It will instead focus on the number of 'guaranteed impressions' generated by the content.
Takumi provides businesses access to creative talent and communities on Instagram. It described the move away from using followers as a proxy for reach as "a significant first for the industry".
Influencer marketing has often used an account’s number of followers as the basis of reach (cost per mile - CPM) when identifying creators for campaigns.
However, the approach is contentious because it is estimated that only 25 per cent of follower’s will actually see a post, which means that up to 75 per cent of money spent on influencers can be wasted.
In some cases, wastage can be more extreme. Social Chain said it has trialled the tool with several major brands and found that in one case an influencer who charges $1,000 (£766) per post had a fake engagement rate of 96 per cent.
Meanwhile, an analysis of 13 influencers by full-service agency Hyland Communications found only 16.7 per cent of their audience was valuable to brands, inflating the average CPM to $780 (£480).
Takumi’s switch to what it calls ‘guaranteed impressions’ is designed to overcome the problem by ensuring brands only pay for legitimate impressions rather than fake followers.
It will do this by requiring influencers share analytics directly with brands, which means bots and influencers with low engagement scores can easily be identified and chalked off.
More aligned with traditional media
Takumi CEO and co-founder Solberg Audunsson said he hoped the approach would improve brand trust in influencer marketing.
"This transparency is key, and with our new model fraud will not just be filtered out, but influencers with more accurate demographic targeting will be prioritised and priced according to campaign specifications," Audunsson said.
"This means activations can be tailored to be as relevant as possible, giving brands a new level of assurance. There’s no mystery surrounding who they’ve reached, and it’s much more closely aligned with traditional media and the metrics marketers rely on."
Recently, Edelman head of Influencer Philip Trippenbach told a PRWeek Breakfast Briefing brands should not use influencers for reach campaigns because the return on investment is much poorer than other media channels.
He said influencer marketing’s sweet spot is ‘social proof', which means using well-matched talent to gently influence the behavioural change of a highly engaged audience.
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