundry list of indicators we’ll look at when determining whether or not an influencer meets our quality standard.

 

JOIN THE WEBINAR FOR MORE INFORMATION

Here at Ahalogy, we’re tired of seeing inflated follower numbers and—quite frankly—the inaccurate ways our competitors are measuring results for influencer campaigns. Whether or not you’re new to the world of  influencer marketing, you’ve probably heard of these issues that seem to be clouding the space.

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On Wednesday, February 21, Ahalogy is hosting a webinar to tackle these issues head-on and share valuable insights for driving higher success on campaigns with a three-fold approach that includes:

  1. Audited Influencer Section
  2. Paid Media Targeting
  3. Third-Party Verified Site Engagement

If you want your content to reach real people in your target audience on every campaign, this is a must-attend webinar.