Late last month, Instascreener ran a piece highlighting the 2019 Influencer Marketing Report, which noted that brands in 2019 spent a total of $1.9 billion on this sector of marketing in the U.S. and Canada. A reported $1.4 billion of that total was used for Instagram purposes, with an estimated $255 million of the spent IG dollars going toward the reach of "fake followers."
For the influencer marketing-specific ranking, Fashion Nova came in at No. 1 for the year with that aforementioned $40 million figure. To put that in perspective, note that the No. 2 brand—Flat Tummy Co.—is said to have spent nearly $14 million. The top five is rounded out by Ciroc, Walmart, and PrettyLittleThing.
The report also includes rankings for the "most fooled" brands, which saw Wines of Sicily at No. 1 with a 66 percent reach to fake audiences, and the Audi-topped rundown of the top 10 "most engaging" brands. For the full report, you know what to do.
As thoroughly explained in a Digiday article from January of this year, influencer-driven "fraud" is again a problem on Instagram. The inherent problem, as experts have theorized, is that brands' influencer marketing success measurability remains focused mainly on engagement.
While engagement shouldn't be ignored, these same experts recommend a broader and more long-term approach to marketing metrics as a path toward greater accuracy.
Fashion Nova, meanwhile, has been the subject of controversy in the past due to a December report from the New York Times on underpaid factory workers, as well as arguments from Versace and Kim Kardashian (among others) that the company had ripped off designs for its products.