Influencer marketing can be your most impactful marketing channel. However, approaching it without a concrete strategy puts you at risk for mistakes.
We’ve all see those influencer marketing blunders. From an outsider’s perspective they can be quite comical. But if you are the social manager of that brand, it can feel like a nightmare. Here are some of the most common influencer marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Too Much Focus on Social Celebrities
You should never assume that working with celebrities and high profile people with large followings is the only option and your only chance for success. Although their social reach is large, they’re audiences may not be as deeply engaged or the right target audience for your product. For instance, did you know that social stars with one million or more followers have engagement rates of 0.4% or less on Instagram? However, Instagrammers with less than 100,000 followers have average engagement rates of 0.5-2.5%, with engagement increasing as followers become fewer. Therefore, be sure to recruit micro influencers to build brand authenticity and increase engagement.
Failing to Build Influencer Relationships
The biggest mistake brands make is to treat their influencers like a commodity instead of individual people. Remind yourself that they are real people who lend credibility and a voice to your brand. Collaboration and an open, honest dialogue will allow you to build deeper relationships. Connect with your influencers on a personal level that encourages them to champion your vision, brand message and campaign. Afterall, they are your brand’s best friend.
Being Disorganized & Unprepared
A messy, disorganized influencer marketing strategy will bring the same kind of results. Create an editorial calendar, clear KPIs and document every step of your process. Just like any other marketing campaign, you should track and analyze the outcome. A few metrics to track include shares, comments, views, content created, click-throughs, influenced revenue and overall engagement. Doing this will help you determine what worked, what didn’t and how best to move forward.
Providing Not Enough Creative Freedom
The goal of influencer marketing is to spread your brand’s message. However, all too often, brands try to control every little part of an influencer’s piece of content. This makes for a messy, inauthentic experience for your brand and influencer’s fans. If you choose the right influencers, you won’t need to worry as much about making sure they are representing your brand appropriately. Your brand’s authenticity will be apparent through the influencer’s voice and image. Don’t let your marketing objectives get in the way of an influencer’s own creative talents. Being too controlling will hinder their effectiveness and take away their creativity.
Providing Too Much Creative Freedom
While you don’t want to impede on your influencers’ creative freedom, you still need to ensure you achieve your campaign goals. Influencers are generally not professional marketers. They are passionate creators who love to share their passions with others. As a marketer, it’s your responsibility to communicate to your influencers content or creative expectations. You will need to find a balance between letting influencers have creative freedom and guiding influencers in your brand’s direction. A useful tip is to create a style guide to give to new influencers or for specific campaigns. Show them what “good” looks like and then let them create their own original content.
Influencer marketing isn’t a strategy that works overnight. At its most effective, it’s a long-term strategy that may take some trial-and-error. Avoid these mistakes for a better chance at finding success with your influencer marketing campaigns. It takes work to find the right influencers for your brand, but following these best practices will get you there that much faster.