Consumers are tired of paid advertising. We know this because you know this. Companies whose software block “annoying” ads online are flourishing—Eyeo’s Adblock boasts 300 million downloads alone. You might have it installed right now.
This is why influencer marketing is so important. A potential customer can ignore a website pop-up, but they will pay attention to the right tweet or blog mention from the right person. It’s the same reason you might go to a movie or a restaurant that a friend raves about.
That doesn’t mean influencer marketing is quick or easy, though. Mistakes can happen.
Here are five common ones, and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: You’ve Got a Popular Influencer, But Not a Successful One
You’ve locked down someone who is very popular on social media. They have 250,000 followers on Twitter or Instagram. You pay them a tidy amount to mention your product to their fans. You set up a marketing strategy and track it in Agile CRM. Then…nothing happens. All those hundreds of thousands of followers, and few if any even bothered click the link to your product. It seems as though this has been a waste of both time and money. What went wrong?
Having a massive number of followers is not the same as engaging those followers. One recent Quintly study showed that Instagram posts suffered a 33 percent drop in interactions in one year. The solution for you and your marketing team is to focus not only on the number of followers an influencer has, but on their engagement rates as well.
Mistake #2: The Influencer Doesn’t Fit Your Brand
I’ve talked about finding the right influencers before, but the issue still comes up because it’s crucial. Don’t choose an influencer who shares nothing in common with your brand. Would you listen to someone famous for making burgers tell you which paint is right for your house? Of course not. Make sure your influencer aligns with your product. If they don’t, their followers won’t either.
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Mistake #3: Not Communicating With Your Influencer and Failing to Build a Relationship
It isn’t enough to throw money at an influencer and expect great results. You need to talk to them. You need to make sure that they’re on board with your marketing team. They should be someone you can build a relationship with—both in terms of being honest and managing expectations. Influencers are people, too, so be sure to treat them that way. They are not the same as an ad-buy. A certain level of trust is needed.
Mistake #4: You Have a Stranglehold on Creative Content
One of the reasons you hire an influencer to begin with is because they know their community. They know their message. Presumably, they know how to communicate with their followers. Don’t stifle that.
A perfect marketing plan has to accommodate the strengths of the influencer, not get in the way. The method of the message is far less important than ensuring your product gets noticed by the target community. If that means your influencer’s idea is to create a silly meme for your product, for example, give it a shot. You never know, it could go viral.
Mistake #5: Expecting the Wrong Results
Influencer marketing isn’t a magic bullet, though it can happen. Awareness of your product and brand—which is what your influencer is hired to increase—won’t immediately translate into sales. What it does is set people on the path to becoming customers.
The ideal result of an effective influencer campaign is multifold. You want eyes on your product and your brand. You want positive word of mouth. You want buzz and recognition. You want people to need what you’re selling—but that doesn’t always happen overnight. Manage your expectations.
A successful business knows how to take advantage of the latest marketing techniques while avoiding the pitfalls that doom others. Their pain for your gain. Learn to work with influencers, find the right one for your brand, give them the freedom they need and watch as your product becomes a hot commodity.