State of Influencer Marketing in Germany

Nick Baklanov

Marketing specialist at HypeAuditor. Connect on Linkedin.

There were 25 170 000 Instagram users in Germany in August 2020, which accounted for 30.5% of its entire population.

Instagram was launched in 2010 and rapidly gained its popularity.
With its 1 billion monthly active users (June 2018) Instagram becomes not only one of the leading social networks but also the most important platform for Influencer Marketing.

In this report, we will provide you with the most current Instagram influencers insights and benchmarks and give a data-driven look into the dark side of fraud schemes, that are used by Deutsch influencers to fake popularity and get more money from brands.

Contents:

Instagram influencer Landscape in Germany
Distribution of influencers by Tiers
Who are these influencers?
Instagram Engagement Rate
Average Instagram Engagement Rate by Tiers in Germany
Average interactions per post by Tiers in Germany
Instagram influencer Fraud in Germany
What is influencer fraud?
How do influencers inflate their numbers?
How many Instagram influencers are involved in fraud in Germany?
How to detect Inauthentic Growth?
How many Instagram influencers buy followers in Germany?
How many Instagram influencers artificially inflate their comments in Germany?
What is a Comment Pod?
How many Instagram influencers use Comment Pods in Germany?
Methodology
About HypeAuditor

Instagram influencer Landscape in Germany

We break down influencers into five main influencer tiers by the number of Instagram followers

Mega-influencers & Celebrities (over 1M followers)
they often have a very mixed audience with various topics of interest.
Their relationships with them are more distant compared to other groups
of influencers. They have the biggest reach but the lowest trust.

Macro-influencers (100K – 1M followers)
they are famous in a local community, you can think of them as a “mini-celebrity.” Their content is usually high-quality and is comprised of a certain passion or topic.

Micro (5K-20K followers) and Mid-tier influencers (20K-100K followers)
they have more niche audience that is highly engaged with the deeper connection. Micro-influencers present in almost any sector: health and fitness, food, entrepreneurship, fashion, and beauty to name just a few prominent categories.

Nano-influencers (1K-5K followers)
They are regular consumers who are passionate and willing to share, but have little influence.

Distribution of influencers by Tiers

For this State we have analyzed 101 569 influencers from Germany. There are only few Deutsch Mega-influencers so we didn’t get them into account in this Report. The majority of influencers in Germany are Micro-influencers (43%).

Who are these influencers?

Core Instagram influencers in Germany are women aged between 18 and 34 years old (44.4%). There are also a big amount of male influencers aged between 25 and 34 years old (25.7%).

Instagram Engagement Rate


For many marketers engagement is the most important metric and a popular KPI of brand awareness. But what exactly does it mean?

What is Engagement Rate?


Engagement Rate or ER is a commonly used benchmark of success on Instagram as it can determine if an influencer is connecting with their audience.

Highly engaged content with many likes and comments often stand a better chance of organically appearing on an Instagram feed.

Average Instagram Engagement Rate by Tiers in Germany

Nano-influencers have stronger connections with their audience thus, their ER is higher. On the chart below you can see that nano-influencers have the highest ER (7.14%) and then ER is inverse to followers number.

It is also worth noting that the average engagement of Deutsch influencers is higher than the worldwide average. Users in Germany are more engaged in influencers content.

Average interactions per post by Tiers in Germany

Compare the number of likes and comments between influencers with the similar followers number. Pay attention to Likes to Comments Ratio, this metric indicates how strongly influencer’s followers are involved in a dialogue.

The influencer’s distribution by category

The chart shows 5 most popular niches in Germany. We see that the biggest category is How to and Style, 24.12% of influencers create content on this theme.

How much do influencers earn in Germany?

Influencers reward for a post or story depends on many factors, such as creator’s niche, engagement rate, content production cost and so on.
In the graph above we provide market average prices in USA dollars for a post, but you must remember that there are always exceptions.

Top 10 Instagram influencers by number of quality and engaged followers from Germany

We have analyzed millions of creators and ranked them by number of real followers and authentic engagement (number of likes and comments that come from real people and influencers).
According to our ranking as of September 2020 the most influential creator in Germany is Bianca Claßen with her Instagram account @bibisbeautypalace.

Bianca Claßen, better known by her YouTube channel name BibisBeautyPalace, is a German fashion and beauty YouTuber.

German Market Capitalization.

Our recent study shows that Instargam Influencer Marketing size in Germany has reched $155.83M in 2019.

Germany Instagram Influencer Marketing Capitalization

To estimate the market size in 2019 we’ve analyzed over 230 000 posts that were marked as sponsored. A “sponsored post” is an influencer’s post with brand mentions that was posted on a paid or a barter basis when an influencer receives a product or services from a brand in return for publication.

We compared the money spent on sponsored posts and stories in the first half of 2019 and the first half of 2020 and we can see that Influencer Marketing didn’t suffer as much as other industries. Rather, one can even say that it didn’t take a fall, but there was a reduction in growth.

Based on the comparison between money spent on sponsored posts and stories in the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 we estimate that the Instagram Influencer Marketing market size in Germany will be $156.69M.

Brands and advertisers are searching for the most effective ways to share their message to the masses online. As one of the few viable ways advertisers can connect with audiences online influencer marketing will continue to grow.

Instagram influencer Fraud in Germany


The Instagram influencer marketing industry has reached $5.24 billion dollars but research shows that the big number of influencers have falsely manipulated their follower numbers and engagement.

The market growth is directly linked with the cost-per-post value. How much a blogger would charge for a sponsored post hinges on one’s likes averaged per post and number of followers. This is the reason why fraud eventually became a thing: unscrupulous bloggers start buying likes and comments in bulk so that they can grab more money from the brands.

Influencer fraud is so common that marketing budgets are being impacted by it all over the world.

