How to check a blogger for cheating
The main rule of influencer marketing is that before ordering an advertisement from a blogger, check it for cheating. Promotion through influencers can influence sales, help form a loyal community around the brand and increase awareness, but success directly depends on the quality of the audience that the influencer has built up.
In order not to waste the budget and get good feedback from the integration, you should choose the right advertising platforms and carefully analyze the blogger’s target audience. How? This is what we have to figure out.
Why check a blogger for cheating
It is imperative to check the insta profile for bots if you want to get a good advertising case at the end. According to statistics, 80% of influencers resort to cheating (yes, even celebrities do not disdain this). And if a few years ago it was easy to recognize bots, now they are very tolerably disguised. The result is predictable: bloggers artificially catch up with their “audience”, bend prices, and the customer is left without money and without results. Is it sad? Very.
Let’s look at some examples. Your account is run by an SMM freelancer who charges 20,000 rubles a month for his work and seems to be doing everything right. Subscribers appear, likes are put, comments are written. But this is not a drop of his merit, because a cunning freelancer simply winds up bots, spending a maximum of 2,000 rubles and 4 hours a month on this.
Or here’s another. You want to order an advertisement. We chose a blogger with 50,000 subscribers, paid him and expect overwhelming feedback. Bad news: it won’t. The no-name influencer who flooded the page with nameless accounts, well, in no way pretends to be an opinion leader. Now it is clear why you first need to check bloggers’ pages, and only then agree with them about integration?
How to check a blogger for cheating
On some pages, it is very easy to determine the cheat, but now enterprising bloggers, eager to get rich from the inattention of customers, are becoming more and more inventive. If earlier it was possible to find many profiles with a 100-thousand audience and 2-3 likes under posts, today almost everyone reaches the required indicators.
The question is brewing: how to single out a really valuable copy from the mass of unscrupulous bloggers? There are several effective ways, each of which we will describe below.
The most reliable way is to check the blogger through the trendHERO service, which will do almost everything for you.
On the one hand, you can collect a detailed (more than 90 indicators) report: promotion, high-quality audience and its interests, demographic characteristics. On the other hand, find influencers in the largest database (60 million accounts).
Metrics to look out for first:
- Demographics . This includes: audience gender and location. You can also find out who is the most active part of the influencer audience by looking at the “everyone” and “like” charts. The dominant positions in both charts must match.
- Interests . It is good if they overlap with the theme of the profile.
- Engagement . Engagement rate (ER) – the percentage of the audience that interacts with the blogger’s content (likes, comments, repost). The higher this indicator, the more reach the ad post will have. On average, an ER of 5% is considered normal, it is good if the engagement on the account is 8-15%. A low coefficient can indicate either cheating or bad content.
- Audience type. Quality audiences are real and commercial profiles, as well as influencers. The service automatically excludes suspicious pages (bots or inactive accounts) from the list of mass followers.
- Audience reach . How many percent of a blogger’s followers have less than 1,500 subscriptions, which means they are more likely to see your ad.
- Distribution of posts and percentage of likes from subscribers . We pay attention to how many percent of likes are gaining posts and the spread of these values. Ideally, posts should get about the same number of likes. If you see too obvious jumps, then the influencer is definitely abusing markups. However, it should be borne in mind that advertising posts always receive fewer reactions than informational ones, and the latter, in turn, receive less than entertainment content. This means that small fluctuations are the norm. It is worse when the columns are completely flat.
- Comments by type . Today, you can cheat not only likes, but also comments, so we recommend that you pay special attention to this metric. A simple diagram from trendHERO will immediately help to identify how many comments are left by the author himself, which ones look like real ones (they represent not only a set of emojis, but also text), and which ones wrote dubious pages.
Yes, it will take a little longer, but you will definitely be sure of the result:
- Bots in followers and likes. Go to the blogger’s subscribers and selectively view the profiles. More expensive bots look quite natural (they may have a “real” avatar or nickname), but their number of subscriptions is simply off the charts (the number of subscribers may be zero). Such pages are most often closed, and incomprehensible symbols and phrases flaunt in the profile header. With premium bots, things are even more difficult. Some of them even have pictures in their feed. True, flooded in one day.
- Comments from activity chats . A new but very popular topic among bloggers. Now chat participants do not just leave emojis or write trivial things from the category of “beauty”, “good photo” and so on. Now, for each post, the profile owner gives a specific task: what to write, how many words, and on what topic. What to do in such cases? Firstly, see if the comments lead to a detailed dialogue between the blogger (brand) and the user, and secondly, pay attention to whether they are relevant to the topic of the publication. Another cheat identifier – comments are left by the same users.
- Account Monitoring . Watch the blogger’s account for at least 3 days (or preferably a week). During this time, he will most likely post some kind of post and you can independently track the increase in likes (it is better to turn on the notification so that you do not miss anything for sure). If the publication collects a thousand likes in just an hour, it means that it will be cheated (a sharp surge in reactions after a lull also indicates a bot attack).
What else to look for
Also note the following metrics:
- The ratio of regular and advertising posts. The ideal option is 1 advertising publication per week (or no more than 1 advertising publication per 4-5 “human” posts). And it’s not just that you can get lost among the abundance of other people’s integrations. It is important that the page contains enough other content that will help the audience form a full-fledged opinion about the influencer and imbued with him / her trust.
- Regularity . If a blogger is lost for a month, then abruptly begins to publish everything in a row – this is a bad blogger, cooperation with which will not bring you the expected effect.
- Attitude of subscribers to blogger . Besides the relevance of the comments, their tone is also important. See how the influencer communicates with their followers. Does the audience perceive the blogger as a friend and authoritative opinion leader, or is he used to going out on HYIP and without hesitation enters into open conflicts?
- Reputation . If you do not want scandals, then it is better to opt for “neutral” bloggers who do not use their platform to express their own political, religious, etc. views.
- Average video views to likes ratio . Views should be 2-5 times more than likes.
- Followers of likes and comments . If the overwhelming majority of such profiles have more than 2,000 subscriptions, then we are dealing with mass followers.
Recommendations for cooperation
In order not to waste your advertising budget, it is enough to adhere to the basic principles of working with influencers:
- collaborate only with those bloggers whose audience matches your target audience;
- if in doubt which opinion leader is better to integrate with, conduct a survey among the target audience and find out about their preferences;
- find influencers who are already using your product or are loyal to your brand;
- before launching an ad, tell the blogger in detail about the philosophy and values of the brand, show and give a try on key products, explain how you see the integration;
- do not refuse microbloggers, as now they are much more effective than Instagram celebrities;
- analyze the comments and reactions of the audience after the advertising campaign;
- for large amounts, work under a contract.
Cheating is a universal evil that kills the effectiveness of integration. Firstly, advertising does not bring the expected result (large and medium-sized businesses cooperate with bloggers primarily for reach and reputation, which they definitely cannot see with a “dead” audience), and secondly, bloggers who abuse bots are notably undermining the market and spoil raspberries for everyone.
In order not to let the budget go down the drain and not play the sapper, before you knock on Direct with a commercial offer, carefully analyze the accounts of influencers for cheating.