12 Common Influencer Marketing Mistakes
Influencer marketing is like that famous quarterback at high school - he won the hearts of many, but he still needs a lot of practice to become the next Tom Brady.
Yes, the overall value of influencer marketing is 13.8 billion dollars - who would have thought that placing Santa Claus as the face of Coca-Cola a century ago would have sparked the creation of such a powerful industry, right? But even with all its potential and billion-dollar worth, influencer marketing is still a relatively new marketing branch. Many brand owners, marketers, and influencers are making campaign mistakes that cost them millions of dollars. Not to mention the immeasurable cost of a bad campaign for your business - destroyed image, reputation, and audience trust.
However, not everything is lost. Brand owners, marketers, and influencers can learn to avoid making these mistakes and increase their chances of creating a memorable and successful campaign. We’ll start with common brand mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Creating Clear Campaign Goals Upfront
Every one of your business activities is created with a comprehensible goal in mind, and your influencer campaign shouldn’t be an exception. But a surprisingly large number of marketers forget this critical step, and they end up with unsatisfactory results like poor engagement rates and low ROI (Return on Investment) or ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend).
It’s essential to have clearly defined objectives before launching the campaign. If you miss out on defining your goals, you’re just shooting for the stars and hoping for the best. As you may know, that’s not an effective plan to get closer to achieving your business goals.
Fix It: How to Define Your Goals?
Just ask yourself - what do I want to achieve with this campaign?
Do you want to increase the number of followers or be more present on social media in general? Or perhaps you want to improve your conversion rates? How about gaining more user data and insights that you can use for further business and marketing goals? Whatever your objective may be, define it clearly and have it written somewhere as a constant reminder. Then, if you ever get stuck with the campaign’s creation and development, you can always remind yourself of your goals and rebuild your entire campaign.
Mistake #2: Collaborating With the Wrong Influencers
It’s tempting to think about hiring Kylie Jenner for your next influencer campaign, and I can’t blame you. Just imagine your product being promoted in front of nearly 250 million followers - that should do the trick, right?
Well, not exactly. If you’re involved in the beauty industry and have the money to pay $986.000 per sponsored post, sure, go for it, reach out to Kylie’s agent.
But if you’re selling software solutions, or let’s say fast food, Kylie Jenner won’t be a good influencer choice. The same rule applies to all the influencers you’re considering for your campaign. Focusing entirely on the followers’ count to hire an influencer is one of the most common mistakes marketers make. Not to mention the fact that collaboration with the wrong influencer can potentially ruin your brand’s reputation. You need to go beyond the followers’ count and do detailed research on the influencers before contacting them. You should treat them the same way you treat your employees before hiring them - they represent you and your business out there, so investing time to find the right ones will pay in the long term.
Fix It: How to Choose the Right Influencers?
Follow these three practices to find the most suitable influencer for you: brand relevance, type of influencer, and relationship with its audience. The influencer you choose must be related to your brand or, at least, involved in the same industry as you are. Also, analyze the relationship this influencer has with its followers. The influencer who takes time to engage with its followers, answer questions or comments is the one with higher engagement rates, so look for these small clues. The critical thing to remember here is - if they have 10K plus followers but only receive a few likes or comments, this may be an indicator for two things: low engagement rates or fake followers.
Mistake #3: Not Considering the Competition
Knowing your campaign goals or the type of influencers you want to collaborate with puts you a step ahead of your competitors. However, not doing your research on previous professional collaborations for your influencer can be a deal-breaker.
Influencers can work with any brand they want. It’s up to you as a potential client to do proper, detailed research on the influencer. You certainly can’t hire anyone who has worked for your competitors; you’re risking looking unprofessional just by initiating contact, let alone proposing a potential collaboration.
Fix It: How to Properly Research Your Influencers?
Carefully research their social media profiles. See if you can find anyone from your competition there. Check out all of their social media accounts, looking for clues. If, by any chance, you find out that they’ve collaborated with your competitors, move on - you’ll find your influencer someplace else.
Mistake #4: Poor Briefs or Overly Detailed Briefs
Although influencers are creative creatures, they need some guidance to develop and launch a top influencer campaign. If you provide them with a poorly constructed brief, they’ll fail to properly advertise your products or services. They need to know the benefits and the features of your product before promoting it, and if your brief doesn’t provide that, they’ll fail to do their part of the job.
What about overly detailed briefs? You might think that contrary to poorly constructed briefs, detailed briefs are not too problematic, but they are. Too many terms and conditions in your brief can limit the creativity of any influencer. They are, after all, creative creatures. Many influencers have rejected an offer simply because the briefs were too detailed.
Fix It: How to Write a Good Brief?