What is influencer fraud?

Organic Instagram growth is a long and arduous process. Not all influencers are ready to invest their time and money on it. Besides there are tons of apps and websites that tempt to get followers, likes and comments immediately in any amount and with quite a small sum.

The fraud starts when these impatient influencers connect with brands to advertise their products and services. Usually a brand agrees to pay a fee based on the number of followers the influencer has and ends up wasting their time and money.

How do influencers inflate their numbers?

Among the most popular tricks are:
– Buying followers,
– Follow/Unfollow,
– Buying likesand comments,
– Buying stories views,
– Comments Pods.

How many Instagram influencers are involved in fraud in Germany?

The highest percentage of fraud-free we will find in the group of influencers who have between 1K and 5K followers. 77.36% of influencers in this group are fraud free.

The vast majority of influencers have tried some flawed methods for Instagram growth at least once.

Influencers who have over 5K followers understand that their numbers correlate with their earnings, thus they intentionally inflate their metrics.

The most controversial are mega influencers and celebrities. Approximately 10% of them artificially inflate their engagement and number of followers, but most of them are just victims of SPAM. We’ll provide details in the following sections.

Abnormal Growth


Most of the influencers increase their number of followers gradually. Every month more and more Instagram users are starting to follow them. Some promotion methods, advertising, mentions in media or a shoutout from another influencer could accelerate this growth, but nevertheless, the general pattern remains the same.

However, some influencers do not want to wait and use inauthentic methods to increase their followers number immediately. Unfortunately, most of these inflated followers are inauthentic.

How to detect Inauthentic Growth?

To detect growth anomalies you should check the Followers graph that shows the dynamics of followers growth. Analysis of this graph gives a lot of information about the account’s growth patterns and trends and also helps to detect if an influencer has bought followers.

Accounts that increase followers number artificially will show sudden rises and hockey-stick growth on a Followers graph.

Who are these inauthentic followers?

Inauthentic followers could be classified into 2 categories:

Mass followers.
Instagram users with more than 1500 followings are identified as Mass Followers.

They use automatic tools for Follow/Unfollow. Mass followers don’t see the influencer’s posts.

Suspicious accounts.
Bots, fake or stolen accounts and people who use specific services for bulk purchase of likes, comments and followers.

How many Instagram influencers have growth anomalies in Germany?

The easiest and fastest way to grow followers number is to buy them. Over 9.88% of influencers with 5K-20K followers, and over 16% influencers who have between 20K and 100K followers have anomalies in their follower’s chart.
This serves as an indicator that most likely these influencers are buying followers regularly.


What comments are inauthentic?

Comments to tag-to-win giveaways and contests, spam comments, and comments that come from Instagram Pods are considered inauthentic.

When we check Comments Authenticity, we take into account multiple factors, among them: commenter’s content and the quality of an account that left that comment.

We mark as suspicious comments that:
– Consist of emojis only or words like: wow, cool, fantastic etc.
– Are monosyllabically simple and irrelevant,
– Consist of the mention of another account only.

How many Instagram influencers have inauthentic comments in Germany?

Almost 25% of influencers have more than 50% of inauthentic comments in Germany.

The biggest percentage of them are on celebrities accounts. We believe this is not due to their inauthentic actions but due to the overall level of SPAM on Instagram. Most of the spam came from users who use Instagram Comment Tools and Bots. They target their comments based on: hashtags, geo location, followings of other accounts, specific accounts targeting.

There are two main inauthentic methods to boost the comments number:
– Buying comments
– Comments Pods (we will look at them in more detail below).

What is a Comment Pod?


Comment pods (Engagement Pods or Boost Groups) are groups of bloggers collaborating to run up their activity. They often gather on Facebook, Telegram or other chats. A blogger from such pod would make a post and throw a link to the chat with some comment: “likes, comments (3 words and more), saved.” And then he/she would go up the chat to see the last 10 tasks from other bloggers and carry them out. This method is definitely hard to see with eyes only as there are real people with real accounts and high-quality content, and they would write extended comments.


How to detect them?
It’s hard and time-consuming to detect engagement pods manually. To do this, you should check every comment and a follower who left them. If you see that all posts are commented by the same group of users, it might be a pod. To detect pods at a HypeAuditor our machine-learning algorithm takes into account multiple factors, among them: behavioral patterns, commenter’s content and the quality of an account that left that comment.


How many Instagram influencers use Comment Pods in Germany?


Investing time in Comment Pods make sense for small accounts. That’s why this trick is commonly used by influencers who have less than 20K followers.

12.83% of influencers who have between 1K and 5K followers use Comment Pods.

Methodology

The report uses data from a wide variety of sources, including market research agencies, internet, and social media companies, news media, and our internal analysis.
We have collected and aggregated open data from a variety of sources: social platforms, catalogs, websites, crowdsourcing, and many more. After that, we processed the data by anonymizing, sorting and structuring, cleaning and removing any irregularities, and enriching the data.
Then we transformed the data into intelligent estimations by using best-in-class estimation and machine learning algorithms developed by our team of leading data scientists and influencer marketing experts.

About HypeAuditor

This report was made by HypeAuditor

HypeAuditor is an AI-powered Instagram and Youtube analytics tool that helps to get insights about the creator’s audience, increase advertisers’ ROI and safeguard authenticity in influencer marketing. It sets a standard for the Instagram analytics by providing the most accurate data.

HypeAuditor applies machine learning to determine behavioral patterns and identify fake followers and engagement on influencer accounts. It presents users with a breakdown of demographic data for an influencer’s audience and brings benchmarks for each metric for influencers with a similar number of followers.


For questions or details contact 

NIck Baklanov

marketing specialist at HypeAuditor

nick@hypeauditor.com

+ 1 347 708 0034