With the increasing popularity of social media comes influencer marketing – a great hit among brands. Influencer marketing is the engagement of a well known online figure (eg: Instagram or Youtube celebrity/influencers) to endorse and share their opinions of a brand/product/services. Both large and small brands are all tapping on this marketing strategy that leverages on the immense reach of the social media space to increase brand awareness and online presence.
Like every form of marketing strategy, influencer marketing is only effective when done in the right way. In particular, it is important for brands to strike a balance between brand building and gaining consumers’ trust – creating content and engaging influencers that are genuine to the brand and audience. Here we are sharing some of the top mistakes that brands make when it comes to influencer marketing and how we can correct them effectively (and fast!).
Not knowing what to expect (unknown/ unrealistic KPIs)
Many brands and marketing managers face the same challenge when approaching influencer marketing – What to expect from an influencer campaign? How will it perform and on what metrics? What are the KPIs that i can set to justify my investment now?
The impact of influencer marketing may seem hard to comprehend and KPIs difficult to set but it really isn’t at all. For Instagram, given that it has still yet to implement links in caption or image, one of the key performance metric for influencer marketing is through the total engagement received. That means the total views (video), likes and comments received through IG stories or posts. These are the the best indication how campaign success and it measures the organic reach and receptiveness of the content posted.
By using analytics platform such as Popular Chips, brands are able to gain access to performances of influencers based on several metrics BEFORE the engagement and campaign. At the initial research stage, brands are already able to view key statistics (general/individual posts) such as interaction rate, average likes and comments of any particular influencer. Further in depth details of the influencers are also given – which type of style and content works best, what time is the best time to post etc. These information not only allows brands to choose the most performing influencer tailored for their campaign, they are also able to set realistic KPIs and improve ROIs.
Not doing your research on the influencers
Bigger isn’t always better. Brands should definitely look beyond just the size of followings to determine their choice of influencers for their marketing campaign. Although a large following may seem that your brand is able to reach more audience but how many of them are real followers and how many of them are your target audience?
Many brands tend to simply go for the largest or most popular influencer that currently know of, but that influencer may not be the best for for the brand. It is always important to look beyond this attractive number and evaluate influencers on other metrics such as fake/inactive followers rate, engagement rate, demographics (age, gender and country of origin) of followers and style of the influencer.
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In addition, a niche influencer with targeted followers would align more perfectly with a brand’s niche audience than any other celebrity. For example, a niche fitness Instagrammer (@jenniferbachdim) endorsing a healthy dining option would most likely have more engaged and interested followers response than just any other popular lifestyle Instagrammer/celebrity.
Not understanding your influencers’ audience
Each influencer is unique and so different influencers attract different users. The ultimate goal of all influencer marketing effort is reaching the end users but it seems that brands are facing challenges in understanding their influencers’ follower base.
As we mentioned above, more often than not, brands engage the popular influencers just for their seemingly larger reach but they may not truly understand their audience. In the end, many brands end up spending tons of marketing budget hiring large influencers that did not seem to perform up to their expectations and reasons being, they are not reaching the right audience (for example, many popular local influencers in Singapore actually do not have a high local following (20%-30%) but they are often engaged for local campaigns.)
Prior to selecting an influencer, it is important to find out if he/she has the correct target followers that your brand is looking for. Popular Chip’s search engine is able to work the other way round and allow brands to search for the most tailored influencer for their campaign based on their selected follower demographics.
Too much product branding
While some brands make the mistake of treating social media platform as just another advertising medium with their strategy focused on product shots after another, there are in fact numerous interesting ways that social media and influencer marketing can come into play to promote a brand’s product:
- Create a hype before the product launch with sneak peaks (through influencers’ IG stories etc)
- Influencers educating users on how to use the product through video tutorial etc
- Influencers performing a product review, sharing their thoughts and experiences
- Personalized promo codes for each influencers
- Influencers facilitate a product giveaway contests on IG, encourage followers to follow brand’s account/ comment/ or post a photo
- Creative product placement in IG posts or Youtube videos
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Example of influencer endorsing a product (@rudymancuso @mongabong)
As much as it is every brand’s intention to expose their products to the target audience, it has to be more than just introducing and push selling your product. Be it the official brand account or influencer engaged to endorse the product, users wants to see more than just product itself.
For social media, users are seeking genuine experience, visuals and interesting content from the accounts they follow. Brands need to find out what interests the followers the most and showcase the products WITH the influencers in the most captivating method. In essence, influencer marketing should be approached from a more personal sharing encounter that will make them and your content more influential and trusted on social media.
Not knowing how much or when to post
With the ease of posting on social media platforms like Instagram, it is not surprising that some brands end up going for being “spammy”. Brands should focus on using influencer marketing to build relationships through quality content and not spamming to simply remain active. While posting very frequently may allow your feed to appear active, it may not be what your followers want to see. In addition, with the new Instagram algorithm, it is not posting the most that keeps your relevant in your followers feed, but higher engagement posts that do so.
Brands should opt for quality over quantity, understand their audience and craft the most suited amount of content to be published on social media. The same goes for engaging influencers; spread out your marketing budget and engage more influencers to talk about your brand in different ways rather than having one influencer posting every day with your brand. (Think: instead of having 1 influencer to post 5 posts, brand can just opt for 3 influencers to each post 1) While having one brand ambassadors may be the strategy of some brands, influencer marketing would most likely perform better by providing a variety to remain fresh and reach out to more users.
Another common problem when it comes to social media strategy and influencer marketing is not knowing the time to post. Many people may take an intuitive approach when deciding on the best time to post a content, suggesting that Fridays and weekend nights are the timings where followers are most active. However, that may not be true at all (for most influencers!). Every influencer has a different mix of follower demographics and thus, varying timings where their followers are most active and engaged on social media. By using analytics platform such as Popular Chips, brands can get insights to the precise top performing timings to post for each influencer based on analysis of actual historical data.
Influencer marketing is definitely one of the most effective form of digital marketing but many brands are deterred because of the various unknowns and challenges. Here we listed out the top 5 mistakes that brands often make and the solutions that will allow brands to ace their next influencer marketing campaign!