Just keep in mind that you need to tell them about your product or service, and that’s it. If you feel like it, maybe you can share the company’s mission or overall vision. That can add value to the overall campaign, but any additional information can be too much.
Mistake #5: Measuring, But Not Analyzing
You can’t manage what you don’t measure! Measuring your campaign’s results is critical if you want to know the effectiveness of your marketing activities. It helps a lot if you have clearly defined KPIs to compare them with the results. But, if you only measure and don’t actually analyze the results, what’s the use of it? There’s no point in measuring anything if you don’t sit down, study the effects, look over previous metrics and results, make comparisons, and submit measurable analysis or statistics.
Fix It: How To Analyze Your Results?
After your campaign is done, sit down and analyze the statistics. You can use influencer marketing tools to collect the data and analyze it. Don’t overlook this step because - doing this will provide you with valuable insights on your users and quality data that you can use in your next campaign.
Mistake #6: Cutting Down All Ties With the Influencer After the Campaign
Remember that rule about treating your influencers the way you treat your potential employees? That applies here as well. If you had a successful campaign with the influencer, is it right to immediately cut all ties? No, and there’s a good reason for it. Building long-lasting partnerships should be your primary focus, not working on short-term collaborations.
Fix It: How To Engage With Influencers After a Finished Collaboration?
It’s simple - engage with them through their posts, give them the credit they deserve. Applaud them on a successful campaign or support their causes. It’s important to acknowledge them as human beings, not just as cash-making machines.
Those were the common mistakes most brand leaders make during an influencer campaign.
But what about mistakes that influencers make?
Let’s check those out too.
Mistake #7: Fake Followers
Fluffing up your number of followers will get you nowhere. Eventually, marketers will notice that engagement rates don’t correlate with your number of followers and will figure out your scheme. Don’t fall into the trap of using bots or buying a fake number of followers - it will ruin your reputation.
Fix It: How To Gain Real Followers?
It’s quite simple - just continue doing more of what you currently do. Connect with your followers, answer their comments and messages, post original content regularly, use hashtags, etc. Be consistent with your work, and it will definitely pay off.
Mistake #8: Low-Quality Images
A picture is worth a thousand words - that’s definitely true for influencer campaigns. The most popular influencer platform is Instagram, and before videos and reels took over, it was an image app only. High-quality images are still the #1 way of attracting the desired audience. If you fail to properly take photos of yourself or the product you need to promote, how can brands trust you with other types of content?
Fix It: How To Take High-Quality Photo?
If you’re planning to become a serious influencer, investing in a good camera or phone with top-rated camera features can differentiate you from the other influencers. Also, taking a photography class to learn some tricks can help you become an even better influencer. Plus, there are many easy-to-use photo-editing tools to make your images even more irresistible so that brands won’t want to miss out on collaborating with you.
Mistake #10: Not Engaging With Your Followers
The difference between good and great influencers is not in the number of followers - it’s how they treat them. With every post you publish, every campaign you run, or every video you share, you’re connecting with them, and that’s not something you should underestimate or take for granted. But many influencers, especially the ones who have thousands of followers, forget how important it is to build lasting relationships with their followers. Of course, after a certain point, it becomes impossible to answer every message or every comment - but you should at least put in some effort.
Fix It: How To Engage With Your Followers?
Be more present in the comment section or your inbox. Address their comments, answer them correctly and thank them for their time. If your time allows it, record a video answering their common questions.
Mistake #11: Not following FTC guidelines
FTC stands for Federal Trade Commission, an institution that protects consumer’s rights. Why am I mentioning it here? Over the last few years, with the rise of influencers, there was a massive violation of consumer rights on social media. Influencers who promoted products or services didn’t disclose that on their profiles, creating massive confusion among consumers and social media users. That’s now why everyone is obligated to respect FTC rules. Influencers must disclose a sponsored collaboration or a paid partnership by writing that in the post’s description.
Fix It: How To Promote Products or Services Properly?
Don’t risk it - familiarize yourself with FTCs rules and guidelines. The guide is available online, and it’s free for everyone, so just make sure you read it so you know your rights and obligations before accepting a collaboration from any brand.
Mistake #12: Lack of Original Content & Authenticity
Some people decide to become influencers; for others, that happens almost naturally. But either way, you need to offer something original. Copying the work of someone you admire is not the highest form of admiration in the social media world; it’s unoriginal, and you’ll lose points among your followers.
Fix It: How To Create Original Content?
Stay true to yourself - that’s the best advice you can receive. Building an authentic profile can be tricky, but instead of trying to be someone else, try to show yourself as you are. Social media users and brand owners value authenticity more than anything else and they’ll notice your original character in no time.