Unilever has spoken about how forging long term partnerships with influencers could avert fraud.
The company's executive vice president Luis Di Como thinks that a lot of fraud can be avoided if an influencer works closely and frequently with a brand.
This isn't the fist time Unilever has moved to fight fraud in the influencer marketing space. Back in June, the company said it'd never work with influencers who buy followers, and it will "prioritise partners who increase their transparency and work to eradicate nefarious practices throughout the digital ecosystem."
Speaking at Advertising Week New York, Di Como said that the industry needs to "move on from this one-all transactional, commercial relationship with creators or influencers" and start creating long term partnerships with them instead.
With 65 per cent of surveyed companies itching to increase their influencer marketing spend, tackling fraud in the sector is more essential than ever.
We Are Social senior strategist Crisina Sarraille highlighted how a lasting relationship between brand and influencer could make for better results consistently.
“We often see influencers jumping from one brand to another in search of short-term (financial) gains,” Sarraille said. “However, this ultimately undermines their audience’s trust and can devalue your brand's efforts.”
Fans over follows
Brands and marketers are slowly coming around to the fact that follower numbers don't always represent the real worth of an influencer. Di Como believes that using raw follower counts as a key KPI is causing more harm than good.
“We would be blind to follow one KPI that will create behaviours in the industry for dishonest business,” Di Como said.
“I found that is absolutely crazy that some people are going down that path and we are being much more vocal on those kinds of things.”