As the debate between Influencer Marketing and Paid advertisements rages on, some marketers prefer to stay in the more conservative space of paid ads. The others, who have ventured out and dipped their toes into the pool of Influencer Marketing have experienced primarily two outcomes - one they have been met with overwhelming success and from that day forth, have included influencers as an essential part of their marketing mix. The second may have fallen short, leaving them to doubt the efficacy of Influencer Marketing.
But what the second set of marketers and brand managers need to realise is that Influencer Marketing when done right- conceptualised, planned, executed and monitored - can have phenomenally positive results. In fact, paid advertisements don’t stand a chance with influencer marketing garnering 16x times the engagement of a paid push. So why do some campaigns succeed while others flounder? Here are the four biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to Influencer Marketing:
Mistake 1: Identifying the Wrong Influencer
The core fault of this mistake is identifying what makes someone an influencer. Is it their large social following, the quality of their content or their willingness to work with brands?
Often, brands tend to be enamoured by 6 digit numbers equating them with influence. True influencers are the ones who have built their own authentic brand and have an engaged audience. It doesn’t matter if they have tens of thousands of followers or hundreds of thousands – when they make a recommendation, their followers sit up and take notice.
Mistake 2: Planning a One-off Influencer Engagement
When you plan an Influencer driven activity, it is important to have a sustained, long term approach in mind. The longer you engage and connect with influencers the better they will be able to understand and represent the essence of your brand. With a one-off engagement, you lose out on the chance to transform that influencer into a true brand advocate. Through a sustained approach, followers of the influencer will take more notice of your brand and will be more likely to trust you by proxy.
Mistake 3: Failing to Evolve
The year was 2012, you ran an extremely successful blogger contest and now, four years later you want to replicate the result- this is a sure-fire way to fail to meet your goals. As channels evolve and influencers expand their presence and reach, it is important that your campaigns evolve as well. It is vital to find a middle ground between tried and tested influencer channels like Facebook or Twitter and newer forms such as Snapchat or Instagram. It is also paramount to pick the channels according to your objectives and what will be more successful for your brand.
Mistake 4: Treating Influencers like Generic Paid Advertisements
Successful influencers are not mere mouth-pieces for brands. Most of them, in fact are now brands in of themselves. For them to transfer the trust they have won with followers to your brand, you need to allow them to tell your brand’s story or communicate your message in an authentic way. Posts that are purely promotional (if they agree to do it at all) will stand out like a sore thumb on their feeds and will not buy you any value with followers.
With Paid Advertisements floundering (Smart Insights puts the Click Through Rate (CTR) across all ad formats and placements Ad at just 0.17%) Influencer Marketing is a cost-effective way to tell your brand’s story or create awareness about your latest product or promotion. A golden rule to follow is that quality always triumphs over quantity but with a well-thought out, strategically planned campaign- quality can meet quantity to deliver real results.