4 Reasons Your Next Influencer Marketing Campaign Will Fail
Let's get one thing out of the way — influencer marketing isn't new anymore. In fact, with brands big and small now leveraging influencers (i.e., audiences with audiences) to create authentic content that buyers crave, the focus turns to finding the right influencers to motivate your target customers.
And while that may be easier sad than done, it's key to ensuring a successful campaign. Whether it be whom you're choosing to work with, what you want to do or what audience you want to reach, there's virtually an endless amount of factors to take into consideration.
So before you start, it's crucial to examine each option to make sure you take your influencer campaign in the direction it needs to go. There are a lot of things that can go right, but there are also a lot of things that could very, very wrong.
Want proof? Here are four things that could sink your next influencer campaign:
1. Picking the wrong influencer: The right influencer isn't always the one who meets the eye. And don't get fooled by large numbers of followers or fans. Just because someone has a big audience doesn't always mean that they're the right person to advocate for your product.
In fact, the wrong influencer doesn't care about your product or service, they only care about the paycheck, which betrays the authentic bond they developed with their audience. When that happens, it's your brand that suffers the most.
"Your choice of influencer is going to make or break the way your brand is perceived," said Jamie Reardon, CEO of Find Your Influence, an influencer marketing platform that connects influencers and brands. "It's crucial that the person you work with aligns with what you're looking for. Spending time vetting your influencers to ensure their audience is your audience, and that they offer the third-party endorsement your brand needs is crucial."
So, how can you tell if you've found the right influencer? Find someone who's excited about your product, not just the money you're giving them to be excited. They should have a general interest in either the brand you're trying to sell or the message you're trying to send.
2. Inauthentic content: There's a difference between paying someone to say nice things about your brand and having him or her experience your brand. It's palpable.
The entire point of influencer marketing is authenticity — i.e., having the influencer advocate for your product in a genuine way. In order to achieve this connection with your brand and audience, you need to allow for some flexibility. This may be hard to do because it's your campaign, but these influencers have a following for a reason: they're good at what they do. If you allow them to use their own voice and make it their own, it's going to be way more effective and appealing to the audience than it would be if you were to set the criteria.
How can that work against you? Forcing an influencer to use the same canned content that doesn't reflect their true voice or opinions. Trust me, the audience will know the difference.
3. Doing it by yourself: Influencer marketing is a multistep, multitouch process. It includes finding someone who matches your audience demographic considerations, contacting them, discussing their potential interest, negotiating cost, building a marketing platform, and ending the campaign with a good relationship with the influencer.
It's a lot to do by yourself, and your day is already full enough. Fear not, there are a number of influencer marketing tools that can help shoulder some of the load. In fact, there are a couple of turnkey tools that can take the load completely off of your shoulders.
"These days, almost everyone claims to be an expert in influencer marketing, so it's important smart marketers are doing their research to find the right technology partners," Reardon said, noting that Find Your Influence's platform was the result of a collaborative effort led by marketers and technology strategists over a six-year period. "During your vetting process, it's essential that you find a balance with these companies, working with them to build connections for your platform and come up with ideas while still making the campaign yours.
"The best part? When you find the right company to collaborate with, your campaign can work seamlessly."
4. Not being able to measure your success: You've activated your influencer marketing campaign, found the right influencers and got the right context mix. You're anxious to take advantage of influencer marketing's vaunted six-and-a-half to one return on investment and show the C-suite how successful your campaign has been. But how?
Surely you remembered to build in an analytics platform to your campaign, one that tracks social shares and outreach and follows your content from influencer to platform to end user, and back again. And surely you've got a team dedicated to tracking each share to ensure your influencer team is fulfilling their contractual obligations. And I'm positive you've reviewed content and placement to ensure everything is running on message.
Again, if measurement isn't your strong suit, but you're still committed to demonstrating the efficacy of your influencer marketing campaign, ROI and analytics is something you can turn to your platform partner for.
It's true that influencer marketing is the next big thing for smart marketers, and it may very well be the next big thing for your brand. By paying attention to these four tips, you can make sure that your campaign is ready to succeed.
Megan Janetsky is public relations coordinator at Find Your Influencer. Megan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related story: How to Kick Off an Influencer Marketing Campaign