In today’s digital age, influencer marketing tends to yield between $5.20 and $6.50 in revenue for every one dollar that’s spent.
Due to its apparent success rate, many marketers tend to jump into influencer marketing without the proper knowledge on how to make it work.
Remember that while influencer marketing is powerful, you need to know how to go about it if you want it to yield fruitful results.
In this post, we’ll go over 7 common mistakes that brands make when they enter into a collaboration with an influencer.
Not only will we provide insight into why these mistakes happen, we will also discuss what can be done to correct them.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
7 Common Mistakes Brands Make During Influencer Marketing Campaigns
This is because influencer marketing is currently one of the most cost-efficient and effective ways to find an audience. It can help you with brand recognition as well as customer conversion.
However, what many new brand owners forget to take into account is the fact that there is a method to the madness. You can’t just hire an influencer to promote a brand and expect to have a large customer base by the end of the week.
When influencer partnerships fail, it’s more commonly because the brand owners and managers failed in one or more of their duties.
Let’s take a look at what some of these duties are and what you can do to ensure your influencer marketing program succeeds:
1. Poor Influencer Choices
In the early days of influencer marketing, it was considered more of a “novelty” act; A new and quirky way to market your product. However, at this point, it’s become more of a crucial part of most marketing campaigns.
Now, influencer marketing is present across all sorts of different social media platforms such as:
And many more.
Not only that but influencers are now present in all sorts of different fields and niches. You can find all sorts of different influencers today with their own sets of beliefs, values, aspirations, and goals to choose from.
Since you have so many choices as a brand owner now, it can be quite easy to make the wrong choice.
Many newer entrepreneurs tend to give very little time to influencer research to determine what type of influencer would be best for them. They don’t realize how important it is for them to share the same core concepts and beliefs.
An extreme example of this could be a brand that sells premium aged meats getting into a collaboration with a vegan influencer.
Naturally, you want to ensure that the influencer you want to partner with stands for the same core values and has similar goals. If you choose an influencer with conflicting goals, your campaigns are bound to fail.
Another example would be if you were to choose an influencer that has a massive following; However, that following typically consists of individuals that do not fall under your target audience.
In this case, you would send your brand message to people that would have little to no interest in it at all.
Other influencers may be popular but they might have a tendency to get wrapped up in controversies from time to time. Again, these influencers are also ones that you, as a brand manager or owner, should stay away from.
Make sure that you research and vet influencers you collaborate with very carefully.
Spend time to ensure that they are definitely worth collaborating with. Here are some things you should watch out for:
- Ensure that they create content or are in some way associated with your brand’s specific niche or industry. This will ensure you have overlapping audiences.
- Make sure that you use analytics and insight tools on every influencer you intend to collaborate with. That way, you will know if any of them have used any shady methods to fake their following.
- Take a look at their history as an influencer. One red flag you should watch out for if they have a pattern of getting wrapped up in controversies.
2. Mediocre Influencer Relationship Management
When you run an influencer campaign, it may seem like a one-and-done deal. However, the best influencer partnerships are ones that are long-term and are built over the course of many different campaigns.
When you run a single influencer marketing campaign with one influencer and just move on to the next, it doesn’t do a whole lot for brand recognition.
This is because as you constantly change influencers, their messaging is going to be slightly different from each other.
It’s very important to stay consistent with your brand messaging. It’s very difficult to maintain that consistency if you constantly change influencers.
Hence, you’d be much better off as a brand if you picked a few influencers and cultivated long-term relationships with them. It’s a much more reliable approach compared to conducting single digital marketing campaigns with different influencers.
We highly recommend that if you have the resources to do it, you should have a separate team that’s dedicated to managing influencer marketing.
These would be individuals who would find and manage influencers that your brand collaborates with.
Not only would they conduct the necessary research that we talked about above, they would also be responsible to nurture the relationship(s) with hired influencers. This will ensure that the influencers feel heard and you keep them on the right track.
It’s important to realize that the best social media influencer will be a person that truly respects and admires your brand.
That’s the only way to get them to truly engage themselves to endorse your brand and provide the brand messaging you want them to.
If you want the influencers you collaborate with to respect you and work hard for you, you have to show them that you care.
Your influencer managers should:
- Conduct influencer research to find the right influencers for your brand.
