Influencer marketing is one of the hottest digital marketing trend these days - who hasn’t heard of it? It is defined as a strategy of establishing relationships with influential people who can promote your brand’s products and services. Basically, it is all about connecting with the right people in order to get your message out there authentically.
In fact, influencers are more trusted than ads and considered more relatable than celebrity endorsements. When done right, influencer marketing has the power to reach niche audience and create a greater impact than traditional advertising methods.
Here are some statistics to catch your attention:
- 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing strategy.
- The influencer marketing industry could be worth $10 billion by 2020.
- 61% of consumers, aged 18 to 34, have at some point been swayed in their decision-making to buy by digital influencers.
But we see more and more companies not having the expected success. The reason many companies struggle with influencer marketing is not because the channel doesn’t work, but rather because their sponsored content is not thoughtfully planned, executed or authentically aligned with the target audience.
Here are the three most common mistakes that brands make while working with influencers and practical strategies to avoid them.
Poor planning of your marketing strategy
Why should you plan your influencer marketing campaign? It might be tempting to just get an influencer with a lot of followers on board and run with the campaign. as a result, companies end up with ineffective collaboration, waste of money and the backlash from customers. Making a solid plan will not only help you in hiring the right influencers but also calculate ROI and improve your future campaigns.
So, before you try to reach influencers answer the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the goal of your campaign and how many people do you want to reach? For example it could be increasing brand awareness, loyalty, revenue etc.
- What kind of incentives will you be using for driving conversion? Will you offer free samples or trials, discount codes etc.?
- What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) you will use to measure the results? For example views, shares, sales, click through rate, conversion rate, organic traffic etc.
- What is the budget and duration of the campaign?
Having these things addressed before you launch your influencer campaign will provide a solid foundation for a successful campaign.
Engaging with the wrong influencers
Picking the right influencer to work with is more than just the number of followers they have. Statistics show that 75% of brands think finding the right influencer is the hardest part of an influencer marketing campaign. It’s about common interests, demographics, market segments, and more abstract variables such as attitudes, self-image and expertise in a particular field.
So how do you engage with the right influencers? Affiliate and influencer coordinator Jana Krasna says “The biggest mistake is to do influencer marketing with only macro-influencers (more than 10K followers) that might have a lot of followers but they do not share any common values with the company”. In fact, micro-influencers overtakes top-tier talent, and 61% of consumers say they produce the most relatable content. Therefore, it is more important to reach out to the influencers that have less followers but with a genuine audience.
These days there are plenty of tools that would give you great insights about influencers and their followers. You can check their performance on Instagram via hypeauditor.com or mightyscout.com. Moreover, you can install socialbook.io for Youtube and similarweb.com – for blogs. These analysing tools will tell you where the followers are based, their age, if they are genuine etc.
Here is a great example of influencer marketing which is done by Organic basics (OB). OB is a sustainable clothing brand and, therefore, they will not reach an influencer who has a million followers but buys fast fashion.
Cold and aggressive outreach
Cold outreach is when you contact someone you don’t know. Generally, it is hard to convince someone to collaborate if you have never had any business with them before. Usually, influencers get a lot of cold emails and they are unlikely to help every brand.
Here is a typical mistake a company might do when contacting a lot of influencers at the same time.
This email is very general and the recipient probably has no interest in the topic. The likelihood of this email never getting a response is very high.
We have researched a few ways to add authentic personalisation that you can apply when contacting influencers.
- Personalise the message. Write their name in the message to make them feel that the communication is directed at them.
- Add a personal ending to an email. Write your name at the end of an email so that the respondent knows there is an individual on the other end.
- Praise their work. Everyone likes a compliment, so highlight what they are best at.
The second email focuses on the person reading it. It is short, polite and to the point.
These are simple things that are unfortunately often overlooked and could be detrimental to your success. Hire influencers who match your brand values, measure the results and understand that authentic personalisation is essential to building a powerful influencer marketing campaign.