Influencer marketing is something brands everywhere are starting to invest in. Associating a business with a social media star can increase reach exponentially and help it reach its brand awareness goals. However, there are many pitfalls that brands can fall into when breaking into the world of influencer marketing.
If you’re considering the positive impact working with influencers can have on your business, learn about the common mistakes brands make with influencer marketing.
Working With the Wrong Influencers
Many brands think one influencer is just like the other, and it won’t matter who they partner with as long as they have a big following. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Influencers are all unique individuals with a distinct following from one another.
Most influencers have a niche that attracts a specific audience. Your brand can only benefit from finding an influencer with a similar target audience.
For example, if a brand sells trendy women’s clothing online, they will find little benefit from working with an influencer who appeals to teenage gamers. The people that follow specific influencers do so to see the content that influencer makes. As such, any ad should fit that influencer’s personal brand for the best results and so the influencer’s audience doesn’t feel the ad is highly out of place.
For that example, the brand is better off finding a fashion influencer to partner with. The audiences must align for the ads to appeal accurately.
Outlining Murky Goals
Influencer marketing is the shiny new form of digital marketing that brands are eager to tap into—but in all the excitement and glamour, it is easy to get lost. Outline your goals very clearly before approaching an influencer.
Lay out all your company’s goals for the campaign, then develop a solid plan for reaching those goals through your influencer marketing campaign. Inform the influencer you choose to work with of these goals and the plan you outlined to achieve them.
Listen to the influencers—they know their audience and they know social media. If they think your goals are unrealistic or your methods are unlikely to yield results, work with them to outline a new plan.
When goals are not clearly communicated within a company or even with the brand partner, it can lead to outlandish miscommunications and missed marks.
Even when a brand outlines its goals and communicates them clearly to its influencers of choice, they can still make mistakes. A notable perk of influencer marketing is the chance to build a lasting relationship with a person who mastered connecting with your target audience.
Once a campaign is complete, do not drop your influencer and cut off communications. Keep following them and pay attention to how their following grows and adapts. Watch how they continue to engage your potential customers.
Staying on good terms with the influencer is also in a company’s best interest if future collaboration opportunities arise. Build the relationship and nourish it. You can learn a lot about connecting with your customers through your influencer’s posts and interactions with their audience.
Forgetting a Morality Clause
It is no secret that influencers can often fly too close to the sun and crash and burn. Many influencers get too comfortable in their following and do or say things that clash with their audience’s morals. Even if the influencer a company chooses to work with is seemingly a great person all around, something from their past could resurface or they could go off the deep end.
Influencers are people, and people make mistakes. The issue is, if they make a huge mistake and your brand is associated with them, they could take your brand down with them.
Therefore, you should add a morality clause to all your influencer contracts to protect your brand if the influencer becomes involved in a significant controversy. Here are a few things to include in your morality clause.
- An outline of the type of content your brand can and cannot be associated with
- Vulgarity clause
- Outline if your band includes family members of the influencer in the clause (this is common due to the proximity of the members to the influencer and, thus, your brand)
- Outline the length of the relationship and when you will no longer uphold them to this clause
- Approval requirements
- An exclusion list (brands they cannot work with while working with your brand, i.e. competitors)
Tailor the morality clause you include in the contract to the needs of your company. Avoid entering into a contract with an influencer already in hot water or who has a history of bad press. However, even the influencers that never get bad press have the potential to fall out of favor with the masses quickly, making the morality clause essential to protect your brand’s image.
Offering Unrealistic Compensation
Most macro-influencers make the majority—if not the entirety—of their income, from brand partnerships and ad posts on social media. But many brands make the mistake of offering far too little compensation for influencer marketing partnerships.
Influencers often talk openly about brands offering them free products in exchange for posts, when they typically charge up to $30,000 for a post. As such, be cautious to outline your budget and target influencers that align with it.
If you don’t have tens of thousands of dollars in your influencer marketing budget, there are still options such as micro-influencers who tend to be significantly more affordable to work with. Avoid offending the influencers if they take the low-wage offering public and get your brand bad press.
The current rule of thumb for influencer compensation is about $10 per 1,000 followers the person has on the platform in question. For example, if a brand wanted an influencer to post five times over the course of a month and the influencer had 100,000 followers, the brand should offer somewhere around $5,000 for the partnership.
Influencer marketing is so new to many brands that mistakes are a guarantee—it is beneficial to minimize those blunders to avoid anything detrimental to your brand. The most common mistakes brands make with influencer marketing stem from a lack of information and research. Research which influencers make sense for your business and communicate clearly and consistently with them for the lowest chance of adverse experiences on both ends.