In the age of social media, influencers are a powerful tool to improve your brand awareness and sales overall. The influencer and creator landscape, however, has changed drastically over the past few years with the evolution of platforms like TikTok. While many brands claim that influencers have made their businesses successful, others struggle to make conversions and see an ROI. How is this possible? At our influencer marketing agency, we’ve seen campaigns and strategies of all shapes and sizes. Here are a few of the most common mistakes we see our clients make when it comes to choosing influencers to promote their brand.
Focusing only on followers
The most common mistake brands make with influencers is only looking at follower count when evaluating if an influencer is a ‘good fit.’ When it comes to influencer campaigns, there are so many factors to consider to determine if a partnership makes sense, especially depending on your goals for a campaign. While influencers with millions of followers can still offer great campaigns, creators of this caliber are often very expensive to work with (we’re talking in the $100k+ range).
For most brands, it’s often more valuable to look at other metrics like engagement or reach to evaluate if an influencer could be a good partner. For example, if an influencer has 2 million followers, but averages 1,000 likes on their posts, that’s an engagement rate of .05% – meaning just .05% of their followers actually saw, resonated and engaged with their content. On the flip side, if you have an influencer with only 40,000 followers but averages 5,000 likes on their posts, that’s nearly 12.5% of their audience – therefore, a much better investment.
Forgetting to look at the creator’s audience
Another common mistake brands make when selecting influencers is forgetting to think about the creator’s audience, not just the creator themselves. Occasionally, there is a misalignment between an influencer’s content and identity, and who actually follows them – which can translate to less conversions if your brand is targeted toward the influencer, not the audience.
For example – let’s say you represent a women’s fashion brand, and you find an influencer who creates fashion content and does viral dances on TikTok with millions of followers. You partner with her, she creates and posts three GRWM videos of her styling your clothing, and the posts get lots of likes and comments – but no sales were made. What happened here? When taking a closer look, you notice most of the comments are from males commenting on her looks, or bots / fake followers – not your actual customer demographic. This is a scenario we see all the time – which means brands need to be extra careful in examining a creator’s actual audience to ensure that their audience aligns with who you’re trying to reach.
Not setting realistic expectations
We’ve all seen those videos of entrepreneurs or companies going viral overnight because of their influencer partnerships. We’ve seen the articles written about how influencers like Charli D’Amelio and Sommer Ray deliver huge conversions for clients. However, many of these stories are missing the full picture – social media at its core is unpredictable, and most of these ‘success stories’ took a lot of trial and error, huge budgets, or – got very lucky.
While influencer marketing is a great tactic to improve brand awareness, it’s not always an end-all-be-all solution for your sales strategy. As an influencer marketing agency, we always tell our clients that influencer partnerships build over time, and work as a steady strategy to improve awareness, generate content for your own socials, and bolster credibility. Setting realistic expectations and reasonable KPIs that align with your budget and capabilities is the best way to see success and refine your strategy over time.
Overall, influencer marketing strategies can be very effective in improving your brand’s public image and overall visibility on social media. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can optimize your strategies and ensure you maximize your ROI for your next influencer campaign. To learn more about the rise of influencers and tips from our influencer marketing agency, click here.