The rapid rise of social media as a marketing tool over the past decade has opened as many doors businesses as it has for influencers to market those businesses. But with these new territories can come mistakes, and while a successful influencer marketing campaign can work wonders, a poorly ran one could damage your brand.
Writing for Entrepreneur, founder of invoicing company Due and online marketing guru John Rampton explained some of the common mistakes he sees businesses and startups making when it comes to influencer marketing.
Rampton also discussed the potential benefits of influencer marketing if used correctly, saying 94% of marketers who use the technique believe it’s effective. Meanwhile, Rampton says 74% of purchases are made via word-of-mouth recommendations, and this plays into the world of a social media influencer.
So if you’re wanting to get it right before spruiking your brand through an Instagram celebrity, make sure you don’t commit these five sins.
1. Picking the wrong channel
“Influencer marketing is not equally effective across all brand channels. Effectiveness will vary by channel depending on your customer focus (business-to-business or business-to-consumer) and your target audience,” Rampton says.
Rampton advises businesses to consider their target audience before pursuing an influencer marketing campaign on a certain channel, noting how a platform like Instagram may suit millennials and younger customers, whereas Gen X customers may prefer LinkedIn and Facebook.
2. Expecting results instantly
Unless your influencer campaign is particularly successful, Rampton says you shouldn’t expect all your results to come in instantly, especially for companies selling services rather than products.
“Effective influencer marketing campaigns usually help to increase brand awareness. Once a prospect is aware of your brand, they still need to move down the marketing funnel to the consideration and decision stages before making a purchase,” he says.
3. Being put off by one failure
“No reasonable marketer would abandon email marketing just because one email marketing campaign was not successful. Similarly, marketers never consider abandoning influencer marketing just because one campaign was not successful,” says Rampton.
“Try to learn why the campaign failed so that you and your team can implement what you learned the next time you launch an influencer marketing campaign. Learning from failure is key to marketing success.”
4. Forgetting to consider your call to action
A strong online marketing campaign will include some sort of call to action to encourage viewers to purchase, download, or install your product. Rampton says this mainstay of online marketing should still apply to influencer campaigns, and businesses need to think carefully about what the call to action should be.
“Thinking carefully about the call to action associated with an influencer marketing campaign and ensuring it is optimised for your target audience are keys to finding success with influencer marketing,” he says.
“If you are planning to drive website visitors via influencer marketing, be sure to build a webpage that will allow visitors to take the next action as easily as possible.”
5. Not explaining your campaign to the influencer
“Whenever working with influencers, it is important to make expectations crystal clear. Influencers should be given a brief that includes the goal of the campaign and how performance will be measured,” Rampton says.
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“In order to help influencers be more successful, you should include the marketing persona information you and your team have collected, as well as any analytics information that your team has found valuable when marketing to the target audience.”