TL; DR: HypeAuditor empowers users to analyze any Instagram account for insights on audience quality and authenticity of engagement. By uncovering fraudulent followers and likes, the AI-based software helps businesses safeguard investments in influencer marketing, boost credibility, and increase conversion rates. In addition to its Instagram platform, HypeAuditor is committed to educating the public on the state of influencer marketing while identifying opportunities for continuous development.
Instagram represents a sizable portion of the social media universe, with 1 billion active users lighting up the site monthly. Due to its popularity, the platform has become a breeding ground for Instagram influencers — internet personalities who have a powerful impact on the purchasing decisions of their followers.
Eager to get in on the action, many brands have partnered with influencers on marketing campaigns designed to drive traffic and boost engagement through authentic content. Unfortunately, the cost-per-post model, in which an influencer’s value is determined by the number of likes and followers on each post, opened the door for otherwise good people to do bad things in the name of the dollar.
Over time, more and more influencers began buying bulk likes and followers to make more money. Today, according to HypeAuditor, a mere 39.98% of Instagram influencers are fraud-free, and 22.46% demonstrate suspicious growth anomalies. The company has also detected a significant percentage of artificial methods used by influencers to increase their followers and engagement rates, including follow/unfollow schemes and inauthentic comments.
HypeAuditor offers AI-powered software designed to combat this new type of fraud by providing insights on audience quality and authenticity of engagement. “In helping marketers filter out fraudulent influencers on Instagram through great technology and analytics, we hope to create standards for influencer marketing,” said Aleksandr (Alex) Frolov, CEO of HypeAuditor.
By uncovering fraudulent Instagram activity, the AI-based fraud-detection software helps businesses ensure authenticity in influencer marketing to safeguard investments, boost credibility, and increase the effectiveness of campaigns. With a focus on continuous development and educating the industry on the opportunities and challenges inherent in influencer marketing, HypeAuditor is committed to helping businesses build successful strategies within the space.
Safeguard Your Investments in Influencer Marketing
Before HypeAuditor was founded in February 2018, Alex told us the company created a self-service Instagram marketplace intended to facilitate partnership agreements between advertisers and influencers. The marketplace didn’t succeed, but it did make the company remarkably aware of the mounting challenges of influencer fraud, which inspired a shift toward what would become HypeAuditor.
The change was a timely one. In the near future, HypeAuditor predicts that the number of influencers will continue to grow in step with the demand for authentic, quality content. According to HypeAuditor’s research, budgets for influencer campaigns will increase, but brands will need to validate monetary success while focusing on the authenticity of all internet personalities.
“Before they came to us, a lot of our clients had an initial successful experience in influential marketing, and then they tried to scale,” Alex said. “But when they acquired new bloggers, they found that the most easy-to-find personalities were also the most fraudulent.”
There are a dizzying number of ways brands can and should analyze Instagram accounts for influencer fraud — and HypeAuditor spells them out for free in its recent report. For instance, it’s essential to evaluate each account for audience quality, inauthentic growth, mass following tricks, inauthentic comments, and automatic like services, among other metrics.
HypeAuditor was designed to help marketers turn this laborious and error-prone experience into a matter of clicks. The software merges a scientific approach with tried-and-true marketing insight to develop a comprehensive report of 28 metrics, including audience demography, number of quality followers, and authentic engagement per post.
Perks for Advertisers, Agencies, Platforms, and Bloggers
In just over a year, HypeAuditor has earned the trust of 750 marketing agencies and brands, plus more than 100,000 influencers. Customers range from large marketing agencies and local players to worldwide brands, such as H&M, Marriott, Unilever, and L’Oréal.
The benefits for advertisers are clear: HypeAuditor’s Instagram analytics tool empowers brands to find quality influencers within minutes, rather than trudge through manual processes. The software also helps advertisers keep track of influencers and measure audience quality for upcoming campaigns.
On the influencer side, HypeAuditor helps internet personalities learn more about their audience while proving their individual worth. Before engaging with prospective clients, for example, influencers can use HypeAuditor to boost credibility by identifying mass followers and suspicious accounts. Subsequently deleting them will improve the influencer’s reachability, which measures the percentage of followers who follow fewer than 1,500 accounts and are thus more likely to see an influencer’s post in their feed.
For existing influencer marketing platforms, integration with HypeAuditor’s API provides enriched reporting on demographics, quality, and engagement authenticity, among other data. It also helps both agencies and platforms guarantee the success of their customers and attract more users.
“We are setting the rules of the game regarding how to understand the quality of an influencer’s audience, how to find the right influencer, how much an influencer should be paid,” Alex said. “We are trying to set standards for quality and provide an understanding of the market.”
Monitoring the State of Influencer Marketing
To that end, HypeAuditor recently published a research report, “The State of Influencer Marketing 2019,” designed to further understanding of the current and future state of the influencer marketing industry.
The report, which features data from research agencies, social media companies, and HypeAuditor’s internal analytics, provides a valuable look into key trends impacting the influencer marketing space. “The industry is very young and needs a lot of education to help players in the market to understand how everything works,” Alex said.
HypeAuditor’s research clusters influencers into groups based on their number of followers. For example, nano-influencers boast between 1,000 and 5,000 followers, while macro-influencers draw in more than 1 million.
Currently, nano influencers make up the largest group, making up 52% of the total Instagram influencer population. The report also indicates that in 2019, the average number of followers has increased by 19.93% in each group except nano-influencers, which demonstrated year over year growth of 32.99%.
Researchers also found that average engagement rates on Instagram are dependent on follower count, with an inverse relationship between the number of followers and the average engagement. Engagement rates also vary by geographical location due to stark cultural differences in social media activity. For example, HypeAuditor found that users from India are more likely to leave a like than a comment, and audiences in Germany leave the highest average number of comments compared to other countries studied.
Coming Soon: Verify Credibility on YouTube
Instagram may be the top influencer marketing platform, but YouTube is also making an impact on the rapidly evolving space. “Instagram has more influencers, but in terms of budgets and spending, YouTube is more substantial,” Alex said.
That’s no exaggeration — according to recent reporting from YouTube itself, the number of channels earning six figures per year grew more than 40% when measured year over year, and the number of channels earning five figures grew more than 50%.
The company already has a YouTube channel performance report and audience demography. Later this year, HypeAuditor plans to release tools to check influencer marketing authenticity on the ever-growing video-sharing website.
“It’s very important for our clients to have an all-in-one solution,” Alex said.