Influencer marketing has risen to global fame rapidly, but do they really worth marketers’ time and budget? The latest market statistics might lead many B2B market leaders into the dilemma while choosing their next brand influencers!

The latest report from Sylo, titled “Growing Levels Of Influencer Fraud Swindling Brands’ Ad Dollars”, shows some outrageous facts involving influencer marketing. Nearly 90% of the influencers today can only reach less than half of their targeted audience, as per Sylo’s Q4 2019 Report. It was also revealed that more than 50% of influencers reach less than 25% of their audience, and 30% influencers showed fraud levels for engagement purchasing.

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Based on real-time and continuous monitoring of verified metrics, the study was focused on audience and engagement validation. The company analyzed over 5,000 social media influencers’ accounts in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, and the U.K. to help market leaders to reduce market risks and increase return on their ad-spend. 

The virtual influencers indeed come up with a safer trajectory for working with a talent for many brands – since the risks associated with the human counterparts are lesser in the digital world. However, this can prove to be an issue for established brands. With the increasing use of artificially inflated follower numbers, influencer fraud is a widespread thing, and lately, marketers realize a decrease in the trend. A similar study by Collective Bias shows that only 3% of the buyers today are influenced by the endorsements in their purchase decisions. This could be due to the fact that people are no longer excited or ‘influenced’ by the influencers.

Moreover, the Sylo study found that the “Fake Follower” rate of 23 % percent is within the normal range – this implies that typical influencers usually purchase nearly-a-quarter of the targeted audience. The metrics produced through scraping, like ”Bot Percentages” and ”Fake Followers” were fake by as much as 129% from verified performance metrics. Also, marketer leaders can reduce the influencer fees for about 60% if the pay for reach and not follower counts!

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The report stated, “Marketers could greatly increase their return on ad-spend by shifting their pricing strategy away from follower counts, but access to verified channel benchmarks is necessary to accomplish this…There are inefficiencies in the influencer marketing industry that we have the means to improve upon. By shifting away from ineffective practices and pushing for transparency in the form of verified data and unbiased analysis, marketers can reduce their risk, avoid wasting their ad-spend on invalid audiences, and improve their ROI by 5-10X.”

Undoubtedly, the passive audience trend in 2020 is on the downswing – what matters is authenticity. Hence, only the time will tell if the influencer marketing trend is here to stay or will fade away slowly.