The Three Biggest Mistakes Brands Make in Influencer Marketing
1. Can We Get Kim Kardashian?
Many brands, finally won over by the success stories of influencer marketing, decide to dive in and go big. They start listing celebrities or top digital influencers they (or their children) love. But every time a client excitedly asks me “Can we get Kim Kardashian?” my response is always “Possibly, but is she the best voice for your message?”
Mistake: Putting the cart before the horse. Or, in millennial speak, the creator before the strategy. The idea of starting by selecting influencer names is the first common mistake across all sizes of brands. It’s like trying to cast a movie before it’s been written.
Solution: Start with strategy. I cannot emphasize that enough. You can go big and wild (and often you should), but you must start by doing the work and grounding yourself in strategy. Establish the key messages, target audiences, and goals of this phase of the campaign. This information will inform your Call to Action and your platform strategy… which then informs your influencer strategy, and who the right influencer partner will be for your brand.
2. Here Is The Script (And 800 Products For The Background)
Influencer marketing is not a commercial. If you are working with digital influencers, AKA creators, chances are, they have become famous for creating and performing their own content.
Mistake: People flock to the influencer’s channel because of their voice. Not yours (sorry). So, your script will likely feel out of place and simply annoy the audience. In addition, these creators are not actors – they are not accustomed to delivering someone else’s material. Their content and brand integration should feel natural, not forced or overburdened with products.
Solution: Let them create!If you have done your strategic planning correctly, then their audience aligns with a target market you are going after, and they have the right voice to communicate your messages. If that’s true, then all you need to do (I make it sound easy, but call me, because there are a number of steps that go into this) is to brief the influencers correctly on your key messages and goals, and let them create (or at least co-create) the content. They know their audience better, and will create compelling content that will be on-brand for them and for you – and that will be much more likely win over their audience.
3. The Influencer Posted, Our Work Here Is Done
Far from it. Social media has gone pay-for-play. Between algorithms, the alleged de-prioritizing of branded posts, and all the noise on social, many influencers find that only about 2% of their audience sees their posts organically (i.e., without paid amplification to boost views).
Mistake: Assuming the majority of an influencer’s followers will see their posts. And, not maximizing the potential Return on Investment of your influencer campaign.
Solution: Amplify all influencer content. You don’t buy a nice car to leave it in your garage (or, at least that wasn’t my plan pre-Covid). There are various ways to amplify influencer content, including boosting views on the influencer’s channel (i.e., paying to ensure more of their audience will see the post), sharing the post on the brand’s channels, boosting the post on the brand’s channels, and running a paid media campaign with the assets to reach an audience beyond those following the influencer’s and the brand’s channels.
If you spend a little more time up front on the strategy, and a little of your budget on the amplification of content, you are going to see a much stronger performance on your campaign. Every time. With or without Kim Kardashian.