Before the advent of social media, one of the most common marketing campaigns a company could take part in was with celebrity endorsements. Celebrity endorsements are a way to put a familiar face to a product. While celebrity endorsement is still a popular marketing tactic, attaching a human face to a product or service has changed. Influencer marketing is not just limited to celebrities. As a mix of old and new marketing methods, influencer marketing brings powerful endorsements to the age of social media and content marketing.
Although seemingly straightforward, there are a lot of ways in which brands go awry with influencer marketing. These four below are common, but easily avoidable.
Choosing the Wrong Influencer
If there’s a challenge an influencer can help your brand with, it’s relevancy to a specific community. Influencers are perceived as aficionados and popular representatives of their niche. They can make your brand look cool and considered a must-have. At first glance, you might think any one of the many influencers out there could do this for you, but make sure you thoroughly check whoever you’ve selected is the right fit for your brand. Picking the wrong influencer can make your brand feel disingenuous, which will ultimately decrease the success of your influencer program.
Not Providing a Brief
As nice as it would be to trust in your influencer and give them complete creative freedom, since they do know their audience best, you still need to provide some groundwork. Be clear with the goals of the campaign, not just the content you’d like to create. Remember that your influencers should be strategic partners, but it’s tough for them to succeed if they don’t know what success looks like for your brand. Offering clear guidance on brand tone and style while making sure the influencer still has creative freedom can be a tough balance to achieve, but when done correctly, it leads to campaign success. Communicate effectively beforehand to avoid confusion later on in the campaign and relationship.
It might be tempting to work with influencers that have an impressive number of followers. This is an easy mistake to make. Sticking to very popular influencers and not considering micro-influencers could mean missing out on more direct access to an audience. Influencers with just a few thousand followers often have a closer relationship with their followers. Furthermore, a smaller yet highly engaged audience might be the best route to drive sales for your brand
Not Doing Your Own Research
Just like other forms of marketing, influencer marketing is cut-throat. Don’t rely on vanity metrics and self-reported data when working with influencers, and make sure you do your own research about your potential influencer. While platforms such as Instagram are moving away from public follower counts, brands should make sure they’re evaluating influencers based on deeper metrics. Good influencer marketing platforms will give you deeper analytics on metrics crucial to your influencer program.
Promote Your Brand with Influencer Marketing
What an influencer does with your brand will serve as a reflection of your company. When selecting an influencer, think quality over quantity, thoroughly research their presence, and be clear about your expectations. When done well, this strategic partnership can create an unparalleled brand experience for your target audience.
Stephanie is a versatile freelance writer and researcher. She has written and edited from a variety of topics including financial services, software development, marketing, and tourism. Before writing and working closely with Latana, Stephanie received her first MA in History at SUNY Buffalo and her second MA in Nationalism Studies at Central European University.