- Conduct influencer interviews to ensure they are the right fit for your brand.
- Negotiate contracts and partnerships with influencers.
- Plan and compose influencer campaigns that the influencers would run for your brand.
- Provide creative input to the influencers to ensure that they stay in line with your brand’s messaging. Please note that they should provide a reasonable degree of creative control to the influencers as well.
- Aid any influencers that may run into any issues while they conduct influencer marketing campaigns for your brand.
3. Sub-Par Influencer Content Creation
Just like most other digital marketing efforts, influencer marketing also relies heavily on engaging content. High-quality content that provides genuine value to consumers is something that’s essential for the success of your influencer marketing campaign.
The most effective and memorable influencer campaigns don’t consist of passing shoutouts or 10-second product placements. Instead, they’d consist of engaging influencer content that naturally weaves the messaging of your brand into itself. It tells a story with your product (or service) that communicates unmet needs to potential consumers.
So, who’s in charge of coming up with this engaging content? Is it the influencers you hire? Or is it you?
Actually, it’s the both of you. While it’s true that the majority of the content rests on the influencer’s shoulders, you can give your creative input as well.
Remember that you have to ensure that the content’s messaging is similar to what your company’s goals and ambitions are. You don’t want values to collide.
It’s a good idea to provide influencers with as many tools as possible to make their jobs easier.
An example of this would be visual assets and templates that they could use within their content to incorporate your brand. Not only would this save them time with content creation, but it would also ensure that your brand identity is kept consistent.
Always remember that the influencer you collaborate with needs to have a thorough understanding of what your brand stands for.
If the content is created without a thorough understanding of your brand’s vision, goals and values, the campaign can fail miserably.
Not only that but it could also risk damaging the image of your brand as well.
This is why the best way to collaborate with influencers is to provide them with guidelines and the tools they need. Once they have that, you can provide them with all the creative control they need.
Once they create the content, you can suggest changes or adjustments that you may require for your brand image.
After quality assurance, you can approve the influencer to publish that content to engage their audience.
In other words, when you create content with social media influencers, you must:
- Research their audience and provide genuine insight into what type of content would interest them and make them want to check out your brand.
- Trust insights that influencers give to you in terms of what type of content would resonate well with them.
- Provide standards that you expect in terms of their content when it’s being made to represent your brand.
4. Poorly Defined Influencer Marketing Campaign Goals
One way you can tell whether or not an influencer campaign is well-defined or not is to check out what its goals are.
An effective influencer marketing campaign should have clearly defined and achievable goals. Without defined goals, you have no way to measure the success of the influencer campaign.
If you don’t have a way to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, you won’t be able to make changes on the fly. This is because you won’t have any way to tell whether an adjustment is needed or not.
What types of goals can you define for your influencer campaigns?
Goals can be focused on sales or focused on brand awareness and engagement.
For the former, you can take metrics such as the number of sales, revenue earned, etc.
For the latter, it can be the number of impressions, shares, and clicks that their posts have achieved over the course of the campaign.
It’s important to take some time to define your goals and also define the key performance indicators (KPIs) for those goals would be.
You can provide these goals to your influencers so that they have a concrete number that they know they have to hit rather than an abstract explanation. Solid numbers are much more effective than a vague wishlist of campaign goals.
5. High Numbers are Not Always Better
One trap that many newer entrepreneurs fall into is they only choose to research and collaborate with influencers that have a high follower count. Many people feel that macro-influencers are always the right influencers for their brand.
However, that is not always the case. Referring back to our previous point, the influencer you choose should be defined by your campaign goals.
That’s another reason why it’s important to have clearly defined goals: it can inform your decision on what type of influencer would be best for said campaign.
If you are a new business owner or a small startup and you choose to collaborate with a macro-influencer, you may not find the results that you hope for. Not only that but it will also be an extremely expensive investment very early on for you.
This is because while they do have a large follower base, a large majority of them won’t be loyal to their particular personal brand.
On the other hand, a micro-influencer will have a much tighter-knit community that trusts their endorsements and has respect for their opinions. Your newer brand would have a much better chance to find an audience with such an influencer.
Micro-influencers also won’t cost you that much and will give you the liberty to develop a long-term relationship with them. Hence, as their following grows, your audience will grow alongside them.
