If there’s one thing we know for certain, it’s that social media doesn't always reflect real life.
Influencer marketing has become such a lucrative business, that naturally some 'wannabe influencers' are trying to cheat the system, making it harder for those who grow their following genuinely. From photo-shopping screenshots to inflate their reach / impressions, to outright buying followers and engagements, these influencers have been cheating their way to the top.
In response to this, another new business type has arisen. Companies that offer statistical reports on influencer audience profiles to determine whether or not the influencers have cheated the system. But these reports are not always accurate.
For one thing, the companies wanting a piece of the pie through selling these fake followers/engagements have developed a marketing tactic of their own. “Gifting” their bots and dormant accounts to influencers without their consent on the hopes that the influencers become paying clients. As our soon to be released 2019 report into influencer marketing uncovered, 1 in 3 influencers have fallen victim to this 'poison apple' of a gift.
It’s no wonder, both influencers and brands are desperately calling for more transparency in the industry. But there’s one thing that can’t be cheated, actual reach. How many people actually see the influencer’s post?
Real or not, 50,000 followers does not equate 50,000 sets of eyes. Followers may not see the influencer’s post for multiple reasons - perhaps the audience follow too many accounts, are unchanged, the algorithm has changed and so on..
That’s why ZINE has launched Reach Insights, the only metric you can candidly make calculated decisions on. Reach Insights pulls through the influencer's average reach straight from their Instagram Insights onto their profiles, which are accessible to all ZINE clients. Whilst Influencers, are also able to share their ZINE profiles with their Reach Insights, with any brand outside the ZINE platform.
Since it’s launch yesterday, much of our influencer database has opted-in to verify their reach, showing their authentic following, and actual reach on their ZINE profiles. So we’ve picked the best of the best, but of course you can see many more and exact numbers here.
Instagram handle: @sparkleandketo
Why we love Jacqueline: Though Jacqueline, may be just a micro influencer with a following of 6.6k her post reach is astounding. This means that working with influencers of a smaller following, like Jacqueline could be much more effective than working with a bigger influencer for example with 20k following, but a 25% reach.
Instagram handle: @goffredocardinale_
Why we love Goffredo: Other than managing the European Parliaments' social media, Goffredo is a travelling fashion lover. With an audience heavily based in Italy, they are clearly loving his content, since he has an engagement rate of 24.1%. His reach is exceptional, so if you're curious to find out exact numbers you can request to see his media kit at the end of this blog, you'll be blown away!
Instagram handle: @paperboyo
Why we love Rich: Imaginative is an understatement! The London based photographer travels the world, giving landmarks a complete makeover with paper cutouts. Bringing buildings to life, his content is a window of pure creativity, showing his followers a completely different perspective. He has amassed a highly engaging audience of over 411k, who keep coming back for more.
NIKI & DANIEL LEWIS
Instagram handle: @wanderlustusblog
Why we love Nikki & Daniel: Taking #CoupleGolas to another level, these two are travelling the world one country at a time, creating insane content for their perfectly curated feed. Every picture is as if it's taken from the most romantic movie set, so it's no surprise that this couples' engagement is off the rails. And their reach? Well, it's even more impressive.
Instagram handle: @hollyradio
Why we love Holly: Holly, is absolutely winning, active on nearly all social media channels, Holly's entertaining content has amounted to an influence of over 2 million. Not your everyday influencer, Holly's content covers everything, from travel, fashion, DIY's, tutorials and wait for it...Spanish classes! Every single video she uploads is done in both English and Spanish, pleasing all her followers. So we're not surprised by her vast reach at all!
Instagram handle: @style_mum
Why we love Pascale: Probably one, if not the coolest mum of twins, Pascale documents her chic and edgy outfits on her feed. If you're looking for an utterly trendy mama, with an impeccable boho style, @style_mum is your girl. Particularly great for fashion collaborations, Pascale shows you excatly where to shop her looks over on her fashion and lifestyle blog. And if that wasn't enough, you'll definitely get what you bargained for, with her impressive average reach.
Instagram handle: @thedaddiaries.ca
Why we love Joseph: Having travelled the world, Joseph is now a proud father of twins. Documenting his very honest surrogacy journey he has his followers hooked, reaching more than half of his followers, but also gaining new followers by the minute, with a 34.6% monthly growth rate!
Instagram handle: @saratoufali
Why we love Sara: We are absolutely obsessed with Cali girl Sara! She ties all her content beautifully with plants, injecting life into her posts with her love of botanical greens. Our girl next door, verified her reach with ZINE and her fun, flowy, fresh and free style reaches an immense amount of her audience.
Instagram handle: @travelmadmum
Why we love Karen: Karen aka Travel Mad Mum, has hacked the code for, believe it or not, travelling the world with kids! Whether it's road trips, ferry rides, camping trips or long haul flights, Karen never leaves her family behind. Documenting their journeys, with the most colourful and fun filled content, she's a true inspiration to all parents. From travel advice, to travel equipment this mama, is great for collaborations and gives very honest reviews over on her blog.
Instagram handle: @terry_duskova
Why we love Tereza: Travelling the world with style, Tereza, is one very fashionable model. Keeping us posted with her chic pictures, this Czech Republican "it girl" is taking the influencer world by storm, and she's taking her followers with her, persistently appearing on everyone's feeds... though we're not complaining. It's insane how many Instagram users Tereza is reaching.
I'm head of Content at ZINE, where I use my expertise in fashion consumer psychology to empower brands and influencers in their marketing campaigns. I love to travel, bake as well as shopping online.