Back in June, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer, Keith Weed, declared that influencer marketing was broken, and he had some ideas on how to fix it. The biggest problem he identified was fraud: in a market where the number of followers determines value, it’s no surprise that there are some ethically challenged influencers buying fakes to raise their price. And with measures of engagement equally or more important than reach, bots that like and comment on posts can drive fees even higher.
He’s not wrong, of course, and it isn’t exactly a secret that influencers are gaming the system on their behalf. But we’re only really starting to learn just how bad the problem is. The analytics firm Points North Group released a list of top 10 brands paying influencers to advertise to people who don’t exist. Number 10 on the list is beauty brand Olay: 19% of their influencers’ followers are fakes. At Number 1 is Ritz-Carlton, which learned that 72% of the people they thought they were reaching were...let’s just say “unreachable.”
Weed detailed a three-point plan for how the industry as a whole needs to improve, but none of what he says matters nearly as much as his vow to not work with influencers who’ve bought followers. When someone with a $7bn marketing budget draws a line in the sand like that, the influencer marketing industry will listen. Dishonest influencers, poorly vetted platforms, and agencies that work with either are automatically excluded from getting their hands on any piece of that budget. That’s enough of an incentive for the industry to start correcting itself.
But how will they do that? If you’re particularly sharp, you can poke around an influencer’s profile for an hour or so, check out some historical data on follower and engagement growth, and look at the accounts behind some of the more questionably-human comments. That’ll give you enough of a basis to make an educated guess on their authenticity, and chances are you’ll be right. Sure, you could do this—spending 60 or so minutes to get enough information to make a guess for which you have a good chance of getting it right—and then do it for every influencer you’re working with, too. OR, you could use some software that tells you everything you need to know, takes a few seconds to do so, and is way more accurate than you could ever hope to be.
If option two sounds better, then HypeAuditor is the software to do it for you. Unlike most influencer marketing platforms, there’s no discovery or campaign management to find here. HypeAuditor is actually the result of a pivot away from that model. The company founded an IM marketplace in 2017 and struggled to gain any real traction in the marketplace. As CEO Aleksandr Frolov ever so humbly explained, “We looked at what we were doing versus what everyone else was doing. And we found that we were not so good.” The team re-grouped to identify what was working, and started to understand that they excelled at the tech side of things—especially around data and analytics. While they continued to improve the product, HypeAuditor became the natural evolution of this realization.
By 2018, HypeAuditor became its own entity—a vast database powered by artificial intelligence that’s indexed over 24 million influencer profiles, including over 14 million Instagram accounts, and continues to grow every day. Fraud ID is enough of an attraction, but the analytics go deeper than that, giving brands and agencies very detailed insights into influencers and their audiences.
Access to HypeAuditor is sold on a subscription basis. A free plan provides basic features and limited ability to pull HypeAudior data. If you choose the Basic subscription plan for $399 per month, you’ll get access to a range of premium features:
- 30 Account Analytics reports per month
- Access to the Influencer Discovery tool with the influencer database of over 24 million Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch accounts
- Campaign Management tools for influencer planning, managing, and monitoring influencer campaigns
- Ability to create branded media plans for your influencer campaigns and share them with your clients
- Access to reports for market and competitive analysis
- Ability to check existing audience overlap between multiple Instagram influencers
- Instagram account comparison, where you can compare up to 5 influencers at a time
- Custom subdomain for sharing reports with partners and clients
- Dedicated customer support
On top of that, clients can purchase Pro Add-Ons in addition to the Basic plan and get access to more reports and features:
- Pro filters in the Discovery tool
- Auto-tracking, post fraud analysis, and sentiment analysis in Campaign Management
- White-labeled reports to include your brand or agencies name and logo
- Ability export reports to PDF and CSV
- Custom integrations with your existing software tools through APIs
HypeAuditor was purpose-built for fraud detection, but that seems like an understatement. The platform analyzes influencer profiles, digs deep into each audience, and is generally on the lookout for the kinds of data—like suspicious spikes in follower growth, or bot-generated comments—that can expose fraud. But the developers took things a step further by flipping the premise of fraud detection on its head: the point of identifying fake or ghost followers is not to punish them but to understand the actual quality of the audience as a whole. So, really, that’s what HypeAuditor is focused on: audience quality.
By doing it this way, the platform provides a much more valuable service than if it were just a simple way of spotting fraud. There are 35 different metrics and scores, giving users a thorough understanding of who they’re dealing with. It all starts with the Audience Quality Score (AQS).
