Avoiding the pitfalls of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can get complicated very quickly if you don’t deploy proven best practices. It is for this reason that some marketers try influencer marketing once and swear never again.

But for those brands who nail the best practices processes, which often comes with devoting significant time and resources, influencer marketing has become a legacy advertising channel for their business.

To help you on your way, keep in mind the following recommendations:

Influencer audience verification is critical

If your marketing campaign is about reaching a specific audience, you must then analyse their followers to ensure influencers will hit your target market. You then need to evaluate their audience quality and compare that with the influencers cost. This will allow you to quantify the influencers rate card and hypothesis whether they are a commercially sound investment.

Lookout for artificial activity

Some influencers have been known to inflate their number of followers or the performance of the sponsored posts. So be diligent. Some red flags can include influencers with a large following but less content. Influencers will also generate varying levels of engagement across their posts, so what out for influencers recoring similar engagement totals on their content. Questionable followers is also a trigger. Click on two dozen random followers to view their accounts. If those accounts have very few followers, no posts or “non-human” profile pictures, they could be fake! Also a tell tale sign is reading influencer content comments. If a large proportion include repeated phrases, vague exclamations or replies in a foreign language, this could be a sign of purchased engagement.

Check Influencer channel aesthetics

You must spend time reviewing their content, engagement and brand aesthetic. Check their previous brand collaborations to gauge performance and follower comments, and compare these numbers against their stand content. And don’t be afraid to ask influencers ro share screengrabs of their social media story metrics. Making sure their open rates are high goes a long way to determining their value and follower interest.

Clearly define your business goals and marketing objectives

For your campaign influencers to truly reflect the needs and personality of your brand, they need to be well educated on your business and goals of the campaign. What is the company’s mission? What is the style or personality of your brand? And how or why should this resonate with your select influencer?

Work collaboratively

If you have carefully selected your influencers by following these processes, you must then trust in them to create content and communicate your message in their way. Content that is scripted will not do. Brands can provide message guidelines or directions, but let your influencers lead with ideas and creativity. They know what works best for their audience.

Implement tracking

Trackable links, promo codes, hashtags and bespoke offers can help monitor the KPIs of your campaign. Google Anlaytics can be linked to your campaigns, and dedicated landing pages will offer insights into different audience segments coming from influencer content. Influencer partners need to provide brands with admin authority to their accounts via appropriate social media APIs. This way you can track, learn and optimise your campaign investment.

Influencer agreements must be read and signed

Define the duration of the campaign and the dates content must be delivered and published. Document who owns the content once it is published, and who has usage rights. Spell out any message deliverables and the format it should be communicated. Outline a time period for exclusivity and whether competitors are excluded from partnering. Whether appropriate disclosures must be added to posts, and provisions surrounding account admin authority. Plus don’t forget your standard clauses such as indemnification, non-disparagement and termination cluses.