5 influencer marketing campaigns mistakes to avoid

5 influencer marketing campaigns mistakes to avoid

Social media platforms have evolved a great deal since the advent of digital advertising, finding new ways to showcase ads on their platform. No one can blame them, that’s how they earn revenue. In today’s digital scenario, people are growing wary of advertisements. People find ads to be intrusive and most of them have some sort of ad blocker enabled. In these circumstances, Influencer marketing is a great alternative strategy to generate brand exposure, showcase products and start conversations online. Due to its organic nature, influencer marketing can deliver amazing results.

Yet, sometimes influencer marketing campaigns don’t work. If that has been the case for you, it might be you are making a mistake in the process. These mistakes are very real and often hard to identify. Today, I will list down 5 common mistakes you might make in influencer marketing campaigns in no specific order and how to avoid them. Let’s get started:

Not defining clear objectives and sticking to them

If you look at the statement carefully, you will see two mistakes and not one. First, not defining clear objectives for your campaign and influencers. Second, losing sight of your objectives and why you are doing this in the long run. Chances are, you lack a detailed campaign plan laying out every step that needs to be taken to succeed. Moreover, defining clear objectives and KPIs is critical to measuring the success of the campaign in terms of ROI.

It is a mistake to not establish metrics to measure the campaign effectiveness. This cause problems not only in determining performance but also while planning the next campaign. It gives you a chance to identify mistakes and learn from them going forward.

How to avoid this mistake?

Start by defining a broader objective. What’s the goal for the campaign? It could be brand awareness, create a buzz around a new product, drive conversions and sales, increase social media engagement or something entirely different. This is an important step in choosing the right influencers for your campaign. For instance,

  • Macro influencers are great for generating brand awareness and introducing your business (Think of it as broadcasting your brand to a large audience)
  • Micro-influencers are great for motivating people to buy your product (read on to find out why?)

Defining clear goals also helps understand how to measure their success in the long run and what steps need to be taken. It is important that these goals are communicated to the chosen influencers to ensure everyone is on the same page.

It is often tempting to work with a particular influencer should the opportunity present itself. You have to ensure that your chosen influencers fit into your overall strategy or it could be a potentially aimless investment of time, money and effort.

Influencer marketing is a raging field right now and you won’t be the only one doing it. It is pertinent to have a long term strategy in place to stand out in a cut-throat competitive market.

Looking only at follower count and reach

Brands often target social media influencers because of their follower count. The assumption is “More followers are better.” That’s not always true.

Follower count is an important factor undoubtedly, but it is not the only factor worth considering. Engagement rate is also important, even more so than follower count. Engagement on an influencer’s account drives conversation while high follower count is great for generating brand awareness.

The mistake is assuming popularity means influence! It’s not.

How to avoid this mistake

First, when selecting an influencer, it is important to understand their niche. What type of content does their audience expects from them?. A fashion influencer won’t be good for promoting a gaming product now, would they? It is important to factor in the domain in which an influencer has built their audience. A massively popular influencer in a particular industry promoting an unrelated product is not going to yield desirable results.

Sometimes, a social media influencer with lesser followers will have better engagement on their account. These are known as micro-influencers. Choosing the right influencer for your campaign is key to its success. While planning your next campaign, don’t overlook the power of engagement and include micro-influencers in your strategy. It is always a good practice to research prospective influencers and see if the comments on their post are genuine.

Not focusing on building relationships

Influencer marketing at its core is about collaboration. It is about building relationships and building a community. The temptation to work with different influencers for different campaigns in understandable. However, it’s not the best move and isn’t practical in the long run.

As a strategy, it is a marathon and not a sprint so taking shortcuts is not a good idea. For example, using tools to identify influencers may lead you to skip over people who are not “social celebrities” but existing customers ready to be an advocate for your brand and products. When you build a community and focus on cultivating relationships, you will find many such people to further your cause in more ways than you can imagine.

How to avoid this mistake

It is a good idea to collaborate with influencers with whom you have had success in the past. Focus on building a relationship with them and with time it will become natural to work with them. They will understand your brand better and their audience will become accustomed to your brand also, leading to more sales.

Another way to build a community and relationships is to collaborate with influencers across multiple platforms instead of focusing on just one platform. Being present everywhere is common for brands. It makes sense then to branch out your influencer marketing strategy to include those platforms as well. You are sure to gain exposure to new and different groups of people, previously untapped audience.

It is important to understand that building these relationships with influencers need time and we can’t force it. It is a two-way street where both parties you and the influencer, consent to move forward together.

Choosing the wrong compensation model

A common mistake a brand may commit while pitching an influencer is choosing the wrong compensation model or sometimes offering no monetary compensation at all. Other times, it is unrealistic expectations, over the top deliverables on a low budget or complicated onboarding that results in influencers refusing to participate in campaigns. Choosing the right compensation model is creating a win-win situation for both you and the influencers.

How to avoid this mistake?

  • Here are some of the most common influencer marketing campaign compensation models:
  • Pay Per Post – This is the most commonly-used compensation model. It’s when you pay a flat rate to influencers for creating and publishing a post for your brand – whether it’s a blog post, a social media post, or even a video.
  • Cost Per Engagement – It’s when you pay an agreed upon amount to influencers, based on the level of engagement they’re able to drive.
  • Cost Per Click – This is when you pay influencers a certain amount based on the number of people who took the action after seeing the content.
  • Free Products or Experiences – Another popular compensation model, this is when you provide free products or all-expenses-paid trips instead of financial compensation.
  • Cost Per Acquisition – This compensation is among the least used. It’s when you offer compensation in exchange for the sales or subscriptions they’re able to drive.

It is important to note that you will need to use a mix of these compensation models to make campaigns effective. There is no single set formula that works for all cases, This is subject to terms of arrangements and therein lies opportunity for both the parties to work out a mutually beneficial agreement.

Restricting content creation too much

By now, you must have understood how influencer marketing is different from advertising. You can’t be the overpowering marketing guy who has to call all the shots. You need the influencers to agree with you just as much they need you to bring money to the table.

I know what you are thinking! “What about my brand guidelines?” I hear you. You have to understand, you can’t be too controlling about what the influencers will put on their channels.

One of the pitfalls you should be weary of is overdoing the branding bit in the post. This looks like overpitching the brand and is too blatant like an obvious product placement in a movie. The beauty of influencer marketing lies in its authenticity and subtlety. Your brand makes an appearance in the post, hidden in plain sight, yet impactful.

How to avoid this mistake?

Influencer marketing, like I mentioned before is more collaborative. This means, you have to involve the influencers in the content planning part of the plan. You have to give up control of the process and trust the influencers who knows how to communicate effectively with their audience. An influencer knows best how to engage his/her audience, that’s why they are the influencer you chose in the first place.

One advantage of collaborating on this aspect is the creative ways you will find to promote your brand. Give the influencers, the creative freedom they need and deserve. You can give them some basic guidelines about how you want your brand to be portrayed. Then leave it to them to come up with something original.

Final thoughts

When it comes to influencer marketing, be ascout. Always be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and have a backup plan. You should always have a bunch of influencers you can rely on in case something goes awry in the midst of an ongoing campaign.

The failure of an influencer marketing campaign can be largely attributed to an inability to cultivate authentic relationships and put in the work to plan in advance carefully. Influencer marketing in the new word of mouth. Put people first and watch as your brand breaks the ceiling, shooting for the stars.