Scored on a scale of 1 to 100, the AQS gives a quick way to judge an influencer’s actual value. Anything over 70, they tell you, is someone that you can feel comfortable with: this is an influencer whose audience is made of predominantly real people who are authentically engaged. Between 40 and 70 will merit further investigation. The score applies to the overall audience, but when you dig deeper using HypeAuditor, you may find—even if there’s a high number of fake followers—that the authentic ones are still passionate and engaged and worth reaching. In this case, the AQS gives brands empirical data with which they can use to negotiate more realistic fees. Why pay to reach a million followers when only 600,000 of them are real people (and only half of those are actually paying attention)? This is where the 34 other data points come into play.
You’ll look at their followers to get some basic audience demographics, like their geography and gender. But you’ll also get an assessment of how many of them are “quality” followers—giving you a more accurate forecast of what that influencer’s reach is. One of the more unique data points is “Audience Reachability.” This is the number of followers in this audience that follow less than 1500 other accounts—the more accounts they follow, the less likely they’ll ever scroll past your content in their Instagram feed. Further, you’ll see their engagement rate, but then you’ll also get a quality score on that, too. Likes and comments aren’t always from real people, and you’ll see the breakdown of the engagement.
You might have noticed in that screenshot another of the nice little touches you can find on HypeAuditor, and that’s the context given to each score/assessment. Above, you can see that the engagement rate is 1.47%, while you’re also told that this score is excellent compared to other, similar accounts. Below that, you can see that the Audience Authenticity is rated as “Good,” as similar accounts have 73.4$ of the authentic audience on average. Then you’re shown real numbers detailing how much of it came from real people, from bots, etc—and then you’re given the comparison to other, similar accounts. With over 14 million Instagram accounts indexed already, that’s a big enough sample size to feel confident in HypeAuditor’s accuracy. And that’s only going to get more accurate over time: you can search any Instagram account you want and if it’s not already in the database, then you just added it by searching for it. It’ll take a bit longer — usually up to 3 minutes — to get the report because it’s a lot of information to index, parse, and analyze. But so long as the account has more than 1,000 followers, the AI will pull down the info and then learn from it.
Another great feature of the HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery Tool. There are over 14 million Instagram influencers, over 4 million YouTube video bloggers, over 5 million TikTokers, and nearly 670 thousand Twitch streamers in the database which is updated daily. Using 21 filters and an unlimited number of keywords you can find influencers in 253 countries in any niche.
The unique feature of the discovery tool is a growth filter. It helps to find influencers whose growth rate for the past 7, 30, or 180 days has been between 10% and 100%.
Chosen influencers could be transferred to Media Plans or Campaign Management. These tools help plan, manage, and track your influencer campaigns.
You can create branded media plans for your campaigns on Instagram and YouTube and share them with your clients and colleagues. The tool allows you to add your influencers right from the Discovery tool and influencer lists and specify your target audience and currency. Campaigns KPIs, like target audience percentage, engagement, CPE, EMV, and ROI, will be estimated automatically.
With the Campaign Management tool, you can track the progress of your campaigns, monitor your performance, and see your campaign spend over time.
The main advantage of the tool is its fraud detection and engagement authenticity check for sponsored content. HypeAuditor analyzes engagement growth and potentially fraudulent activity for each piece of sponsored content and provides an assessment of the findings.
Influencer Comparison is a rather new feature that allows us to compare up to five influencers at a time and helps choose the most effective influencers for your marketing campaigns.
To get deeper insights into an influencer’s growth dynamics, you can use Account Tracking. It provides background information about the creator’s growth, changes in audience quality, and engagement.
HypeAuditor is also helpful for users to monitor their own Instagram accounts, a great way to monitor the overall health of your social presence. Just go to the Account Tracking section of the Dashboard and connect your Instagram account to track its performance. You’ll also receive weekly email updates giving a summary of your activity.
If you want to conduct market analysis or learn how other brands in your industry use influencer marketing, you can collect many insights in the Market Analysis reports of HypeAuditor.
The Industry Players report gives you market intelligence and industry insights you can use to understand the ecosystem of influencer marketing in a particular country and niche. These include the value of influencer marketing activities, key market players, and Instagram influencers they work with.
You can compare different brands side by side, analyze the effectiveness of their influencer campaigns, and discover the best-performing businesses, in terms of their influencer marketing activities.
