In a world where it’s possible to inflate subscriber counts, views and engagements either with bots or by buying them, how can you tell if your influencers have genuine reach?
While it can be hard to identify such accounts, there are fortunately some telltale signs that can give brands a clue.
So if you’re worried your influencer might be too good to be true, or you’re wondering if fake metrics might be behind a low conversion rate, here’s four checks you can do to find out.
1. Views vs subscribers
An easy manual analysis is to see how many views compared to subscribers the influencer’s videos get.
If a channel has 10,000 subscribers but their videos have 500,000 average views, for example, alarm bells should be ringing because it is unlikely these views are organic.
2. Engagement rate
Another check relates to the engagement rate of your influencer, that is the number of likes, comments and shares against views.
A good average engagement rate is around four per cent, if you come out with an engagement rate of less than two per cent something’s not right.
But similarly, if the engagement rate is too high, say on average above 14 per cent it also might be a sign to get suspicious.
3. Country viewership
You can also try matching the language of the videos to the countries they are being viewed and see if it’s what you would expect.
For instance, if the YouTuber is producing German language videos, but most of their views are in China they are probably not true viewers.
4. Video retention
Look at the retention over the course of the video.
If the YouTuber has genuine reach, the retention rate will steadily decline over the length of the video.
Whereas with bots, the viewers will drop suddenly after a few seconds.
Faked or bolstered YouTube channels are not going to deliver results which meet your key performance indicator goals, use these checks to separate those accounts with the genuine reach you need.