Brands as diverse as North Face, Rolex and Mercedes-Benz have embraced influencer marketing as a way to connect with valuable but increasingly advertising-weary audiences. While influencer marketing is considered to be effective by most marketers, it is by no means a foolproof strategy.
In a quest to produce noticeable results quickly, many marketers are committing common influencer marketing mistakes. This article will look at 10 of the most common influencer marketing mistakes committed on Instagram.
1. MISUNDERSTANDING THE TARGET AUDIENCE.
All marketing success stories come after marketers truly understand the target audience. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign came about after the brand realized that the target audience felt as though they were held accountable to an unattainable view of womanhood. Similarly, Mountain Dew’s Do the Dew campaign was created after the brand recognized that teenage skaters were searching for irreverent and humorous content.
Take the time to interview your target audience. Ask them about the social media influencers they turn to, and why they are attracted to those influencers. Ask them about how they perceive your brand, and compare this perception to how you want the target audience to perceive your brand.
With the answers to these questions in hand, it will be considerably easier for you and your team to create an influencer marketing campaign that will appeal to your target audience.
2. FAILING TO MEASURE PERFORMANCE WITH ANALYTICS.
Measuring the effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign is less intuitive than other marketing initiatives. Metrics like “brand awareness” are, after all, less tangible than leads or revenue generated.
However, there are a number of good Instagram tools — SocialFox is the best Instagram analytics tool — that can make it easier for brands to measure the performance of an influencer marketing campaign. Data related to post reach, engagement and follower growth among specific demographics can help marketers understand if an influencer campaign is effective.
3. SELECTING THE WRONG INFLUENCER.
Each influencer appeals to a slightly different target audience for a slightly different reason. It is important that you select the right influencer; one who has connections to your target audience and the credibility to influence your target audience’s perception of your brand.
Again, this is where Instagram analytics can help. Consider working with a series of influencers on a trial basis. Use an Instagram analytics tool to compare how each influencer impacts key metrics, and select the influencer who is able to drive the best results.
4. IGNORING THE POTENTIAL OF INSTAGRAM ADS.
Instagram ads can be a great way to amplify a collaboration with an influencer. Think of ads as a shortcut to increasing reach. You won’t want to invest in ads on an ongoing basis unless you have a considerable budget. However, creating an Instagram ad in collaboration with an influencer is a great way to quickly improve reach and engagement.
5. CREATING A VAGUE OR MISALIGNED BRAND BRIEF.
Whether you are working with an agency to create an advertising campaign or to foster a relationship with an Instagram influencer, writing a clear brand brief is key to becoming a successful marketer. The best briefs include a detailed explanation of the target audience. Demographic and psychographic information will be especially helpful for influencers as they think of campaign ideas. It is also a good idea to outline your goals for the partnership, including metrical goals and deadlines.
6. THINKING THAT INFLUENCER MARKETING IS ONLY FOR B2C BRANDS.
While there are a number of business-to-consumer brands that have embraced influencer marketing, don’t be fooled into thinking that influencer marketing is only for B2C brands. Hubspot is just one of a number of B2B organizations that have embraced the power of influencer marketing.
In the example above, Instagram influencer Gary Vaynerchuk partnered with Hubspot to create content designed to help prospects and customers use Facebook in creative new ways.
7. DRIVING USERS TO A POORLY OPTIMIZED WEBSITE.
Most people use a mobile device to access the internet. If your Instagram influencer strategy involves driving users to your own website, be sure that the website is mobile optimized. The last thing marketers should do is create a negative experience for followers who are interested enough to leave the happy confines of Instagram to learn more about your brand.
Ensure that the landing page Instagram users will visit is mobile optimized and enjoyable to use. Marketers can evaluate the level of mobile optimization with a free diagnostic tool from Google.
8. BUILDING A DERIVATIVE MARKETING CAMPAIGN.
Each day roughly 95 million new photos and videos are posted on Instagram. For an influencer marketing campaign to be effective, the content shared must stand out from the crowd by being unique.
One reason Instagram influencers are successful is because they are able to create unique content that tells a compelling story. Be sure to provide influencers with enough room to create unique content. This means marketers must avoid selecting influencers who are not able to create unique content. Marketers should also strive to provide influencers with a flexible brand brief that supports creativity.
9. EXPECTING INSTANT RESULTS.
It is rare that influencer marketing will create significant and noticeable results instantly. Think of influencer marketing as a long-term strategy designed to slowly increase brand awareness and/or brand affinity.
10. MISSTATING THE BRAND’S VALUE PROPOSITION.
One of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make is miscommunicating the brand’s value proposition. Failing to encapsulate what the brand offers will create disappointment among the target audience when they recognize this misalignment, and could even drive audience members into the arms of competitors.
Be sure that you and your Instagram influencer clearly understand what your organization offers, and how this offering is different from the competition.
Influencer marketing is becoming one of the most effective ways for brands to connect with potential customers. Boasting over 700 million users, Instagram is one of the best platforms for influencers to engage with a target audience.
To create a successful influencer marketing strategy, marketers should understand the target audience well enough to create a clear brand brief. They should search for influencers who are able to tell clear, unique stories, and they should measure performance using an Instagram analytics platform to measure ROI.