Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Work with Influencers

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Influencer marketing has reached new heights! Most of the top brands today use influencers to tell their stories in a compelling way far outweighing the performance of their traditional marketing ads, including TV, radio, and even Google. Why? Influencers often have millions of subscribers – think Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, a gaming influencer with a whopping 105 million YouTube subscribers, or one of the top influencer marketing agency James Charles with 18 million-plus followers on Instagram. Influencers also have an uncanny emotional connection to their audience having built followers on both their ability to be incredibly entertaining and maintain a degree of vulnerability.

Despite the fact that influencers have proven as a great marketing asset for brand growth, many companies continue to make major mistakes when it comes to influencer partnerships. By choosing the wrong influencers, failing to establish appropriate terms of collaboration, mispricing posts, and failing to consider outside help (i.e. social media agency), brands may fall short of realizing positive influencer marketing ROI.

Below, we highlight the biggest mistakes to avoid when trying to work with influencers:

1. Choosing the wrong terms:

There are many ways to work with influencers and oftentimes, brands tend to select the wrong type of collaboration terms. They choose to go the sponsored route when gifting may have been a more appropriate route considering the size of the company and the marketing budget. The sponsored route includes an offer to purchase an ad space from the influencer. On the other hand, gifting involves a review where the influencers are able to receive products they like in exchange for posting and tagging the brand. 

2. Picking the wrong influencers: 

The quantity of followers or subscribers is not always the best measure of the quality of influencer audience. Companies often choose influencers with large following instead of focusing on those who may be a better fit when it comes to targeting demographic. Influencers with a niche following may be a lot more desirable as they allow brands to address their specific audience. Those influencers often focus on one industry and excel in attracting particular types of viewers. 

3. Choosing the wrong posting time:

Positing times can significantly impact the impressions of the post. For example, for many influencers, their audience is the most active in the mornings or in afternoons. Posting between the time of 7AM to 9PM and after 5PM may sometimes double the amount of impressions an influencer receives on a given post. By providing specific time for posting as well as asking influencers when their audience is most active, we can ensure that the post receives the maximum amount of exposure. 

4. Lack of product photo clarity:

Some influencers tend to take photos with products often having low visibility. For example, the product can be too far away, or the focus may be on other branded items on the post. When this occurs, the messaging can become conflicting; the audience may focus on the wrong product and start asking the influencer questions about other items. In order to maximize exposure and provide clarity, brands should instruct influencers to stay away from branded clothing and/or other logos that may distract from the messaging. 

5. Missing Instastories:

Some brands don’t always offer call-to-action links when working with influencers. This is especially problematic when we want to measure conversion and influencer ROI. “Instastory swipe-ups” are an excellent way to provide a link to a landing page where the company can measure directly the response of the campaign, i.e. the interest of the influencer audience in the product. Failing to include swipe-ups as a part of the influencer campaign may signal a missed opportunity for brands to effectively measure the success and the ROI of a specific sponsored post. 

Depending on the size of the brand and the type of product, the general rule is that smaller brands and newer brands should opt for gifting or other types of non-sponsored collaborations. They should work with influencers with a smaller size of followers who are less demanding when it comes to collaboration terms and avoid those who only provide sponsored reviews. By working with niche influencers, brands are able to advertise directly to their target demographic and achieve a positive ROI.  

Written by Barbara McGee

Source: TG Daily – Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Work with Influencers

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