Recent research found that 75% of brands are using influencer marketing and of those that use it, almost half (43%) are planning to increase budgets in the next year. With more brands implementing influencer marketing, and those that are already using this strategy planning to increase their activity, the use of content creators in on the rise. However, when turning to influencer marketing for the first time, brands often tend to make a number of mistakes which can ultimately affect the success of the campaign.

This article will look at the top five mistakes made by brands when embarking on their first influencer marketing campaign.

Choosing quantity over quality

Influencers have two key commodities, their content and their reach. The first mistake often made by brands is the assumption that influencers with the largest followings will be the key to success. This, however, is not the case.

Firstly, micro influencers – those with smaller audiences – usually have better engagement rates. They have more time to reply to comments and build stronger relationships with their followers. By overlooking these smaller audiences, brands are dismissing the trusted recommendations these influencers can offer. Preoccupied with large followings, brands risk choosing individuals who are not relevant to the target audience of the campaign. It is essential for brands to work with influencers suited to the campaign’s message in order to produce authentic and targeted content. When brands work with influencers with large followings but don’t appeal to the specific demographic of customers, brands risk their message getting lost amongst the wrong audience.

Limiting the influencers creativity

Brands will often provide a set, specific brief to the campaign and, without realising, limit the creativity of the content produced. With so many influencer marketing campaigns being implemented, it is vital for campaigns to be bold, innovative and unique. It’s understandable that brands may wish to proceed with caution, creating a watertight brief that will deliver content that is exactly in-line with the guidelines of its brand and the campaign. However, in doing so they hinder the campaign’s creativity and remove the potential to be pleasantly surprised. When influencers are given the space to do what they do best, create out-of-the-box content, they produce a unique and different campaign that can potentially appeal to a wider audience and generate more engagement.

Using influencer marketing as a one-off win

With the recent success and increase in popularity of influencer marketing, it is common for brands to jump on the influencer bandwagon and create a one-off campaign to try out this relatively new form of marketing. A one-time only influencer marketing campaign is unlikely to be successful as an approach which integrates this tool into their entire marketing mix and implements influencers within their wider campaigns. Through ensuring long-term influencer marketing activity, brands ensure that they optimise their effectiveness of this method by creating a consistent theme within their marketing efforts.

Underestimating the power of influencer marketing

Despite influencer marketing being a hot topic of 2018, many brands are still underestimating its power and not realising the long-term effects that it can bring on marketing and ROI. Influencer marketing offers a humanised approach to the marketing mix and a way for brands to connect with its customers with a more personalised strategy. With this more personalised connection, they have the ability to raise awareness and drive purchase of a product or service, with the power of recommendation. For example, it was reported that more than half of young adults in Britain have made a purchase after seeing a product promoted by an influencer online.

With this in mind, it is essential that brands understand the impact that influencers and content creators can have on its target customers that will generate brand awareness and ROI in a more authentic and transparent way.

Limiting campaigns to social media

The final mistake that brands commonly make is assuming that the content created in their influencer marketing campaigns is strictly limited to social media. Images and media produced by the influencer and posted on their own channels drive awareness and engagement within the individuals’ community, and these assets can be used several times across influencer outlets. However, the content created can be used for much more than this. The quality of content now being produced by creators deserves to be shouted about and not left to the confines of social media. The content produced by influencer marketing campaigns can be amplified across many different mediums. Brands should be utilising these creative assets into wider campaigns and promoting this content on their own social media platforms, websites, advertising and more.

There are a number of aspects to consider and avoid for brands launching their very first influencer marketing campaigns, and a lot to acknowledge even for brands who have worked on a number of campaigns. By avoiding these common mistakes, brands can ensure that they optimise the engagement and effectiveness of their campaigns while providing authentic content to its relevant target audiences.

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