What are the biggest mistakes made in Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing has become a highly effective tool used by brands to connect with, and reach out to, customers and audiences through influencers on social media, such as bloggers, youtubers and instagrammers.  Social media influencers have a credibility and following that allows them to reach out to people unlike the usual online advertisements and marketing.  Social media influencers already have the trust of their followers, which is key to any collaboration.  

That said, there are an abundance of challenges in influencer marketing, here are some of those challenges that brands face.

Failure in Transparency

It is key that you are transparent and trustworthy in any type of online marketing.  Unfortunately, when the words ‘sponsored’ or ‘advertorial’ are seen, people may perceive the influencer’s post, whether it be a blog article, a Facebook post or an Instagram picture, as slightly less credible.  

There have been occasions when brands may have not been honest about their collaborations with influencers, based on their credibility being challenged, however, if in the future, the truth is revealed, this could have a negative impact on any campaign.

Failure to choose the right influencer over popularity

It is understandable that many brands are attracted to collaborating with the most influential and popular influencers, knowing that they have high return on investment when they are marketing a certain product, however, it is also reasonable that just because somebody is right for one product, doesn’t mean they are right for yours.

To avoid making this mistake, specific checks can be made on influencers, for example:

  • Profile and background

  • Social reputation

  • Personality and style (ie safe and sterile/ radical and rebellious)

  • Quality of content  (writing, photos, videos)

  • Comparable strengths and weaknesses on social platforms (ie Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, etc)

  • Topics of influence/ categories (eg fashion, food, travel, family, fitness, etc)

Failure to consider the influencer engagement effectiveness

It is important to think about the engagement of the influencer’s followers as much as it is to know the influencer’s reach (number of followers/fanbase).  

You should consider the following things:

  • Do the followers retweet the influencer’s tweets, complete with the relevant #hashtags?

  • Do they reblog and share the influencer’s content?

  • Do they respond by ‘likes’ and comments on Facebook and Instagram?

  • Do they defend the influencer when they receive negative comments?

Only doing regular influencer marketing

Many brands use influencer marketing for specific campaigns, for example, a product launch, which of course, makes sense but you have to consider as a brand, do you want the fanbase and followers occasionally, or all of the time?  Of course, the answer is all of the time!

By continuously working with influencers you build trust by consistency.  Collaborate with influencers over a long period of time, connect them with your brand and consider offering a year long contract with them.  For example, send them free stuff from your brand and at regular intervals, they can post something relating to those items and your brand.  

Failure to measure the ROI of an influencer marketing campaign

You need to account for every penny that you spend on the influencer marketing campaign and collaboration and it’s final yield.  You can do this by considering the total budget, dividing the total reach or engagement over the total spend.

Total Cost (£) / Total Reach (or Engagement) = Cost (£) per Reach (or Engagement)

Then you can calculate your cost per reach or engagement in influencer marketing and figure that out against the other areas of digital marketing or advertising.

When a campaign has a unique clickable URL you can easily calculate what your sales per pound spent are.   This can be done by fixing a unique clickable code to each influencer.  The formula may look like this:

Total revenue or sales (£) / Total influencer marketing cost (£) = Sales (£) per pound of influencer marketing (£)