You’ve heard of influencer marketing. They have the audience and the content, and you’ve got the product, right? Well, there’s a lot more to it.
It’s been growing in popularity, too. In fact, 93% of marketers use influencer marketing for their campaigns, and you could be reaping the rewards of that with the right tools!
However, there are a lot of common mistakes that people make in the industry, and you don’t want to sell yourself short before you get started.
Let’s talk about some common influencer marketing mistakes to avoid so your business can thrive!
Common Influencer Marketing Mistakes: One & Done
One of the most common mistakes in the influencer marketing field is not making repeat campaigns. When you do this, you miss out on the opportunity to drive your brand into the heads of their audience.
If you can make a repeat deal (or a handful of them) that’s right for your company, you create an association between your brand and the audience’s favorite influencers.
This will also help you build relationships and trust with customers, but it will also ultimately help with engagement. Think about it. If you see an influencer post a product once, you might forget about it, but over time, you’ll see that product and think “oh yeah, so and so said that’s the best!”
This is beneficial to both the marketer and the influencer, and should definitely be discussed prior to an agreement. You hold the cards here, too. The influencer is going to want a predictable income.
Focusing Too Much On Follower Numbers
There’s no doubt that an influencer’s follower count is important, but it isn’t the only factor. How effective are they at marketing products? What are their conversion rates?
The other problem is that a lot of influencers have fake followers or followers they pay for. They could be a lot of “bot” accounts to boost their following, so it isn’t the most reliable figure. It’s only the one that stands out at first glance.
If you’re only focused on your number of followers, you won’t be as concerned with engagement rates. This is a huge mistake. You don’t want to waste your money making a campaign with an influencer who has 200,000 followers but little to no engagement with their posts.
Other marketers are aware of this, too. They know how important engagement rates are to any ad campaign, so don’t miss out on an opportunity just by the first number you see.
Not Having A Strategy
This may sound obvious, but it needs to be said.
While there is no one-size-fits-all influencer marketing guide, having a clear, written strategy is always the best way to create an effective marketing campaign. No matter what kind of business you’re running, this is always a good idea.
What does a strategy mean in this case? Well, it means going through the numbers for your budget and what you’re offered, and laying out a long-term plan for your campaign.
How many influencers do you want to make a deal with? How are you going to make sales? What do you want them to say? What is the minimum I’ll accept from an influencer? What should I look for in an influencer? These are only a few questions to be asking for the start.
What rates are you willing to pay, and what are you going to base them off? Do you want to pay a flat rate based on their following, or will it be based on audience engagement on your campaign?
Make sure you’re paying relatively standard rates so you don’t get ripped off. If your influencer has between 500-5,000 followers with good conversion rates, you could expect to pay between $125 and $150 for a single post. Prices will increase for videos.
If they have over 500,000 followers with similar conversion rates, then you should expect to pay at least $2,500 per post.
How often do you want them to post about your product? How many posts will be advertisements? You need to know how often you’ll be posting when the best times are to post for audience engagement, and how often you should post non-marketing content to avoid alienating your followers.
Knowing how often to post is kind of a fine line to walk on. Ideally, you want the influencer to post enough to stay relevant, but not enough to overwhelm their followers.
Sticking To One Influencer
Diversifying is the key to any proper marketing strategy. Your target audience can be as specific as possible, it doesn’t make a difference.
Not everybody in that target audience will be following the same people. If you want the most out of your campaign, use multiple influencers that have followings in that target audience.
If your target audience is broad, then this especially applies to you, as you need to reach as many people as possible.
Sticking To One Platform
Facebook and TikTok are the most downloaded apps in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to one or the other.
In fact, when it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram dominates the scene, with YouTube coming in second place.
Even if your product is creating short videos that you think would be perfect for TikTok, there’s a market for that on every other social media platform, as well. Some people, probably even some within your target audience, exclusively use Instagram or Twitter.
If your business sells services specific to Facebook, there’s no reason you can’t market that on another platform. Plenty of people have Facebook and use other platforms more, so find them where they are!
Diversifying is key, and the best part is that it’s easy to do! If you work with the right influencers, they’ve probably built up a following across multiple platforms.
It’s great to have one niche platform where you spend most of your campaign funds, but adding a little diversity is always helpful.
