With a market spend forecasted between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2020, influencer marketing is a steady trend with blooming growth. This trend constitutes a remarkable way to combine brand awareness and sales conversions in order to maximize ROI while not depleting the marketing budget. After many years of experience in the influencer marketing field, I’ve decided to list the top three mistakes I commonly see that brands should avoid before launching an influencer marketing campaign.
1. Only Checking Engagement Rate And Number Of Followers
When most brands search for influencers, it is common for them to check the number of followers and engagement rate. The engagement rate is a percentage that indicates the level of audience engagement of an influencer’s profile. The engagement rate formula can be easily calculated as shown below.
Instagram: [(Likes + Comments) / number of followers] * 100
YouTube: [(Thumbs up + Comments) / number of subscribers] * 100
TikTok: [(Hearts + Comments + Shares) / number of followers] * 100
Unfortunately, there is currently a vast number of inauthentic followers on social media. Some services even go as far as selling automatic likes and comments, which makes it fairly easy to fake the engagement of any account. For this reason, calculating the engagement rate is merely not enough anymore.
It is important to browse the influencer’s profile for quality of posted content and quality of comments. If the majority of the comments are emojis or generic comments, this may be a red flag indicating that the influencer purchased inauthentic comments. Ideally, an influencer’s posted content should have comments that are related to that specific post. An emoji or a “cool pic” comment is superficial and invaluable as an authentic comment. When analyzing the audience of an influencer, it is crucial to understand the authenticity of an influencer’s follower base.
2. Not Tracking Impact
If a digital marketing campaign is not tracked properly, it can practically be deemed useless. You should be able to tell where every cent came from, and how much was received in overall metrics and conversions.
It is also important to put a tracking system in place. This can be done by using custom links with UTM parameters and conversion pixels. This will enable you to track every action of the marketing campaign such as signups, generated leads or online orders.
It is advised to set up a conversion pixel and to provide each influencer with a specific tracking link. The tracking link will allow you to analyze the performance of each individual content creator and also calculate the ROI of every single activation.
3. Not Briefing Your Influencers Properly
One should never underestimate the importance of correctly briefing the influencer with information on the activation. A proper brief will save you time and money. Tasks and guidelines should always be clear to both parties in order to avoid miscommunication.
Always make certain that the influencer understands key points such as:
• What your product/service is about
• When they should post (exact timeframe)
• What hashtags they should be using
• Disclosure requirements for paid partnerships
The influencer should understand all aspects of the product or service that they will be promoting/endorsing. It is far easier to be clear with the content creator about specifics from the first base of communication. An example situation would be if you reached out to a vegan influencer and it was not made clear that the product you are trying to promote is not entirely vegan. That influencer would likely drop all interest in the activation. This would lead you back to square one and you would need to invest additional time into searching for new influencers.
Defining precise deadlines around when the influencer will post is also crucial to the activation. With several influencers working on an online activation, it would make sense for all of them to post within a decent timeframe of each other. When they post closely together, this helps the campaign gain momentum and evades delays in the campaign.
As a final note, it is vital that the influencer uses the specific hashtag provided by the company. They should also disclose the paid partnership since the FTC requires that content creators clearly inform their followers when a post is being promoted.
In conclusion, influencer marketing can be a great acquisition channel for your business, but it’s crucial to create a detailed analytical strategy. This includes a combination of finding the right influencers, properly briefing your selected influencers, and tracking the impact brought by the influencers to understand the ROI of the campaign. If you follow these tips, you can better optimize your marketing budget and reinvest part of the profit into another future influencer marketing campaign.