Remember what we said earlier about long-term influencer relationships?
If you manage to nurture the relationship and turn it into a long-term one, you will develop a constant stream of people that will be introduced to your brand.
6. Poor Communication
We’ve mentioned earlier in this post that the influencer’s values and beliefs should be similar to what your brand stands for. In addition to that, you must also ensure that they have a thorough understanding of what your product or service is.
They should know how it works, what its key features are, how one can buy it and everything else there is to know about it. To ensure this, it falls on you to explain what you’re selling as clearly and extensively as possible.
When you brief your influencers, you have to ensure that they understand:
Of the influencer campaign that you’re about to run with them. Remember that you don’t want any misunderstandings in terms of how your brand’s message is delivered. This is why you must ensure that all bases are covered and both of you are on the same page.
Encourage the influencer to try your product or service out themselves.
If you’ve done your research and chosen the correct influencer, chances are that they may even be genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
If an influencer has personally interacted with your product or service, it can serve their content and make it more authentic.
It’s a good idea to provide samples to influencers when you brief them so that they have some time to use your product before they develop content for it. It will help them a ton with their influencer marketing strategy and they’ll appreciate it as well.
Some more questions you should address when you brief influencers include:
- What kind of content will the influencer create?
- Will they create their own visual assets or would they like you to provide them? If they create their own, would they be willing to give you some degree of creative control?
- Will the content be a review? A simple product promotion? Or something different?
- What needs to be included within the metadata such as the title and description of the content?
These are all questions you can discuss with your influencers to ensure you’re all on the same page.
7. Mediocre or Unsatisfactory Assets
Another fairly common problem we see among young and newer entrepreneurs is to reach out to influencers without being prepared.
Many influencer marketing campaigns don’t fail because the influencer wasn’t able to bring in an audience. Instead, they fail because the audience was indeed brought in and they were unimpressed by what they saw.
Before you take any actions to incorporate influencer marketing to spread your positive brand image, make sure you have everything polished.
Some steps you should take before you contact an influencer include:
- Thoroughly set up your website and ensure that everything works like it’s supposed to. You don’t want to frustrate potential customers with a buggy, slow or confusing UI.
- Take extra time to set up a landing page that you will provide to the influencer that they can add within their social media post descriptions. This is the page their audience will be redirected to.
- Ensure that your website is optimized for smartphones and tablets as well as computers. Remember that a large majority of consumers tend to scroll social media on their phones.
- Set up payment options on your website to ensure that your customers don’t have difficulty if they want to make a purchase. You’ll lose customers if the payment process is unclear or annoying to perform.
- Take time to set up all of your social media pages with pictures, posts, and descriptions of the product(s) and/or service(s) that you sell. These posts should also have links to where people can make purchases from your brand.
- Set up a process through which you can provide influencers with unique links to your landing pages that they can use. This will allow you to keep track of how much traffic a certain influencer brings in. You can do this with Pixelfy.
To track links through Pixelfy, you have to generate them first.
To shorten and generate your link through Pixelfy, register an account and log in.
Step 1: After you log in, you can generate shortened links through the fast shortener box at the top of the dashboard page.
Step 2: The link can be to your landing page, online store, social media page, etc. Copy the link and paste it into the fast shortener box. Click the “Shorten” box.
Step 3: On the next page, you’ll receive the shortened link that you can share with an influencer.
To track insights, you can navigate back to the dashboard page.
These are just some examples but our point here is that your brand needs to be ready for an influencer campaign.
You want to cover all bases and ensure that every potential interaction that a consumer can have with your brand is properly set up.
If, at any point, a consumer gets the impression that your brand is “unpolished” or “rough around the edges”, it could dissuade them from a purchase.
Wrapping Things Up…
Now that you’ve gone through our post, we’re sure that half of you think that these were extremely obvious. Well, yes. They are extremely obvious and we see newer brands make these mistakes every day.
Usually, it occurs due to people rushing things and not taking the time to properly plan things out. Hence, before you enter into influencer marketing, step back a bit and take some time to form a proper plan.
If you execute that plan well and avoid all the major pitfalls we’ve highlighted above, your brand is sure to find a new audience through an influencer.
If you have any more questions, please reach out to us in the comments section below.