As part of our webinar series, we recently shared the biggest influencer marketing mistakes brands make. See and access the recording and presentation slides here:
Influencer marketing efforts are getting bigger, more effective, and more sophisticated all the time. Influencer marketing is a $1+ billion industry on Instagram alone and projected to reach between $5 and $10 billion as a whole this year.
Even amid the pandemic and recession, advertisers of all types are using influencer marketing to spread the word about products, brand values, events, promotions, and more. By partnering with influencers for product placements, endorsements, sponsorships, social media giveaways, collaborations, or other types of influencer marketing campaigns, brands can reach audiences with authentic and trusted voices.
Influencer marketing campaigns take a variety of shapes, but involve marketers setting goals, aligning messaging, selecting influencers, creating timelines, outlining deliverables, structuring influencer agreements and contracts among many other steps and processes and avoiding these common mistakes:
While influencer marketing is effective for reaching and engaging with audiences on mobile and social, many marketers shortchange their results by making one or more of the above mistakes when planning, building, and executing influencer marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing agencies exist to help brands and marketers safeguard against missteps, avoid costly mistakes, and to build campaigns that are both high-performing and cost-effective, use the right influencers for the right messages, and tackle goals with the appropriate and tailored tactics.
Clearly defined goals are a vital part of any marketing campaign — influencer marketing campaigns are no exception. Influencer marketing is inherently more authentic and more organic than most forms of traditional advertising, but that doesn’t mean that brands can or should rely on authenticity without targeted and specific goals.
Examples of influencer marketing KPIs include:
Once clearly defined, influencer marketing campaign goals can be used to tailor efforts and best inform next steps and variables including: utilizing specific influencers with specific audience demographics, and determining the best type of tactic (e.g. sweepstakes, review, etc.), method of brand interaction (e.g. product link, brand social account, brand website), advertising channel and media content (e.g. Instagram post, Instagram Story, TikTok video, YouTube video, etc.), and more.
Clear goals and KPIs help brands and marketers fine-tune campaign specifics to campaign goals. Planning and running an influencer marketing campaign focused on driving followers to a brand’s account will employ different tactics than an event activation leveraging influencers to kick off a product launch.
Without clear goals at the beginning of a campaign, brands and marketers may end up wasting time, effort, and resources planning and carrying out the wrong strategies — which will leave them with underperforming campaigns.
Influencer marketing agencies can help develop clear goals by coordinating with brands to determine what’s most important — be it sales goals, social engagement goals, brand awareness, or some combination therein. Agencies have the necessary expertise to help brands define their goals, outline strategies, and effectively achieve their desired results.
An influencer marketing campaign is only as good as its influencers, and more and more, there are a lot of influencers of varying and questionable quality.
Properly vetting and reaching out to influencers is an integral part of a campaign’s success planning — a process that’s oftentimes rushed by most brands and advertisers. It’s critical that brands work with influencers whose values and messaging are in line with brand ideals and whose core audience consists of the demographic that brands are looking to reach.
Brands also want to avoid partnering with influencers who don’t deliver or whose track record is unproven. Just as some influencers are better at editing than others, some influencers are better at connecting with audiences and effectively conveying messages that result in conversions than others.
Not all influencers are the same, and there are good and bad fits for every campaign.
When structuring influencer marketing campaigns, it’s key that brands and marketers reach out to someone with experience in influencer marketing who can help select and vet influencers to make sure they fit the campaign goals.
Influencer marketing agencies maintain relationships with influencers who have a proven history of effective campaigns. By using an agency, brands can access insight into influencers’ performance that’s more than vanity metric-deep.
Campaigns of all kinds run on deliverables. Influencer marketing campaigns are no different.
Whether brands are looking to review content before it’s posted, adjust messaging, fine-tune posting timelines and schedules, or ensure the proper video parameters for an Instagram post vs. TikTok video, it’s important that all influencer campaigns have clear and concrete deliverables.
Some influencer marketing campaigns are simple and include relatively few deliverables — perhaps a single Instagram post that includes a caption and hashtag. Other campaigns are more complex and naturally require more deliverables.
For campaigns that involve multiple posts across social channels, it’s crucial for brands to outline expectations and well-defined deliverables in an agreement or contract before commencing the campaign (see influencer marketing mistake No. 4 below).
Deliverables help brands measure campaign progress and success, and the ability to analyze those deliverables allows brands to adjust and optimize campaigns as they progress.
Influencer marketing agencies can help coordinate deliverables by working with brands and influencers to determine content strategy and structure campaigns around realistic and beneficial timelines. By structuring campaigns and adjusting them as deliverables and goals take shape, influencer marketing agencies optimize campaigns and help brands get the most out of their influencer marketing efforts.
Influencer agreements and contracts are some of the most important aspects of an influencer marketing campaign because they protect brands and influencers from potential missteps, mistakes, and failures.
Related to the issue of deliverables, influencer agreements and contracts make expectations clear upfront and mitigate confusion and miscommunication between brands and influencers. Contracts that are incomplete or are riddled with mistakes, oversight and loopholes threaten to hurt brands and turn campaigns into liabilities.
For example, contracts between influencers and brands that explicitly state the requirement of a Federal Trade Commission complaint disclosure on influencer-posted content eliminate confusion around the need for disclosures.
Additionally, brands should consult with social media influencers before recycling content intended for a specific audience and created for a specific campaign and/or social media channel.
Republishing or resharing content without permission and/or without giving credit to the social media star may at the very least adversely affect the company’s relationship with the digital influencer and at worst, tarnish the brand’s reputation amongst both influencers and audiences.
Contracts don’t have to be difficult, but they do have to be properly executed. Influencer marketing agencies are experts in dealing with contracts between influencers and brands and can ensure that a brand’s bases are covered.
Having planned and carried out dozens of influencer marketing campaigns with different goals, different influencers, different deliverables, and different end results, agencies have the requisite knowledge base to help brands create campaigns that are effective and are enforced and protected by contracts that outline expectations and provide guidance for disclosure compliance, messaging, brand association, and more.
To learn more about the most common influencer marketing mistakes including influencer outreach, overly controlling influencer creative, and a list of questions to vet potential influencer marketing partners, please check out our free webinar recording and 38-page presentation here: