Influencer campaigns are a major trend, one which show no signs of slowing down. If you open your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or just about any social media account, you’ll see influencers from all walks of life promoting various products or services.
So what’s the secret behind successful influencer campaigns? It’s simple – the brands and businesses behind them found out how to avoid the common pitfalls when constructing their campaigns. The good news is, you can too.
Read on to learn about the most common influencer marketing mistakes and how to avoid them easily.
But first, why is influencer marketing a big deal?
If you have tried dipping your toe into influencer marketing without success, you may be a bit bitter. However, when conducted properly, it can help you improve your brand’s reputation (which is always important), generate more traffic, turn more leads into customers, and promote your business to achieve the success you deserve.
No, this is not just mumbo-jumbo! The numbers don’t lie, and the diagram presented below will tell you everything you need to know about the importance of this marketing strategy.
So even if you’ve been burnt, it’s worth trying again – and even more important to identify which mistakes you’re making so you can avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Lacking a detailed campaign plan
Having a battle plan for influencer marketing is a must! You don’t want to implement an influencer campaign just because everyone else is doing it. This is not about jumping on the bandwagon. Collaborating with any old influencer is not what it takes to succeed.
Before you conduct social media outreach and start working with an influencer, nut out a clear vision of the campaign in question. Be decisive, set up measurable and realistic goals, and list all important points to cover. Having a detailed plan will give the campaign a vital dose of purpose and navigation, and ensure that both you and the influencer can work toward achieving a scaleable goal instead of just posting aimlessly.
Mistake #2 – Focusing solely on follower counts
Social media influencers are targeted by brands and different companies primarily because of their follower count. Therefore it is easy to conclude that the more followers, the better. Not necessarily!
Of course, follower count matters, but it is not the only factor to take into account when looking for an influencer. Don’t forget that the success of your campaign depends entirely on choosing the ideal person for the job.
If you focus on the number of followers primarily, you probably ignore engagement rates. It is not enough to have a lot of followers on the influencer’s account; the ideal influencer is one who also motivates and engages their audience.
To get the most out of your campaign, don’t ever overlook the power of engagement. Occasionally, someone with a lower follower count will have more engagement than those who are followed by more people. Instagram is the perfect example of the micro-influencer effect in action.
Image Source: SocialMediaToday.com
Mistake #3 – Sticking to one social media platform
Even when you have a presence on all social media platforms, there’s always one where you have more followers than anywhere else. This often makes marketers feel like they need an influencer who is also popular there, which can lead to the focus falling purely on that platform. Not only does this prevent you from achieving the success you want with influencer campaigns, but it also doesn’t allow your business to reach new and different groups of people.
If you already have a strong presence on one platform, try choosing an influencer from a different platform to branch out and increase the traffic and follower count on your other social media accounts.
Mistake #4 – Making the collaboration a one-time deal
You have a successful influencer campaign with one person yet decide to find someone else for the next gig. Sounds familiar? This is a common scenario primarily because marketers and business owners tend to believe that social media websites are a buffet, and they must try every meal on the menu. While this may seem like fun, it is not overly practical.
You see, just because one campaign ends according to the expectations, there is no guarantee that some other influencer would be the right fit and help you achieve your goals again. When you find an influencer that fits all the criteria and impeccably promotes your business, focus on establishing a long-term relationship. Future influencer campaigns will feel more natural as they truly understand your brand, and less forced or fake.
Mistake #5 – Assuming you ‘own’ an influencer
The ‘I pay you, so I own you’ mentality should not exist in 2018. Under no circumstances should you ever go ahead and assume that you are more important than an influencer, or that they have no power in the equation. They do, and that’s why they’re influencers in the first place.
Influencer marketing is all about forming relationships where both sides have equal power. Remember, you need an influencer just as much he or she needs you.
If you fail to acknowledge this, then your influencer campaign will inevitably not be fruitful due to all the negative energy. There’s an easy fix to this problem: collaborate with your influencer, exchange ideas, try to get to know him or her as a person and, most importantly, trust them. Influencers need creative freedom. Bear in mind that they gained thousands of followers primarily due to their creativity, and that they already know how different people respond to different posts.
Mistake #6 – Ignoring FTC endorsement rules
The days when posting a photo or a post on social media without flagging it as a paid or sponsored post are long gone. Now, influencers have to specify endorsements and sponsored content. Although both you and the influencer may find the legalities boring, they shouldn’t be messed with.
According to the changes in the US Federal Trade Commission’s rules for endorsements, failing to identify which posts are sponsored or act as an endorsement could lead to big trouble. Make sure you give your influencer (or influencers) precise instructions on how to label content associated with your products and services. It’s your responsibility.
Influencer campaigns can work wonders for brands and businesses when run effectively. It’s vital to avoid the common pitfalls that can prevent you from achieving your desired results.
Now that you know the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to renew your efforts with this marketing strategy. Let me know how you go.
Guest Author: Stevan Mcgrath is a digital marketing professional who has expertise in brand design and development. He is passionate about utilizing his diverse skill set in new and innovative online marketing strategies. He has worked as a freelancer and a contributor to Provenseo, and seeks client satisfaction as his topmost priority. He writes blog posts on digital marketing trends which you can find by following him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.