The ‘Influencer’ – the word on everyone’s lips. Brands are diving into the world of influencer marketing, seemingly, more than ever this year. It’s a fantastic way to get your product or brand out there to wider audiences, and the way to reach those audiences is through someone they trust – the influencer themselves. It’s like a larger than life version of word of mouth marketing!
Yet, we’re still seeing brands get it wrong! Usually, these are rookie mistakes but they can jeopardise your campaign, the influencer and your own company in one fell swoop. Here are our top 3 mistakes to avoid when it comes to influencer marketing.
Do Your Research (And Don’t Base It On Follower Count!)
It is integral that you do your research to find and make contact with the right influencers. You’ll essentially be picking brand ambassadors for a campaign, so they will be the faces of your brand for the length of the campaign – and likely long after it! You’ll need to be looking out for influencers who share your brand values and beliefs alongside the appropriate behaviour that people expect of your brand. For example, it would be unwise to target the influencer who preaches about wellness and healthy eating for you to ask them to promote a double cheese, triple bacon burger with extra fried pickles… as good as that sounds, they won’t go for it because a) you’ve clearly ignored what they’re all about and b) what do they have to gain from it? Their audiences are loyal to them so will see right through it. Offer them up a new healthy eating subscription box? Bingo.
Also, don’t just base influence on social media follower numbers. As we know all too well, these numbers can be manipulated (for a price), so instead look for how involved in their community they are and how active their followers are.
Understand Their Audience
As we mentioned above, an influencer’s audience is usually loyal to them and, more often than not, have the same interests, beliefs, and values. They’ll quickly spot if something seems a bit odd about a sponsored ad and will probably see right through it. After all, the audience consists of the people you actually want to reach and to engage with you, so you kinda need them on your side.
Fashion Nova is a great example of this – they built their entire brand on social media and influencers, picking up 6.9 million Instagram followers along the way and celebrity endorsers, like the Queen of influencer marketing, Kylie Jenner. They noticed a trend in ‘outfit of the day’ posts and the comments asking about the clothes that were being worn. People were no longer looking at the runways for fashion inspiration but to social media. Using a handpicked selection of influencers who already encompassed the brand’s provocative style, they appealed to those audiences, usually females between the ages of 15 – 25, with their high-fashion, low-price aesthetics, leading to a growth of over 600 employees over a few years and a healthy annual turnover.
It is important to distinguish the relationship when working with influencers – not only is it the law but it just means that people will retain their trust in you and them. Skirt around it, and you can find your reputation damaged when their followers find out. It just comes off as shady! Think about it this way – without disclosing that it’s an ad, you are telling someone to buy something just because you got paid to – doesn’t sound too glam, right? There are many influencers who are great at sticking to the rules, using image tagging and hashtags such as #spon, #ad etc. to disclose the relationship.
Avoid these common mistakes and influencer marketing can be a real treat, not just for you but with the influencers themselves too! A healthy working relationship is a key to influencer marketing online so keep up regular correspondence and engagement with them on sponsored posts.