Analysis tool CampaignDeus undertook a survey of 4,500 UK influencers, studying 700,000 individual posts from their Instagram accounts in the first half of 2018.
UK-based influencers with a very low proportion of their audience based in the UK, unexplained leaps in follower counts and unusually low engagement rates were identified as likely to have artificially expanded their follower count - the study says 12 per cent of the accounts did so in the period.
The study also shows that 34 per cent of branded posts by these influencers are for fashion and style brands, followed by 23 per cent for beauty brands and 16 per cent for food and drink.
It also tracks the sectors with the biggest growth in branded posts over the period:
- Fitness: 7.6 per cent
- Travel: 4.4 per cent
- Parenting 3.5 per cent
- Beauty 2.9 per cent
- Food & drink 1.7 per cent
- Fashion & style 1.4 per cent
- Home & garden 1.3 per cent
- Health 0.4 per cent
The automotive sector sees the biggest drop - 4 per cent.
The study also shows that engagement rates are on average 11 per cent lower on sponsored posts versus organic posts - a figure rising to 27 per cent in beauty. Parenting is the only sector where this engagement drop-off is not present.
Finally, it finds that influencers with fewer than 100,000 followers achieve on average 60 per cent higher engagement than those with six-figure fandoms.
CampaignDeus CEO Muhsen Syed said: "To optimise their influencer marketing spend, brands need to stop fruitlessly searching for a magic return on investment number, which doesn’t accurately exist. The focus should be on building a systems-based approach to influencer marketing measurement, which places benchmarking at its core, so brands can easily compare their performance against their competitors and the broader market."
Yet to receive the results you’d like from your influencer marketing efforts? Learn how to choose the right influencers, create and maintain long-lasting relationships and discover best practice for measuring campaign success at PRWeek’s Influencer Breakfast Briefing this November.