Traditional media platforms are gradually losing their appeal in this increasingly tech-savvy generation. This has compelled the advertisers to move away from platforms like television and print media and explore the benefits of marketing and advertising on online platforms (like Upfluence, AspireIQ, Advowire, Klear, Facebook, Instagram and various others). And one of the best ways to reach out to a wide audience base through such platforms is influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is rapidly becoming one of the most effective and highly favoured marketing strategies among high achieving marketers. And if done right, this type of marketing campaigns can deliver 9.2x returns on revenue over your advertising budget. As per a report by Mediakix, the market-spend of influencer marketing is estimated to observe a massive growth of about $5 billion to $10 billion by 2020.
Not just that, even students are the most effected audience with influence marketing. Be it their assignments like Siemens case study solution, they tend to opt for visuals and tutors explaining it all on any social media platform.
But what exactly does the term Influencer Marketing mean?
In simpler terms, influencer marketing is basically the strategy of establishing a relationship with celebrities and influential people to expand and amplify the visibility of a brand’s products and services.
Influencer marketing already holds a $1 billion industry on Instagram alone. From Walmart’s social good campaign to Coachella (as well as the brands partnering with influencers on Facebook Live), advertisers from all corners of the world are using influencer marketing to spread the word about their products, events, promotions, brand value and such others.
Once a brand partners with an influencer for product placements, sponsorships, endorsements, collaborations and giveaways, it can reach a much wider audience base and hence fetch high ROI. The Neilson report shows the almost 84% of the global consumers take action based on recommendations and reviews from trusted sources. And the reason behind this is quite simple; even in this era of digital marketing, consumers tend to trust word-of-mouth much more than digital advertisements. While a mere 1% of millennials show trust in brand-related ads, about 70% of them are influenced by recommendations from other users.
However, influencer marketing can be disastrous for your brand and budget (and for the influencer as well) if you don’t do it right. Influencers will only be effective for your campaign if the consumers and audience trust them. And it just takes one bad campaign for that trust to evaporate into thin air.
Avoid these top-three influencer marketing mistakes to stay ahead of the game
Getting your influencer marketing right from the beginning itself is no walk in the park. Also, since the concept of social media is still quite young (Instagram is just 9 years old) marketers are not aware of the common pitfalls, and this often makes their influencer campaigns go haywire.
To avoid making costly mistakes, build high performing cost-effective campaigns and reach your desired goals, watch out for these three major pitfalls, before you set up your influencer campaign.
- Poor Planning or not having clearly defined goals
You must have heard of the old saying; “Failure to plan is a plan to fail” and that is especially true in case of this type influencer marketing campaigns. Well-defined goals are a vital part of every marketing campaign, and influencer marketing is no exception.
Clearly defined campaign goals will help you tailor your marketing efforts and stay informed about the next steps and variables which involve: determining the best type of tactic (review, utilizing specific influencers with specific audience demographics), method of brand interaction (brand website product link, brand social account,), advertising channel and media content (Instagram Story, Instagram post, Snapchat Story, YouTube video, etc.) and much more.
Try to find answers to these questions to head start your campaign with clearly set goals:
- Who are the people do you want to reach with your campaign?
- What method(s) will you use to reach your target consumers?
- What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? (Conversion rate, revenue, number of people reached, organic traffic click-through rates, cost per lead)
- How long is the campaign supposed to last?
If you want to leverage your influencers to make the most out of a product launch, planning the different tactics will be essential. Without clear goals from the very beginning of the campaign, your brands might end up wasting time, effort, and cost planning. You will eventually carry out the wrong strategies, which will result in underperforming campaigns.
Engaging with wrong influencers
How can you engage with the right influencers that will suit your company’s needs as opposed to wrong ones? Britt Michaelian, the digital marketing expert, recommends adopting a screening process similar to that you would apply while hiring new employees. According to him, “Marketers need to invest in conducting thorough background research. Screen for online reputation. Does the influencer have a history of bashing brands online? Do they respond in a timely manner to phone calls and emails? The influencers you hire will be representing your brand, so choose wisely.”
As per a social media analytics company PeerIndex, influencers are generally of two types; connectors and specialists. Connectors refer to those people who have a large number of followers on their social media platforms. They are also very active in their media platforms and are able to provide a wide outreach. On the other hand, specialists have a smaller network but focus on specific areas (ranging from photography, fashion to technology) in their social media platforms.
To figure out the right influencer, primarily you have to decide on your ideal customer base. If you are a kids toy manufacturer in Atlanta and want to target the mother’s living in that state, opting for a specialist can be an excellent choice to advocate and promote your business. If you are a jewelry shop owner want to distribute your product to a global audience, a connector will be able to help you much more than a specialist.
However, if the manual process of searching for the right influencer seems to be overwhelming, you can opt for automating the process with an intelligence platform like Insightpool. This tool analyses 400 million people and 65 dimensions of compatibility across thousand of variables to predict the right people to connect with.
- Overestimating the influencer’s audience
One of the biggest and easiest mistakes brands commit is overestimating the potential of influence a campaign partner has. The effectiveness of your product, service or messaging strategy won’t matter in the long run, if the influencer endorsing your brand doesn’t have the right-sized audience.
Wondering what the ideal audience size of a potential partner should be? In case, you are a newbie and do not have previous experience of running influencer marketing campaign before, you should keep above-mentioned things in mind.
As a rule of thumb, 2% click-through rates and 2.5% conversation rates are considered to be a standard scale for an influencer or celebrity endorsement. It might be a little more in case you get lucky. But anything below this scale means your brand is not getting enough ROI and there’s a risk of losing money on the campaign.
Keeping these figures in mind, you must also remember that an influencer who has a large audience base of 40,000 followers might still fail to fetch you great results. To maximize ROI with your campaigns, it is essential to check the engagement rate of your influencer’s audience base. Otherwise, you might end up spending thousands of dollars to access that 40,000-audience base but end up with only 5 clicks as none of the customers engages with your influencer.
On a parting note, it can be said that once you take measures to avoid the common pitfalls, (and start the campaign with well-defined goals, choose the right partner and ensure the partner has an active and engaging audience base) influencer marketing can be a great way to boost your brand’s profile.
That’s it! There are plenty more mistakes that could be listed, but these three are bound to keep you on track. Just keep an eye out for the most common mistakes, and soon you’ll be able to put together a campaign that will propel your brand to new heights.
Andy Alvin is a USA based digital marketer who holds a PhD degree in business management. He is an avid blogger and also has a great passion for teaching. He is also associated with MyAssignmenthelp.com through which she provides assignment help and legal case study examples to students all around the globe.