Influencer marketing is certainly a hot topic amongst retailers, with many seeing great results from their work with bloggers and social media personalities. Along with increased sales, influencer marketing is also an excellent way to raise brand awareness, or draw attention to a new product. It can grow your audience, in terms of website visitors, email newsletter subscribers or social media followers, benefitting your future marketing campaigns. Last but not least, your website can see increased referral traffic and enjoy the search engine benefits of increased inbound links.
However, there are just as many brands struggling to see a return from this tactic. To help ensure you’re not one of them, we’ve put together a shortlist of 5 of the most common mistakes that brands are making when working with influencers, and how you can avoid them in your next campaign…
Wanting something for nothing
The mistake: Don’t fall into the trap of assuming influencers would like to work for you for free. At the end of the day, the articles and content they create takes time and effort, and we all like to be rewarded for our work, right? With the popularity of influencer marketing growing, your offer needs to stand out over that of a competitor’s.
Get it right: Get the offer right for the influencer you’re contacting – if it’s their first brand collaboration they may be happy with a free event invite for example, whereas a high-profile fashion blogger is likely to want something more. When making contact, be sure to lead with what’s in it for them, rather than focusing on the benefits to you.
Equating ‘influencer’ with ‘blogger.’
The mistake: Yes, bloggers can be influencers. But so are vloggers, social media personalities and podcasters. Only considering bloggers will not only restrict your opportunities but could also not be the most suitable medium to reach the audience you want.
Get it right: The key is to understand where your audience spends their time online, and then find the influencers in that space. For many, fashion inspiration is found on Pinterest or Instagram, for example. Indeed, a social media collaboration can also be done with a lower budget, yet still reach a wide and engaged audience – so really can be win-win.
Not enforcing disclosure
The mistake: It’s a cliché, but honesty really is the best policy, and especially when it comes to disclosing sponsored content. We’d never recommend asking an influencer to hide the fact that you have paid for their promotion. Not only is it against advertising regulations, but if an audience finds out afterwards they are likely to feel deceived, and put off your brand.
Get it right: When you’ve chosen the right influencers who you know will present your products in the best light, disclosing sponsored content should never put off a reader. Their review or comments are just as authentic – and you won’t be stung with negative press for breaking advertising standards.
Not having a clear influencer marketing goal
The mistake: Influencer marketing is the same as any other marketing tactic – you need a clear goal to work towards, to get the most from your efforts. In this case, your goal will directly affect which influencers you should work with – a new store opening would suit local bloggers, while someone looking to boost online sales could look for nationwide influencers, for example.
Get it right: Once you’ve set some clear goals, you can build in the means to monitor your progress throughout, and after your campaign. This could involve creating voucher codes to review direct sales, or setting up social listening to monitor the perceptions about your brand. After all, it’s only by having clear metrics that you can judge and learn from the success of your campaign.
Getting your introduction wrong
The mistake: An influencer’s inbox is a busy place, and so you need to stand out for the right reasons. Sending standardised, impersonal introductions are unlikely to generate much interest from someone who potentially gets several similar requests every week.
Get it right: Spend a little time personalising your message. Address them by name and make it clear you’ve spent a little time on their blog or profile, getting to know who they are and why you think they’d enjoy working with your brand. Sure, it’s more time consuming than a generic message sent to 20 people, but it’s time well-spent if the majority agree to work with you.