Influencer marketing is something of the new kid on the block. It is still evolving. And both brands and influencers alike are still learning the ropes for this type of campaign.
Which is why, unfortunately, an influencer marketing campaign can really be a hit-or-miss affair. If you’d like yours to be more hit than miss, then you have to make the right choices when it comes to choosing your influencer.
Here are a few common mistakes that brands tend to make with their influencer marketing campaign.
Looking at the Wrong Numbers
As a marketer, you want your campaign to have the best possible reach. You might think that means choosing the influencer with the most followers. You’d be wrong. Research shows us that influence is not simply a numbers game, but it is actually more about engagement.
An influencer who engages with their followers, is more likely to have a loyal audience.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you have two friends. One is outgoing, has a ton of other friends, and doesn’t have much time to spare. You enjoy spending time with them, but you don’t see them unless you actually set up a time and place. And, even then, you’re not sure that they’ll be there for you. This is the same concept we see with an influencer who has a larger following. They usually don’t have enough time to maintain that same intimate relationship with their followers.
The other friend is in a smaller circle. When you call them, you know they will be there for you. They reach out from time to time to chat or make plans to meet up. This is how it would be with an influencer who is still building their following. They still have the time to pay attention and interact with their followers.
But, what does that have to do with marketing?
If you were to receive advice from both of these friends, which would carry more weight? Which of these two is in a better position to recommend something in terms of how well they know you?
The less popular friend spends more time with you. They make you feel more important than the friend that has no time for you. You know that they understand you and have your best interests at heart.
The same can be said in the world of influencer marketing. While the more popular person may reach a wider audience, how much notice is that audience taking? So, before you get wowed by how many followers someone has, check out how engaged their followers really are. Are they actively liking, commenting on, or reposting content?
It should also be said that it’s possible to buy fake followers to inflate numbers artificially. These accounts are usually quite easy to detect because they’re not very active. But that is just another reason to look at the more important stats instead.
Research shows us that micro-influencers with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers offer the ideal balance between influence and engagement.
Too Many Products
Another thing to look at is how many products the influencer is already promoting and how these will mesh with yours. The more promotions that the influencer is engaged in, the more careful you need to be.
A lot of influencers today make a living from their endorsements. It’s reasonable to expect them to take advantage of this opportunity to earn some extra money. But there’s a fine line between overselling and selling effectively.
Everyone understands that influencers want to make money. Most people are fine with that. That said, followers generally don’t want to feel bombarded by advertising. If all the influencer is doing is promoting products, they’ll lose traction quite fast.
Just as importantly, if the products that are being promoted don’t create a cohesive picture, the influencer’s brand might suffer. If they promote a vegan product today, and bacon jam tomorrow, the followers might wonder how sincere they really are.
Not Disclosing Sponsored Content
Most people are okay with sponsored content as long as it’s not intrusive. So, if you’re sending out sponsored posts five times a day, you could end up alienating the audience. But, more important than this, is to ensure that the followers are aware that the content is sponsored.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Many countries have laws that state that sponsored content must be clearly marked.
- Most online platforms today also have strict rules about it.
- Finally, and most importantly, the audience doesn’t like to be duped. Even if the influencer tries to act natural, someone, somewhere is bound to figure out that the content is actually sponsored. You and the influencer will be caught in the lie, and both brands will suffer as a result.
Rushing Your Campaign
For this collaboration to work, you’ll need the influencer to put their own stamp on the campaign. That means giving them enough time to make the content their own. It’s tempting to try and enforce a strict deadline on them. You want to strike while the iron is hot, after all.
Here, though, rushing is likely to cause more problems than it’s worth. You run the risk of the campaign coming out poorly, and the influencer coming across as insincere. Worse still is that your influencer might end up being unprepared.
Speak to the influencer upfront about the timeframes that they’d like to work with. How long does it take them to create and edit a new video? Or to create a post? It’s better to get the content out a little more slowly than to rush and make mistakes.
Unclear Expectations on Both Sides
It’s best to establish how you’re going to measure the success of the campaign over time. What kind of CTR are you expecting? How will you measure the effectiveness of brand-building campaigns?
Make sure that the influencer understands exactly what you expect. And, of course, make sure that you understand exactly what they expect as well. Do they expect you to provide content, product giveaways, and so on?
If everyone is clear on the expectations up front, there’s a smaller chance of misunderstandings happening at a later stage.