Brands are making these 5 mistakes EVERY DAY when working with influencers, and it’s costing them money!
Today, we’re covering what those influencer marketing mistakes are and how to avoid them.
Wasting no time, we’re going to dive into the first mistake business owners make when partnering with influencers:
Top 5 Influencer Marketing Mistakes & How To Avoid Them
1. They pick influencers strictly based on followers.
While followers should play some role in your decision-making, it shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on when picking an influencer to partner with.
People can, and do, buy fake followers, unfortunately.
So if you partner with someone because they have 500,000 followers…
…but it turns out 400,000 of them are fake, you not only probably over-paid for that partnership, but you’re also not going to get the results you want.
What you need to do is look at their engagement rate in comparison to their followers.
In this post, we break down what is considered a good engagement rate for different follower counts.
An engagement rate is a metric that tells you how active your audience is.
In general, an engagement rate is calculated by taking the account’s total engagement…
…dividing it by the total number of followers, and then multiplying it by 100 to get a percentage.
Now total engagement, meaning all the likes, comments, and shares an account has, might be a hard number to obtain.
So what a lot of people do is look at the engagement rate on the most recent posts…
…dividing how many likes and comments an individual post received by their total number of followers.
Now if you’re reading, thinking:
…“I don’t have time to run this equation on singular posts for every account I’m interested in partnering with…” you don’t have to!
Upfluence has a free Chrome extension that pulls those numbers for you.
And speaking of engagement rate, if you want to learn some tips on how to increase social media engagement, then check out this post next.
Now the engagement rate is not the only thing you should be analyzing about their audience.
The second biggest mistake we see brands make is…
2. They don’t verify the audience’s demographics.
You may find an influencer with a substantial amount of followers and a legitimate engagement rate to back it up…
…but do their followers fall within your target demographic?
What if you sell a product exclusively for men, and the influencer’s audience is predominantly women?
Or what if you provide a service for homeowners, and the majority of their influencer’s audience live in apartments?
Partnering with an influencer is only successful when their audience consists of people who would be interested in your product or service.
So you’ll need to ask the influencer questions about their audience before committing to a partnership.
How to reach out to influencers is another thing we cover in our influencer marketing strategy post, so better read that one next.
3. They don’t check the influencer’s experience or history.
Now let’s move on to the third one on our list of influencer marketing mistakes.
Just because someone has a large following…
…that doesn’t automatically mean that they’re experienced in doing partnerships OR that they do them correctly.
And by correctly, we mean legally.
Anytime an influencer posts a sponsored post, they’re supposed to acknowledge that it’s sponsored.
The FTC stands for Federal Trade Commission, and they…
… “work to stop deceptive ads, and their Endorsement Guides go into detail about how advertisers and endorsers can stay on the right side of the law.”
That’s straight from the FTC.gov website.
They have guidelines like this that tell influencers how to disclose paid content like putting:
…and audibly acknowledging it in videos as well.
So if you’re researching an influencer, looking at the partnerships they’ve done in the past…
…and you don’t see any language like that in their creative or captions that acknowledge it’s a partnership? Red flag.
We know some business owners actually like when creators don’t mention that it’s a sponsored post.
And that’s because they don’t want the followers to ignore it or scroll past it thinking it’s just another paid, inauthentic post.
But again, we have to advise against partnering with influencers who do that:
- because it’s illegal, and
- because the right audience isn’t going to care that it’s sponsored.
We talked about this in our influencer marketing strategy post…
…but the people that follow influencers do so because they like their content and trust their choices.
Followers get a front-row seat to whatever that influencer is sharing every day, oftentimes including the ins and outs of their daily lives.
So when they’ve built that kind of rapport with their audience, that audience is going to trust what they’re promoting even if it’s paid.
We actually follow a handful of influencers, and a lot of them say:
…“I wouldn’t promote this product if I didn’t really believe in it.” and a lot of us followers just take them at their word on that!
That’s because we trust them.
Plus, an influencer with a trusting audience is way more likely to drive sales for you anyway.
So don’t partner with an influencer who goes against FTC guidelines.
4. Forcefeeding the influencer exactly what to say.
A lot of business owners have some content marketing ideas in their heads of exactly how they want their company promoted.
And it’s good to have a clear goal of what you want to be said or accomplished, but you don’t want to hand the influencer a literal script to read.
It will feel inauthentic and the influencer’s followers will notice immediately.
Instead, we would let the influencer know the general selling points you want to be covered.
And then, let them create content in a way that’s natural for them to run by you.
They know what’s going to best resonate with their audience; you don’t want to squander that with your strict rules on what you think will work best.
So let the influencer have creative freedom, and just have them get the content approved by you before posting it.
5. Expecting huge results from working with an influencer once.
Last on our list of influencer marketing mistakes is all about results.
Oftentimes, business owners will approach the idea of working with influencers with the mindset of just trying to find an influencer who fits their criteria.
And if they do, they’d say, great, here make a post for us.
Then, when they’re not millionaires overnight, they’re unhappy with the results and avoid partnering with that influencer again.
Does that sound like something you’ve been guilty of?
When finding an influencer to partner with, yes, you want to find people who will meet your criteria…
…but you also want to think long-term and look for influencers you can see yourself partnering with again and again.
Now, of course, you want to ultimately let the data you collect from these partnerships guide your decisions as well.
Don’t keep partnering with an influencer if they never drive sales for you.
But don’t write an influencer off after only 1 or 2 posts.
If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you’ve seen us talk about the importance of retargeting.
In marketing, there’s a general rule of thumb, known as ‘The Seven Times Factor.’
It says that potential customers need to see an ad seven times or more before they buy.
Now it could be less or more depending on the nature and price point of your business.
But that’s the average, and the same holds true with influencer marketing.
It may take the influencer posting about you a few times before their audience starts purchasing from you.
So that’s why you want to partner with an influencer for more than one post, and try to create partnerships for the long-term, not just the short-term.
And that wraps up our 5 biggest influencer marketing mistakes brands make!
Learn more about Instagram influencer marketing in this post.
If you need help with your influencer marketing, then check out our social media marketing services today.