Key Takeaways from The State of Influencer Marketing 2019: Exploring Influencer Fraud on Instagram

HypeAuditor has just released “The State of Influencer Marketing 2019: Exploring influencer fraud on Instagram” and this is the most complete research on influencer fraud so far.

For this study, they have analyzed over 4M influencers and over 500M posts on Instagram.

The average Engagement Rate on Instagram is growing

If we compare the average Instagram Engagement Rate in 2018 and 2019, we will see that it has grown.

It’s not a good idea to compare ER of bloggers with а significant difference in followers count. HypeAuditor divides all influencers into five groups.

How Engagement Rate changes over time

The chart shows that ER has increased by 22–25% for all groups of influencers, except influencers who have between 5K and 20K followers, their ER increased only by 6%.

Over 60% of influencers use artificial methods of Instagram growth

The study shows that only 39.98% of influencers are fraud-free. The most authentic are influencers who have between 1K and 5K followers, 53.78% of them are fraud-free.

Percentage of Fraud-Free influencers by followers number

The lowest authenticity rate has influencers who have over 1M followers and between 20K and 100K followers. But in the first case, we believe it’s due to the big amount of spam on Instagram, in the second, due to inauthentic methods of growth.

The lowest rate of fraud-free influencers was detected in Italy (33.34%), Germany (36.72%), and India (36.02%).

More than 22% of influencers has suspicious growth anomalies

Almost a quarter of influencers use artificial methods of audience growth that are overwhelmingly dominated by followers (bots) buying.

The chart below indicates that over 15% of influencers use follow/unfollow method to grow their follower numbers.

Percentage of influencers who use Follow/Unfollow by followers number

Over 38% of influencers use suspicious methods to grow their engagement

The study describes in detail two methods that influencers use to grow their comment numbers:

  • Comments buying, and
  • Comment Pods.

Comment Pods or Boost groups are groups of Instagram users that commit to consistently engaging with each other’s content in order to increase impressions and engagement.

Pods’ members communicate with each other via Instagram DM’s, Telegram, WhatsApp or Facebook groups. Every time someone in the pod publishes a new Instagram post, they share it in the group message thread. Instagram pod members will then click on the post, like it, and leave a comment.

Over 22% of nano-influencers (who has between 1K and 5K followers) use comment pods.

Percentage of influencers who use Comment Pods by сountry

We’ve also noticed a widespread Comment Pods in Italy (17.34%), Germany (15.82%), France (13.84%), and Russia (13.01%).

It’s just a small snippet of what you will learn from HypeAuditor research. Download your copy of the full report and learn valuable insights that can help enhance your influencer marketing strategy in 2019.

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Anna Komok

Influencer Marketing Expert and Marketer at Hype Auditor | @hypeauditor