The Competitor Analysis report allows users to explore different aspects of other brands’ influencer marketing campaigns, including their estimated campaign budget, the audience they target and sponsored content. The insights help you identify the most effective content featuring brand mentions and see a full list of Instagram creators these brands partner with.
And if you need to compare multiple brands side by side, you can do it with the help of Competitor Comparison. The report allows you to compare up to 5 brands at a time.
Another feature in the Market Analysis section is Audience Overlap that helps you to refine your influencer list for your upcoming marketing campaign. The report shows you the existing overlap between the audiences of multiple Instagram creators.
With in-depth Instagram Content Analysis, users can analyze how the sponsored content of their competitors performs on Instagram and identify the most effective pieces of content that resonate with the audience best.
HypeAuditor’s only real downside is that it’s pretty limited when working with groups as a whole. All the reports you get for each influencer can be found in the “Influencer Lists” section. But there’s really not much you can do with them. You’ll be given the sum of their quality followers and authentic engagements at the top of the list, and then you’ll see each influencer listed with some basic stats.
That’s a good starting point, but it’s in need of a better ending. Being able to get a full report that aggregates all their audiences would be incredibly useful.
HypeAuditor doesn’t have too many direct competitors out there at the moment. Many platforms will provide some of the same data used to identify fraud, but it’s still incumbent on the user to do the research and make the determination. Those that are automating fraud prevention aren’t doing it to the same level. Because HypeAuditor comes at the question from a different perspective—mainly, how good is an influencer’s audience, instead of how bad—they’re coming up with more answers than anyone. You only need a few bits of info to determine an audience is fake; you need much more than this to demonstrate their quality.
It would be great to see the developers add some more data and functionality to the lists feature. It’s currently pretty new, anyway, so it’s safe to expect that these will get more robust. But I wouldn’t expect to see them offer much more than that and run the risk of bloat. I like that HypeAuditor is built for one thing—determining audience quality. That it was built and offered as a separate product and the company has another IM-related product called Aurora—is promising. You don’t necessarily have to get bigger to get better, and the HypeAuditor folks obviously understand that.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does HypeAuditor’s pricing work?
Access to HypeAuditor is sold on a subscription basis. A free plan provides basic features and limited ability to pull HypeAudior data. Its Basic subscription plan costs $399 per month and provides access to a range of premium features. You can also purchase Pro Add-Ons in addition to the Basic plan and get access to more reports and wider functionality.
Which features are included in HypeAuditor’s subscription plan?
The subscription plan has some premium features. These include Account Analytics reports, Influencer Discovery, Campaign Management tools, branded media plans for influencer campaigns, market and competitive analysis, Instagram account comparison, and the Audience Overlap report. Additional Pro Add-Ons provides Pro filters in Discovery, auto-tracking, post fraud analysis, and sentiment analysis in Campaign Management, white-labeled reports, PDF and CSV exports, and custom integrations with your existing software tools through APIs. If you get stuck, you will also be able to access dedicated customer support.
What does HypeAuditor do?
In a nutshell, HypeAuditor concentrates on audience quality. It was created for fraud detection. It analyzes influencer profiles to look closer at each audience. Typically, it is on the lookout for things such as suspicious spikes in follower growth and bot-generated comments. There are 35 different metrics and scores to give you a better understanding of who you are working with. Using a 100-point scale, its Audience Quality Score will give you a quick way to evaluate the actual value of an influencer.
What are some of the advantages of using HypeAuditor?
When you analyze the Audience Quality Score (AQS) that HypeAuditor gives, you might actually find that even if there are many fake followers, the authentic followers are still engaged and valuable to reach. In this event, you can negotiate a more realistic price using this empirical data. Another major advantage is that its database has more than 14 million Instagram influencers, over 4 million YouTube video bloggers, over 5 million TikTokers, and nearly 670 thousand Twitch streamers. What is more, this database gets updated daily.
Is HypeAuditor any good?
The only real con is that it is quite limited when you want to work with a group as a whole. The report that you receive will have the sum of an influencer’s quality followers and authentic engagements and some basic stats. That being said, HypeAuditor does not have too much direct competition. The platforms that claim to automate fraud prevention are not doing the job as effectively as HypeAuditor.
Services Offered: Search/DiscoveryCampaign ReportingInfluencer AnalysisAudience AnalysisWhite Label ReportingFake Follower/Fraud Detection
Channels: Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter