The word 'influencer' gets a bad rep sometimes, and it's not always unfounded.
A new report from CampaignDeus has revealed that 12 per cent of UK Instagram influencers spent cash on fake followers during the first half of the year.
The report analysed almost 700,000 posts on Instagram looking for 'bot-like' interactions. Signs of botting include unusual spikes in followers next to low engagement rates.
Unsuprisingly, fashion is the big earner on Instagram. 34 per cent of branded posts on the platform are fashion-focused.
Fashion is followed by 23 per cent of branded content being beauty-based. Food is in third, with 16 per of the branded posts.
While fitness is still trailing behind, it's the fastest-growing sector on the platform, with an 8 per cent increase in marketing spend each month.
Speaking of spend, 43 per cent of marketers intend to up their influencer investment in the next year. The spend is also more likely to favour smaller influencers - the research shows that Instagrammers with under 100k followers generally have a 60 per cent higher engagement rate than those with over 100k.
“Marketers need to be aware that those larger influencers are likely to deliver almost 50% less engagement than you might expect by looking at their past organic content,” CampaignDeus CEO Muhsen Syed said.
“The results finally shine some light on the scale of industry fraud and provide valuable insights for marketers looking to assess and optimise their investments. Whether it’s the size of the influencer or the size of the brand, small seems to be beautiful when it comes to return on investment.”