The following is a guest contributed post by Rohit Vashisht, President of Activate by Bloglovin’,
Influencer marketing is arguably the hottest new tactic in every advertiser’s tool kit. It’s a creative and innovative way for brands to engage current or potential new customers that expands beyond traditional print or digital advertisements. As brands are developing these influencer marketing campaigns, maybe for the first time, there are a few mistakes often made that can be the downfall of a successful campaign. Let’s take a look at these potential missteps and how they can be avoided.
Not having a clear measurable goal. As with any campaign in the marketing/advertising industry or otherwise, setting clear goals at the forefront is key to success. Are you looking for people to sign up for a service? Is ROI measured by clicks back to your website? Do you want customers to purchase a specific item? These are all important questions to ask prior to setting a goal for your overarching campaign. In addition, be sure you know how you’re measuring these goals. Link clicks, downloads, purchases – whatever the unit of measurement is, make sure it is clear for each campaign goal.
Failing to identify a target audience. Before kicking off an influencer marketing campaign, a key first step, in addition to seeing a measurable goal, is identifying a target audience. Knowing who your audience is will help inform which influencers are the best ones to engage for your campaign. Without this information, your campaign isn’t likely to yield the results you’re looking for, as you’ll be communicating the right message with the wrong people. Make sure to look beyond influencer’s reach number and dig deeper into her follower demographics for the right match. This brings us to the next pitfall related to reach.
Focusing on reach over engagement. Brands often lean towards big reach numbers due purely to the fact that it is a standard vernacular and readily available. However, the success and ROI of an influencer marketing campaign cannot only be measured by the total reach. Influencer marketing is all about creating engaging content that results in interactions – shares, comments, likes, mentions and of course clicks, and therefore should be measured by engagements rather than just impressions. In addition, an effective campaign should also be measured by content voice, quality and credibility.
Ignoring micro influencers. Most brands have an inclination to choose a well-know influencer to engage when putting together an influencer marketing campaign. While this may seem like a no-brainer to most marketing professionals, there’s a huge opportunity for brands to be successful when partnering with influencers who have a smaller, yet more engaged following. An influencer with a few thousand highly engaged followers can likely be just as effective, if not more, in reaching the end goal for an influencer marketing campaign. The key here is finding the right combination of micro influencers who can collectively drive ROI on marketing dollars.
Forgetting to build relationships with influencers. Though the focus is often solely on results when brands engage influencers to work on a marketing campaign, it’s crucial to remember that influencers are real people who lend their credibility and voice to a brand. It is important to build a strong, open and collaborative relationship with each influencer by providing feedback on their content, support with distribution and flexibility with their schedule. Advertisers sometimes lose out on the opportunity to develop this human connection by treating influencer engagements as transactions, similar to how they might with a more standard ad buy. Taking the time to cultivate a relationship results in a motivated influencer who buys into your vision and campaign, and has more to share with her followers.
Do we need a closure statement? Maybe a plug for solutions like us saying: As influencer marketing is going mainstream a few innovative solutions have come up that ensure ROI on such campaigns by plugging the gaps described above. It is now possible to access a pool of influencers targeted by your audience, platform and campaign goals. It pays to find and work with the right platform.