Keeping Up With Trends
Social media trends change all the time, and spreading your eggs into multiple baskets is the best way to take advantage of this. For example, if Instagram is having a huge boom for a couple of months, you can capitalize on this by bringing your attention there.
You want to go where there is growth. Facebook is enormous in scale, but TikTok isn’t far behind and is still growing rapidly. Right now, TikTok may be the platform that every influencer campaign needs, but you never know! That can change tomorrow!
People who use social media know the difference between an influencer campaign and a bot. Anyone these days can smell an ad campaign from a mile away, and that’s perfectly fine!
Whether an audience knows it’s an ad is irrelevant. It’s whether they trust the influencer pushing the ad onto them that matters for engagement. Look for influencers who communicate with their followers authentically, and engage with them directly.
Have them go through all the serious benefits of your product, and make sure they can pull it off genuinely.
If the influencer only posts ads and doesn’t communicate with the audience in any genuine way, this is likely an account with fake followers.
Not Understanding AANA Rules
The Australian Association of National Advertisers, AANA, is responsible for influencer marketing transactions, and they have some important policies to understand.
When creating contracts, building a campaign, and making payments, these guidelines need to be followed carefully.
You can get slapped with hefty fines, and most involve not disclosing advertiser relationships in posts. There have been multiple examples of AANA breaches, and you don’t want that reputational damage to your brand, let alone the fines!
Not Caring About Contracts
In the influencer marketing world, contracts come with the territory and they need to be taken seriously.
Make sure you are getting the right deals with your contracts. Influencers will typically have agents and lawyers to review and revise these contracts, so once you put up the first offer, be sure to review all revisions.
Make sure everything matches all verbal agreements, that you don’t find any hidden details, and that it’s the right fit for your campaign strategy before signing. Once you’re in, you’re in. Here are a few contracts you should be particularly concerned with.
Brand Services Agreements
This is the contract that will form the basis of your brand agreement with your clients and should be extensively scrutinized. Inside, you’ll find information about pay rates, commercial terms of the deal, campaign period, usage rights, expenses, and more.
This covers the legal terms for which party is responsible for what, when, and how compensation will take place, and who is liable if something goes wrong.
When you hear the word “contract”, this is the one you’re likely thinking of. Mistakes are easy to make here, but the biggest one is not reviewing it, piece by piece.
Snapchat tried to market on their rival platform, Instagram, with influencer Luka Sabbat, and they have to take a $200,000 write-off, and probably lost another $90,000 in reputation, along with a lot of legal fees for the dispute over their contract. These need to be tight!
Non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, are not specific to the influencer marketing industry by any means, but they are very big in the business world as a whole.
Depending on the nature of the ad campaign, your brand may need an NDA for information that may be sensitive to the company. Reasons for this will vary, but you might have a product coming out that you don’t want to be disclosed yet or something like that.
Compose these contracts carefully, and scrutinize any revisions. Make sure you know what information needs to be kept away from the public before drafting this.
Ethical Commitment Agreements
Ethical commitment agreements tend to be short-term contracts where influencers promise to follow certain ethical policies that a brand has in place.
These are mostly associated with larger brands, but if you’re trying to build a solid, ethical reputation for your company, these may be the way to go.
Data Protection Agreements
Since May of 2018, when the General Data Protection Regulations came into effect, more and more of these contracts have been arising, as data is becoming more valuable and critical to business.
In the influencer marketing industry, huge amounts of data are being shared at any given moment, and there is a lot of sensitive data being exchanged between influencers and clients. This is especially true when engagement statistics are being shared. These contracts should go both ways, making sure that any personal data (about followers or affiliates) that the influencer is giving your company also stays out of the wrong hands.
Like with most industries, staying up to date on social media news is absolutely crucial for any influencer. Make sure you know the latest updates on Instagram and how they will affect your campaigns.
This will automatically put you ahead of the competition that isn’t keeping up. The entire digital world changes all the time, and social media may be the best example of that. There are new updates, new standards, new platforms, and completely new challenges all the time, and you need to stay on top of them if you want to succeed.
Build Your Influence
Now that you know some of the most common influencer marketing mistakes, don’t fall victim to them. Having a clear strategy, choosing the right influencers, and getting outside help will put you on the right track.
Keep building up your brand, and check out some success stories of influencers who built theirs through the pandemic!