Influencer Marketing is the fastest and hottest form of marketing today which makes it more important than ever to avoid Influencer Marketing mistakes. By partnering with popular and engaging influencers, a brand can quickly grow its online presence and boost sales. While it seems easy in theory, it can be a real puzzle to piece together correctly. Influencer Marketing is a total hit or miss, with potentially more misses than hits.
While no one wants to make Influencer Marketing mistakes and everyone is hoping to launch the greatest, award-winning campaign, forgetting to strategically dot cross your t’s and dot your i’s can prove to be a big disadvantage toward winning your award and achieving your campaign goals.
10 Influencer Marketing Tips to Avoid
There is no absolute rule in Influencer Marketing. Since it is done online, there is almost no restriction as to what tactic one can implement. Nonetheless, it pays to be cautious. Influencer Marketing is still a new field, but many tactics are already proven not to work. Beware of these 10 Influencer Marketing mistakes.
1. Hiding the Product
Sometimes, marketers fail to realize that they focus too much on the brand or the influencer. One must not forget that the true star of Influencer Marketing is the product. While influencers and brand campaigns help convince consumers to buy, the product itself must look appealing. Otherwise, only the marketing ad would get high engagement, but the corresponding sales rates would remain low. The consumers would just be entertained by the ad and might not become set on purchasing the product.
2. Projecting Unrealistic Marketing
Although some Influencer Marketing tactics rely on creating a fantasy or vision for a product, going overboard is not ideal. The use of excessive descriptions and questionable visual effects will only confuse consumers. This kind of approach will also taint the image of brands. Brands should know the fine line that divides marketing from being honest and authentic to salesy and misleading.
Brands can provide disclaimers at the end of marketing campaigns. Disclosing the product’s ingredients, specs, and other technical aspects can help bring back the sense of realism to the advertisement.
3. Lining Up Mismatched Influencers
Times are definitely changing. Influencer Marketing used to be focused on the number of followers. However, we’re here to tell you that brands should stop looking at the influencers’ numbers. Why? Influencer Marketing is more than just the following. In choosing with whom to partner, business owners must consider if their brand and products are compatible with the influencer’s image. For example, it may not be wise to partner with gaming influencers if one wishes to endorse living room decor. Regardless of the gaming influencers’ following, there is a high likelihood that only a tiny fraction of their audience would be interested in making a purchase.
Whether you’re a small business or large corporation, you want the right influencers representing the brand who align with the product, service, and image. If you’re a small business candlemaker that provides a wholesome product, you’ll want to stay on-brand and work with influencers who have a wholesome image. If you’re a large corporation that is slightly edgy, then you’ll want to find influencers who have an edge to their look and feel on social media. Find influencers who have the same vibe as the brand to make the content authentic and genuine. Let’s face it, genuine content results in higher engagement.
4. Lacking in Transparency
Consumers are not huge fans of influencers who do not disclose sponsorships. Over the years, many influencers have been for this. If one would think about it deeply, not disclosing sponsorships opens the likelihood of lying. Many consumers feel comfortable knowing that their favorite influencers are paid to feature brands and still make honest opinions. For brand owners, this should not be concerning. According to a Harvard Business Review survey, there is almost no change in marketing behavior when influencers disclose their sponsorships. Also, let’s face it, it’s a huge FTC no-no if you don’t disclose partnerships. Brands and influencers can get into some serious trouble if FTC-compliance isn’t met on social shares.
5. Launching Rushed Campaigns
Good things come to those who wait. This famous quote applies perfectly to Influencer Marketing campaigns. Over the years, consumers have become more particular with products and services they see online. After viewing the campaign, many of them conduct background research or consult their peers before deciding to purchase. To help convince consumers that they are making a good purchase, marketers should put depth and context to advertisements. Unfortunately, good Influencer Marketing ads do not just happen. While it is wise to set a deadline, never rush a campaign. The consumers will notice. Also, the content might come off as rushed and not authentic.
6. Limiting Platforms
Many brand owners underestimate the power of online diversification. Although maintaining one digital platform is already challenging and time-consuming, opening other accounts that are compatible with the brand will be helpful. Facebook may be the biggest social media platform, but there are also other places to thrive. Branching out to other social media platforms is a wise tactic to expand brand visibility.
7. Micromanaging Influencers
Partnering with an influencer should be a dynamic relationship. Forcing strict instructions onto influencers is not ideal. It is best if brand owners allow influencers to have creative liberty to some extent. After all, influencers know their market/followers/readers and are committed to producing content consistent with their brand. Maintaining this kind of relationship is beneficial for brands in the long run. If influencers become more comfortable working with a particular brand, they tend to create more meaningful and engaging content.
8. Having Poor Post-Campaign Relations
This mistake is connected with the previous point. Brand owners should build good and lasting relationships with influencers, consumers, and other stakeholders in the market. Having one-shot campaigns that end in bitter resolutions will create negative consequences for the brand. As soon as the news spreads out, the brand will develop a negative image. Consequently, this image will discourage other influencers from engaging with the brand. To make matters worse, consumers might be turned off by the brand’s behavior and boycott its products and services.
9. Sacrificing Authenticity Over Marketability
Since it is extremely easy to destroy a reputation on the internet, every Influencer Marketing campaign should be truthful. Brands must build a market based on authenticity and candidness. Otherwise, one’s brand will be distrusted and abandoned. Just like a broken mirror, a shattered reputation will never be the same even if reassembled. Besides, brand honesty is a strong selling point for modern-day buyers. According to the BBS Communications Group, brand honesty is the number one trait that millennials consider in making purchase decisions.
10. Ignoring Legal Regulations
As years pass by, influencer marketing is slowly being subjected to legal regulations. Ignoring marketing laws is not wise because a brand might face severe consequences in the future. One of the most important rules that marketers and brands should look out for is the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This guide expresses how endorsements should reflect the endorsers’ honest opinions, beliefs, and experiences.
Wrap It All Up
Influencer Marketing is as tricky as conventional marketing, if not more challenging. At any time, marketers, influencers, and brand owners make mistakes that could upset the market. While it is inevitable not to commit a few of the said Influencer Marketing mistakes, brands and influencers alike must express a willingness to learn and correct themselves in the future. No brand or influencer is perfect. However, reviving one’s online reputation might be more complicated than building it in the first place. As much as possible, brands and influencers must watch their acts and always choose to be transparent. Remember to avoid these Influencer Marketing mistakes:
- Hiding the Products
- Projecting Unrealistic Marketing
- Lining Up Mismatched Influencers
- Lacking in Transparency
- Launching Rushed Campaigns
- Limiting Platforms
- Micromanaging Influencers
- Having Poor Post-Campaign Relations
- Sacrificing Authenticity Over Marketability
- Ignoring Legal Regulations
What Influencer Marketing mistakes have you encountered recently? How did you overcome them?