Influencer marketing became a $13.8 billion industry in 2021. This year, the market is projected to expand to a whopping $16.4 billion industry. That number is expanding so rapidly that if you want to compete successfully against other brands, you have to implement this kind of marketing. Otherwise, you simply aren’t going to stand out from the crowd.
Therefore, partnering with influencer content creators is a great way to grow your reach and engage new and existing audiences. Doing so can help your influencer marketing strategy reach the success of many other brands, some of whom reportedly earn $6.50 for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing.
It seems like a no-brainer. Yet, companies also lose millions of dollars every year due to bad campaigns and mistakes.
Not only do these negatively impact the net worth of a business and make it harder for you to manage affiliates, but they also damage the reputation and image of a brand, leading to long-term consequences.
Avoiding such mistakes in your influencer marketing strategy should be your priority. Below are some of the most common mistakes that businesses often make during campaigns:
Picking the wrong influencers
This is the most common mistake companies make when they decide to employ influencers for their marketing strategy.
This is because influencer marketing isn’t about employing the content creators with the most followers. Yes, reach is important. But there are other things that should matter more to you during your selection process.
According to one survey, the top factors influencing brands are:
- Quality content (81%)
- Target audience (78%)
- Engagement rate (73%)
- On-brand aesthetic (56%)
- Budget (50%)
Not only do A-list influencers cost more, they also interact less with their followers. This is simply because there are so many of them. A mid-level influencer, say someone with ten to eighty thousand followers, still has a lot of traffic coming to their blog or social media platforms. However, fewer followers mean they also have more time to answer questions and interact with their audience. This creates a better, more tailored experience for the potential customers who are being exposed to your brand.
Alongside this, a lot of followers won’t mean anything if you pick an influencer that has nothing to do with your brand. Context matters. If you are selling educational resources, a study YouTuber would be a better influencer than someone who analyses music videos.
If you don’t pick effectively, then your content won’t resonate with the audience you are targeting, regardless of how many followers that influencer has.
Only focusing on social media
Within the eCommerce world, there is a big emphasis on social media marketing and the trends that emerge each year.
The reason for this is obvious: Tiktok is set to exceed 1.5 billion users by the end of 2022, and Youtube videos are streamed 3.5 billion times a day. However, it would be a mistake to rely entirely on social media to be successful in your marketing campaign.
Alongside expanding to several different social media platforms – to target different demographics and niches – you should also consider inviting your influencers to promote your company in other ways, such as:
- A cold email, and the email marketing trends that can boost your campaign significantly.
- Video and auditory marketing. For instance, through podcasts, videos, and even in-person events such as conferences and pop-up events.
- Have your content creators promote your brand through their own blogs and websites, and on any other platform where they have a following, like on Twitch or Youtube.
- Ensure you and your influencer are familiar with different types of web services testing, as this can impact impressions from potential customers.
This will expand your reach and your range, improving your chances of making an impact on your target customer.
Not including a CTA
At its core, influencer marketing is about harnessing the power of audience-reaching individuals, to get them to help you achieve specific goals. This is why a CTA (call to action) is so vital.
The influencer's role is to raise awareness about your brand and to positively promote it within a community of people. But their job doesn’t end there. Your ambassadors need to push their audience towards doing whatever it is you’d like them to do, whether that is subscribing to a service or buying one of your products.
Adding an element of urgency (for instance, this deal ends tomorrow!) is a good way to propel potential customers into making that leap towards buying from you.
It is important, however, that you don’t script what your influencers are saying, as this can damage the credibility of the promotional message. Authenticity is important: let your influencers speak for themselves. Granting them creative license is far more likely to convince their audience. Automated affiliate marketing is a good way to structure your marketing campaigns. Use the power of content strategies like CTA to boost your chances of increasing brand awareness and sales.
Not including a call to action is a common mistake and one you should avoid if you actually want your prospective buyers to become loyal customers.
Forgetting your influencers after the campaign ends
This is a very common mistake and one that is often overlooked. Most brands finish a campaign, then cease all contact with the influencer they had hired to promote their product. Then, they struggle with how to find affiliates, thinking they have to change collaborators each time.
