When it comes to influencer marketing, it can be tough to keep up with the trends. Rules and standards are constantly changing, and ‘industry norms’ hardly exist. For a brand, it can be hard to know the best practices to ensure your campaigns don’t fall flat. As an influencer marketing agency in Los Angeles, it’s our job to live and breathe creator culture. We keep a pulse on the biggest ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ we hear from our influencer partners, and guide our clients through the tricky nuances of the practice. With that said, many brands are still making big mistakes when it comes to their influencer marketing strategies. Here are the most common influencer marketing mistakes that we see brands making, and why we should let these practices stay in 2023.
Choosing an influencer purely based on follower count
Flashy follower counts may seem enticing, but don’t be fooled. The biggest rookie mistake we see brands make is shelling out their entire marketing budgets on just one influencer post with an influencer with millions of followers, only for the content to be lost in the noise of social media immediately. While of course follower count is important (it is, after all, a big part of what makes someone an ‘influencer’), it’s not everything. Oftentimes, it makes more sense to include micro to mid-tier influencer partnerships in your strategy, as these creators have spent lots of time building a loyal audience that trusts them and their recommendations.
When looking for influencers to partner with, some of the most important factors include their engagement, reach, and quality of their content and how well they align authentically with your brand. These days, the average social media consumer is very savvy to sponsored posts and PR packages. To really make the most out of your campaigns, it’s best if the influencers authentically like your products and brand. When the influencers you work with truly love your brand, it comes through in their content and makes for much more impactful campaigns.
Not providing your paid influencers with detailed content briefs
When working on paid campaigns, chances are you have a vision for how you want the influencer’s content to look. However, influencers can’t read your mind. To capture the content you’re looking for, it’s imperative that you clearly articulate your expectations to the creator and their team in a clear, detailed content brief. Things to include may be a general concept for the post, along with key messages for them to include, guidance on lighting and color schemes, and how you’d like them to use the product. It can also be a great idea to include links to other posts they’ve created that you like, for them to pull inspiration from and use as a reference point.
With this said, however, each creator has their own unique style. To best maximize the partnership, it’s key to give them enough creative freedom and input to make the post feel natural and authentic to them and their content. Otherwise, an overly-scripted sponsored post will likely not resonate with the creator’s audience and result in a negative perception of your brand and the content. With bigger partnerships, we always recommend the influencer marketing agency to present the creative brief on a call, to give the influencer an opportunity to chat through their ideas and ensure you’re both aligned on the vision before they get to work creating content.
Not continuing the relationship after the partnership is over
Influencer partnerships should never be a one-and-done deal. Many brands make the mistake of moving on to the next partnership without so much as a second glance to their previous partners. Successful influencer relations is a give and take, and a continuous relationship building exercise that cultivates community and brand loyalty. Therefore, be sure to spend the time to get to know your influencer partners, and engage with them long after the contract is over. Comment on their content, respond to their stories, and keep them in the loop with anything going on with your brand to build the relationship and show your appreciation and respect for their work.
At the end of the day, influencer relations requires a lot of attention, detail and precision. By partnering with the right influencer marketing agency, you can ensure that none of these influencer blunders happen in 2024. To learn more about mistakes in influencer marketing, click here.