You want to make your brand known in the most impactful way possible and for that you decide to trust an influencer. You are quite right ! But beware, the said influencers are very numerous, and among them are often found … De fake influencers! So do not let yourself be trapped by these false souls who could well lower your credibility rating and make you regret it in the long term.

Unraveling the true from the false … A very complicated task!

In a world like that of marketing influence, calling on experts and personalities to talk about you is more or less an integral part of advertising strategy. It has therefore become almost trivial to give voice to these new gurus who will promote your product, and the methods to achieve an almost perfect collaboration are multiple.

However, the path to it can be disappointing and sometimes cause considerable loss of money; because behind each influencer is not always hiding an honest being who will only want your good.

Why use an influencer? Because it will increase your validity, your positioning on the Net and thereby attract new customers.

But how can we trust it? Indeed, contrary to many ancient beliefs, the number of subscribers, comments or “likes” is no longer a guarantee of an influence that one would qualify as authentic. If in the sphere of influencers, names and faces already have a certain base which can no longer be doubted, others can raise questions.

Many of these social media figures have thousands of followers … literally meaningless. It is not isolated the case of the influencer who have thousands of fake subscribers bought (the famous bots) and increasing in the space of just a few days its visibility. The purpose of the maneuver is simple: attract the attention of brands and get the most favors possible, from products received as gifts in preview to trips spanning several days at the expense of the princess … In return: a story Instagram, a few lines on social media, maybe an article on the blog. And that’s all. A little unbalanced as an exchange, right?

However, if some companies (like Unilever) now refuse any partnership with these false influencers, or even close their doors to real influencers, others throw themselves headlong into their arms, in order to make them talk and asleep therefore (voluntarily or not), their mistrust.

Fake influencers, specialized companies take hold of the subject

Mediakix, a company specializing in digital in the United States, and H2H Human to Human, a company specializing in influencer marketing in Spain, have each conducted a survey showing how anyone is likely to become an influencer and the dangers arising from it.

As part of its experiment, Mediakix created two fake accounts on Instagram: one focused on fashion, the other on travel. In order to create the content for the fashion account, Mediakix called on a mannequin and carried out a photo shoot. For the travel account, the majority of the photos came from image banks mostly showing a young blonde woman from behind. Finally, the company bought followers over time so as not to get caught by the social network, comments and likes to feed the accounts and make them “alive”. After a while, the two accounts combined had no less than 80,000 followers. The figure having spoken, the result is there: many partnerships have been made with these non-existent influencers.

Another place, but an equally similar experience: the Spanish company H2H Human to Human, which wanted to reveal “what nobody sees or what nobody wants to see,” according to Luis Diaz, director of the agency. Using an actress, a photographer, a stylist and buying bots on Instagram, H2H managed to trick the world of brands and the result is the same as for Mediakix: even though a few barely weeks before, she did not exist in the eyes of the public, the brands became interested in the young woman, simply relying once again on the figures indicated on her page.

So to avoid falling into the trap, you have to be careful from the start. There are many clues that can define the solidity of the cooperation that you intend to establish.

A first element could be engagement (comments, likes, sharing): if it is abnormally low, that is to say less than 2%, it is good to ask questions. Another useful element: a community based essentially outside of England (in the case where the influencer is French) and located in countries far too distant for that to give it credibility, such as for example in India or Brazil. This remote community, although exotic, is unfortunately not a reflection of a truthful and therefore committed community. A community that only communicates by emojis and onomatopoeias is also suspect.

Instagram is the most affected by this phenomenon. In recent months, the network has been singled out by many Instagrammers and YouTubers for these problems (we are thinking here of Guillaume Ruchon, of his video denouncing the fake influencers and the scandal it caused).

It is not because you are a small business that you will more easily fall into these nets. In fact, a study carried out by Points North Group in April 2018 revealed that many large brands were victims of fraud carried out by fake influencers. In the top 10, there are large brands such as the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain (78% of fake influencers), L’Occitane cosmetics (39%) and Pampers (32%). And all this, for large sums generated and especially lost to promote their products.

Luis Diaz argues that the responsibility is collective and that it comes from brands and agencies. “We have to fight this type of fraud for the professionalization of influencer marketing,” he said.

Companies have decided to embark on a verification process, sometimes manually, of so-called influencers wanting to collaborate with them. Hotel chains, for example, have created a database of all serious influencers with whom they have already partnered in the past. Some longtime influencers even give their own advice so that we can take them seriously: having a clear speech and meaningful deliverables (demographic data sheet, knowledge of the public …) can make all the difference according to the influencer Joe Miragliotta , lifestyle and travel blogger for 18,000 subscribers.

Choosing a platform as close as possible to your needs

However, this hunt for fake influencers is not without solution for advertisers seeking honesty.

Various platforms offer connections ranging from micro-influencers to prestigious celebrities. Prices therefore differ enormously from one agency to another. Make no mistake about it and select the agency wisely, based on your needs and the target audience.

To help you orient yourself, here are two important tips to take into account. The first concerns the choice of the influencer who will represent you. A known name associated with your product does not necessarily guarantee success, so no hasty decision when you decide to start negotiations. Although notoriety is part of the success engine, your site’s traffic and SEO play an essential role in increasing your audience. Be sure that the person you are going to vote for gives you credibility and promotes the gain of new followers.

The second is that it is better to choose bloggers than Instagrammers, overestimated and yet less influential than it seems. Indeed, a study by Tomoson from marketers reveals that 37% of the influencers they choose come from blogs and 25% from Facebook. Instagrammers are only solicited at 6%.

Contrary to what one might imagine, bloggers are far from uninteresting. Experts in their field, you will have a better chance of promoting your product… if you know which one to turn to.

To make it easier for you, there are platforms like getfluence.com, which allow you to bypass gaps due to the increase in fake influencers on networks. A completely oriented platform for influential blogs and sites and specialized in connecting advertisers and publishers, getfluence.com allows you to find the blogger who matches your identity. All the categories you will need are present and the editors offered by the site are reliable and serious; no bad surprise therefore as for the partnership which you are about to make if you are an advertiser. In this, the platform makes it possible to contribute to a long-term relationship between the advertiser and the publisher. In fact, it is in this type of constant engagement that the best of the advertisements lies, but above all the best of the influences.

Now that you now have all the keys in hand to counter these false influencers, you can therefore trust the platform where diligence is required and where the team is by your side to guide you in choosing the best influencer corresponding to your needs.

Article written in collaboration with getfluence.com