In our 2019 industry-wide survey of over 200 brands and agencies, we found that 50% of marketers say they find influencer marketing is not as transparent as other areas of digital marketing.
Whilst drastically restricting data access for private user accounts, Instagram has progressively made more data available on business accounts - and as we all know, the influencer business is booming. As the industry matures, so are influencers. Being able to provide detailed statistics around audience demographics should now be considered as a standard in the industry, as it has been common practice across traditional publishers for years.
We agree, and in a relentless effort to steer the industry into a more transparent future, ZINE is launching Reach Insights to brands and influencers today!
Engagement is a key reference point for brands. According to our 2019 survey, 27% of brands use engagement to evaluate the authenticity of an influencer's audience. Engagement is also the most common metric chosen to evaluate the success of an influencer campaign (37%). So why is engagement so popular? It’s the closest we can get to estimating how many people have been reached by the influencer/the campaign. After all one has to see an image to like it, right?
Quickly catching on to this, some influencers have started engaging in practices to lift engagement artificially, via bots or Instagram pods. This has greatly diminished the significance of engagement - but in the absence of anything better, brands seem to hold on to it nevertheless; however not without caution. Fake follower/engagement reports, comment analysis, spot checking of followers - any or all of the above is employed by over 93% of brands we surveyed.
At the same time, ROI is still the biggest challenge for brands, not fake followers or engagement. At the moment, there is no standard for measuring influencer ROI, in particular across all the value a campaign might create, e.g. awareness, clicks and of course sales. Whatever the ROI of an influencer campaign might be, eliminating the possibility of advertising to fake accounts will increase your ROI. At the same time the amount of time and resources spent on identifying influencers with an authentic following and reach, will dilute ROI.
A long story short, we’re proud to offer a free solution to brands and influencers to put an end to endless detective work and screenshots. Reach Insights is pulling through the average reach from the influencers posts straight from their Instagram Insights to their ZINE Media Kit, in addition to key demographic data such as gender, top countries and city of followers. Instead of looking for accounts that are not genuine among followers, brands and influencers can focus on the upside and true value of their audience - the people actually reached.
ZINE clients will be able to access that data for all influencers who have Reach Insights enabled on their Media Kit, and influencers on ZINE will be able to share their ZINE Media Kit including Reach Insight statistics and demographics report with any brand, even if they do not use ZINE.
We’re super excited about this new feature and feel this is an important step for the industry towards higher transparency and ROI.
I'm founder & CEO of ZINE. When I am not crusading to make influencer marketing more profitable and transparent, I am travelling the world one country at a time!