In honor of Go Fish Digital rolling out a new influencer marketing service, I thought it was necessary to take a few steps back and address some of the most common mistakes in this emerging industry.
The influencer marketing campaign process is more than research, execution, and reporting. It’s a multifaceted process consisting of countless moving parts. Overlooking even one small step can place the campaign’s success in jeopardy.
It’s important to identify and avoid pitfalls before they happen. Below are the three silent killers of influencer marketing campaigns brands and marketers often fall victim to.
Identifying the Wrong Influencers
Aside from campaign preparation, one of the very first steps of an influencer marketing campaign is identifying the influencers. And contrary to what you may think, identifying and vetting influencers is more than just a few clicks on Instagram. In fact, 67% of brands say finding influencers is the biggest challenge of influencer marketing.
Choosing influencers that aren’t the right fit means the campaign will not flourish to its fullest potential. Think of it like trying to stick a puzzle piece into the wrong spot: it just doesn’t work.
Here’s an example: a local shopping center wants to implement an influencer marketing strategy to drive foot traffic. The most important metric for this campaign should be the influencer’s audience demographics, more specifically, their local audience. An influencer with a strong following but a relatively low local audience would not be a good fit for this campaign because, of course, the shopping center won’t see meaningful growth in foot traffic.
Much like newsjacking content campaigns which are incredibly time-sensitive, influencer campaigns must be kept to a schedule, especially when you are trying to align with a product release or event. As a campaign manager, it’s important to keep a consistent line of communication open between you and the influencer before, during, and after the entirety of the campaign. And if you’re part of an agency, it’s even more important to be an accessible liaison between the brand and the influencer to address anything that needs your attention.
Needless to say, the influencer marketing campaign process consists of countless moving parts. More than likely these moving parts will come with hiccups, some of which are unforeseen and, unfortunately, out of your control. Whether there is a delay with a shipment, need for content approvals, or an incomplete and unclear contract and campaign guidelines, addressing and rectifying these challenges in a timely manner is crucial. If neglected, one problem can turn into two, resulting in a domino effect that could spiral out of control.
Not Allowing the Influencer Creative Freedom
The last, and quite frankly most detrimental, campaign killer is not allowing room for your influencers to have creative freedom. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to provide guidance and set guidelines to an extent, but you have to trust your influencers to convey your brand’s message in their own voice. Without this, your influencer can come off as insincere, and even worse, deceitful to their audience thus negatively impacting the way they view the influencer AND your brand.
If you’re as immersed in the world of pop culture as I am, you may remember Scott Disick’s celebrity endorsement blunder. Disick copy and pasted email instructions from the Bootea marketing team to his 15+ million Instagram followers to his caption that read as follows, “Here you go, at 4pm est, write the below. Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!”
The caption itself isn’t the problem. Had he not made this mistake, nobody would have taken a second look. But it’s not about that. It’s the principle of letting an influencer use their own tone of voice without putting words in their mouth. To avoid this faux pas, make sure to allow your influencers to use their unique perspective to promote your product or service.
While influencer marketing isn’t rocket science, it shouldn’t be viewed as a walk in the park either. An influencer campaign gone wrong can steer an audience away from your brand and right into the hands of a competitor. However, by avoiding these three common campaign killers, you can count on an influencer marketing strategy to help your brand reach your goals.