In 2021, close to 70% of marketers in companies are using influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Indeed, many marketers have recognised the benefits of influencer marketing in reaching their online audience. However, not every influencer marketing campaign is equally successful. Therefore, we will look at some common influencer marketing pitfalls that could negatively impact your influencer marketing campaign.
Influencer marketing pitfalls: #1. Choosing Names Over Relevance
Firstly, choosing the wrong influencer is one of the most common pitfalls of an influencer marketing campaign.
One way to avoid choosing the wrong influencer is to shift your focus away from the size of the influencer’s following. While the number of followers an influencer has will affect the reach of the campaign, popularity is not the only factor to be considered in an influencer marketing campaign.
The key is not with the number of people that see your content, but with making meaningful connections with your target audience. This means that the influencer has to be relevant to your brand and campaign’s goals. Relevancy could come in many forms. You may ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the influencer’s consistent with the image my brand wants to portray/be associated with?
- Does the influencer have expertise in creating content related to my brand/product?
- Has the influencer expressed a prior interest in my brand’s offerings?
- Will working with this influencer meet the particular goal of my campaign (i.e. if your goal is to increase brand awareness among females, is the influencer’s following largely made up of females?)
- Is the influencer’s audience similar to the target group of the campaign?
Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list. However, the point is that the influencer’s following is not the most important factor of an influencer marketing campaign. You can get an influencer with a large following. Yet, if the influencer’s followers are not interested in the content, the impact your campaign will have will be limited. Therefore, it is great to work with macro-influencers, do also consider which of these influencers are the most relevant to your brand and campaign.
Influencer marketing pitfalls: #2. Ignoring other key metrics
Secondly, failing to take into account an influencers engagement rate could be fatal to an influencer marketing campaign. As mentioned earlier, the number of followers is but one of the factors in choosing your influencers. You should also consider the engagement levels of the influencer’s followers.
This is measured with the engagement rate, which is a ratio of the influencers likes comments and shares to his/her following. A high engagement rate would usually mean that the influencer is able to create content that attracts the attention of his/her audience. Additionally, micro-influencers tend to have a higher engagement rate, as they are better able to interact with a larger percentage of their audience through their online content. You should consider an influencer’s engagement rate when deciding to work with them.
Additionally, the engagement rate analysis should also come into consideration at the end (and during the duration) of your campaign. The engagement rate is a good KPI to determine if your branded content has managed to garner attention online. These important KPIs can help you to figure out the best type of content for your next influencer marketing campaign.
Influencer marketing pitfalls: #3. One-off campaigns
Thirdly, a one-off influencer marketing campaign could have a less lasting impact. If you constantly rotate the influencers you work with, different groups of followers will be exposed to your branded content. However, this is not always the best strategy. Marketing takes time. The final act of sales conversion will only occur if your consumers receive the message over time.
For instance, if you were to see a product online for the first time, you might be interested in it – but not interested enough to act on it. However, if you were to see your favourite influencer constantly enjoying the use of the product/service, you might purchase after some time.
Additionally, choosing to work with the same influencers would mean that these influencers have a better understanding of your brand. This will allow them to produce content that is more in line with your brand’s marketing message. Furthermore, ling term collaborations could help reinforce the link between the influencer’s image and the brand’s image.
Of course, it is not always possible to have multiple influencer marketing campaigns due to financial constraints. However, an influencer marketing campaign need not necessarily involve a large budget. Working with an influencer could mean keeping them on your PR list, sending them products regularly to try out. The point is to keep a long term relationship with an influencer your brand has worked with.
Influencer marketing pitfalls: #4. Equating influencer marketing to traditional online advertisements
Lastly, the whole purpose of working with an influencer is allowing the influencer to use his/her expertise to reach out to your audience. Therefore, do not treat your influencer like a banner ad. What does this mean? Well, it is alright to explain the campaign goals and set expectations for your influencer’s content. However, try not to dictate every detail of the creator’s content.
For instance, making an influencer follow a rigid script or disallowing the influencer any opinion in the branded content would be akin to treating your influencer like a banner ad – where your brand ultimately decides the entire process. Instead, do allow your influencers some creative freedom. After all, they are the ones that best know their audiences and know how to create content that would capture attention online.
Nevertheless, it is alright to set guidelines and certain for your influencers. For instance, do let your influencers know if a specific feature of your product has to be emphasized, or a general tone has to be followed for consistency.
In conclusion, influencer marketing can be highly impactful with the right influencers and planning. That being said, do take note of these common influencer marketing pitfalls that could impede the effectiveness of your campaign.