This is a mistake. Maintaining a relationship with your influencer is a solid strategy, especially if the promotional campaign was successful. If the two of you worked well in the past, it is likely that you would do so again. This would further foster credibility for your brand amongst those who follow your influencer. If the content creator didn’t convince their audience to buy from you the first time, the second promotional campaign might push them towards doing so.
Further, this would be less risky than trying to promote yourself with a new influencer that might be less effective. The tried and tested influencer is a safe bet, and the two of you can build a mutually-beneficial agreement in the long term.
It is no surprise, after all, that most marketers use the same content creators across different campaigns.
Spamming people with promotional products is a proven way of putting people off from purchasing your product or liking your brand.
Limit how much you ask your content creator to post about your product. This will make their promotion of your brand seem less of a forced, paid advertisement and more of a genuine appreciation of your business.
Schedule when and where you want promotional posts to be published. Keep in mind different time zones and the most effective times of day to post. Have the influencer vary between promotional posts about your product and other things. This will spread out the content more evenly, and across multiple platforms.
You don’t want people growing sick of hearing about your product, so a consistent but more mellow approach is often best.
Giving your influencer a bad brief
As aforementioned, you should allow your influencers enough creative license to ensure their promotional messages don’t feel forced and inauthentic. However, not giving your content creator enough information can also be detrimental, and is a common mistake to make when hiring influencers.
Make sure you are clear about the way in which you want them to advertise your product, on which platforms, and with what kind of content. Be clear about the aesthetics and morals of your business, and its overall mission, so they know what qualities to showcase.
If they are unfamiliar with the product, be sure to explain in detail everything they should know about it. In this way, they can focus on its best features when they promote it.
Be careful about over-briefing though, as this too is a mistake. You don’t want to limit the creativity of your influencers. After all, they know their job best. It could also lead to some content creators rejecting your offer to collaborate, weary as they may be of too many terms and conditions.
Forgetting your fans
One mistake you should never make is disregarding your existing fans. The people who love your brand and already advocate for it on a day-to-day basis. Word of mouth in the marketing world is power, and these people create user-generated content that drives traffic to your business.
Interacting with your fans is one of the important elements in having high-quality branding, for instance asking them to post pictures of themselves with your product in strange places, is a great way to advertise your business.
These people are also great to reach out to. They are likely to be on board with collaborating with you. It doesn't matter if they don’t have huge amounts of followers - micro-influencers (with as low as 1000 followers) can be just as effective as A-list content creators. In fact, in 2022, micro-influencers had the highest post engagement rates on Instagram (3.86%), Youtube (1.63%), and Tiktok (17.96%).
Encourage your fans to share their experiences of your brand. One way to incentivize them to do so is by offering free products for them to review on social media.
The power behind this approach is the fact that this kind of advertising will feel authentic because the people doing the promotions are genuine fans of your brand. You might even find you prefer this approach. One survey discovered that 77% of brands preferred working with micro-influencers.
Only looking at sales
There is more to influencer marketing than generating sales. In fact, 38.5% of brands see conversions as the most important determiner of success during a campaign. Yet, success isn’t just about how many products are bought at the end of the campaign, or how many people subscribed to your service.
Influencer marketing also increases brand awareness, which can have huge long-term benefits. In fact, the top three goals for brands utilizing influencers as part of their marketing campaigns was:
- Brand awareness (85%)
- Reaching new audiences (71%)
- Generating sales (64%)
It might be that in the short-term, a campaign doesn’t result in a lot of sales (particularly if your product is expensive and not an impulse buy). But in the long run, exposure can contribute to better awareness amongst your target buyers, leading to increased purchases down the line.
Think about website traffic, impressions, and the followers you gain on social media during an influencer marketing campaign. Domains are also important, and global domains international can show you the available extensions.
All of these are good signs. Just focusing on sales, and using them to determine the success of a promotional campaign, is a mistake you should avoid committing.
In 2019, more than 240 new influencer marketing agencies were established, in response to the growing demand and effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns. It is clear, then, that employing content creators to promote your service or product is a form of marketing that you should be including in your strategy for 2022. If you haven’t already.
There are plenty of ways to do this, and even more ways you might go wrong, but the above mistakes should offer some warning of the errors that many companies have, and continue to make, every year, costing them millions of dollars.