Influencer Marketing is a relatively new addition to the world of advertising, but it is not hard to see why it has gained immense popularity in the last few years. Brands can generate an engagement rate 16x higher than traditional ads through an influencer marketing campaign. But despite it being in existence for a few years now, marketers and brands are still finding their way around to optimise the benefits of influencer marketing.
We’ve listed below some of the greatest pitfalls which brands and marketers face while implementing an influencer marketing campaign, and tips on how to overcome them:
1. Making it look natural
All too often brands believe that their role is restricted to merely signing an influencer and providing a sample of their product or service to them. This leads to posts which can often be misconstrued as an out and out advertisement by its viewers, thereby irking them. Customers are traditionally receptive and want to know more about their social feed. They are keen to be entertained and want to know more about where she got that top and where he got those shoes. Consumers, as a rule of thumb, want to hear from people they follow and trust, more than they want to hear from a brand. But with consumers becoming more and more savvy and aware, it has become even more important for brands to appear authentic and sign influencers are relevant to them.
It is important for brands to invest in the influencers. They should be given something more than just a sample of your product; otherwise, they will only get a product shot with a generic description.
Brands should partner with people who fit their profile, and ideally work with them more than once. It is important to have a relationship with the influencers. To create quality content, influencers should be provided with authentic experiences of the products or services over an extended period.
One excellent example of creating experiences was when Jose Cuervo took influencers all the way to Tequila, Mexico for a five-day experience. Popular influencers like Rene Daniella created a lot of engaging content, which was authentic and was well received by its audience.
“When you truly connect with something, the quality of the work you produce from that connection naturally improves,” Daniella said.
“We got to participate in a variety of activities from horse back riding to early morning rides on the José Cuervo eExpress train equipped with tequila shots, live music, and local breakfast favourites. The content I created made my feed much more entertaining and ultimately more engaging for my audience.”
Real relationships + real experiences = real influence
2. Whose job is it to strategise?
Influencers are messengers, they are the voice of the brand, they communicate based on the theme they have been told to keep. They do not, however, create an integrated marketing strategy for your brand; that will always remain the brand’s responsibility. The first step for any brand would be to define the objective for using influencer marketing - it could be generating brand awareness, drive engagement, or perhaps a sales-driven campaign. This is crucial for brands because it allows them to define the success of the influencer-led campaign. Once the objectives are set, brands can, and should, then collaborate with influencers to make decision on the content. It is important to let influencers lead the way in this aspect, as they have their number of followers speaking for their ability.
It is the brand’s responsibility to strategise and the influencer’s responsibility to drive the message
3. Sticking only to influencer’s channels
One of the biggest mistakes which brands make is to believe that their job is done once the influencers start posting, which leads to a massive lost opportunity. A successful influencer marketing strategy has to have an element of cross promotion - brands should leverage the high-quality content and use it on its own social media channels as well.
Cross promotion + recycling content = longevity of campaigns
4. Following the trend blindly
Instagram is arguably one of the most effective platforms for influencers to market brands these days, but a brand should put all of its eggs in one basket at its own peril. For one thing, a particular platform may be more effective for one brand but may not be for another. There are plenty of platforms for brands to reach out to its target base through influencers: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and some new ones like Periscope or Peach. A brand doesn't need to be on every platform, but it should ideally have a mix of platforms which are relevant to your business.
Right influencers + right audience demographics + right platforms = success
Marketers are turning to influencer marketing agencies that allow them to identify these factors beforehand and execute campaigns in the most impactful way possible, bringing a holistic approach by taking care of the entire value chain: from the creative concept, media planning, influencer sourcing and booking, to the complete execution of the campaign and the reporting of meaningful results.
By Shishir Bhanot, campaign manager at Pulse Advertising
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