Influencer marketing is a hot topic in the marketing world, leading companies to invest time and money in it. The problem comes when inexperienced companies are unaware of how to develop a campaign with the top influencers but don’t want to reach out to an influencer marketing agency.
We give you the most common mistakes brands usually do when leading influencer marketing campaigns with top influencers.
The top influencers are NOT paid ads
The most common and most often made mistake of brands that aren’t experienced in influencer marketing is to treat influencer marketing like paid ads.
Problem A is that they then ignore that the influencer is another stakeholder – unlike for paid ads where you can basically post what you want. So companies need to pay attention to the influencer’s agenda.
Problem B is even more harmful to the brand because they miss the USP of the top influencers. The influencer’s main value is the trust he gets from the community. Yes, they also give you reach, but if you only want reach, then it might be better to book paid ads because it has fewer costs. But trust is much more powerful, nowadays everything works with trust. Trust can make your product cool, it can help you to build a brand and a whole community.
Apple is a great example of it. If you just have a look at their products, then it’s hard to understand why they cost so much more than similar products. The reason for that is that Apple has created an incredibly valuable brand and a community – all because of the trust its fans put in their products. Although Apple didn’t have influencers in the 1980s, they needed decades and a marketing genius like Steve Jobs to achieve their trust and branding.
If your brand doesn’t have such strong trust from users yet, building a community through the help of top influencers can be an incredibly powerful tool.
Creating long-term campaigns with the top influencers
The second mistake brands make is to think that a one-time campaign gives them already a community.
That simply doesn’t work.
Brands need to see the influencer as a long-term partner, which supports their branding, their trust, their community building, and their storytelling.
Again, influencers are closer to celebrity endorsements or sports sponsorships than to simply paid ads.
Just think of Cristiano Ronaldo wearing in one match Adidas shoes but the rest of the time Nike shoes. Some hardcore fans might remember he wore Adidas once, but everybody thinks of Nike when thinking of Ronaldo. It’s very important to understand that influencer marketing needs to have an always-on approach – to leverage all benefits.
Don’t let your campaign with top influencers get too hectic
The third biggest mistake in influencer marketing is to be too hectic. For several reasons that’s a pretty bad idea.
First, you’re dealing with the influencer as another stakeholder, the influencer is a human being. If you push him or the agency all the time it can become very stressful for everyone involved. If the campaign is orchestrated diligently and everyone does his part, no hard pushing should be necessary. The whole vibe will be much more positive and the influencer will be happier ahead of the placements.
The second reason is that you need to tell a certain story. The best case is that you work on that story together with the influencer agency. You know what your product stands for but the agency knows the community best – the people you want to entertain with your story.
The third reason is very simple: super-short-term planning often doesn’t work anymore. It’s not 2015 anymore, most of our Triple-A and top influencers are booked out for weeks and months. We only select the best placements for these and to have an incredible campaign you usually need to invest much time into it.
The best case is to have around 4-6 weeks from the touch with the agency to the first posting. Of course, that highly depends on the format. A live stream takes much more preparation than Instagram Feed posts for example.
Key takeaways to create the perfect campaign with the top influencers
The story needs to be great and the influencer-brand fit must be accurate. By that, I don’t necessarily mean that the influencer needs to post 24/7 about the sector the brand operates in. Because then for many products you will only have super niche influencers. The influencer needs to fit to what the brand stands for.
Let’s take an example we had with Banco Inter, one of the biggest financial companies in Brazil. Of course, we could have hired trading influencers. They exist, they are doing a great job in their niche, but you won’t reach millions of people. So what works much better is to think together with the bank what money means for them and how they envision their role in society. With our vision of money as an enabler of dreams, we pitched the project to the influencer.
Together we came up to also bring in the family. So we recorded a series of videos in which female influencers talked with their grandmothers about the role of money as an enabler and the necessity to pay quickly and with convenience – all features Banco Inter gives you. Who would have thought that fashion and beauty influencers together with their grandmothers are a perfect fit for an incredibly successful campaign of a bank?
It helps to think out of the box and to first think of a storyline of the campaign and then select the influencers – instead of being stubborn and only looking for the influencers in your exact niche.
But is it crucial to consider money as the key factor in influencer marketing campaigns?
That really is a matter of the structure of the campaign and your goals. That’s why our reports don’t only contain numbers but explanations.
Let’s take the cost per click, a very standard marketing KPI. But depending on the goal of the campaign the click can have different values. For example, you’re doing a give-away, many people click on your links because they can with 10 iPhones or whatever then your costs per click will be below. If your goal is to achieve short-term high website visits or gather for example email address data for your newsletter – you probably achieved that. The question is of course how interested these guys are in your product – compared to the iPhone.
It looks different if you want to tell a story, maybe you want to build up an audience and start the story on the influencer’s account and continue it on your brand account.
In the end, the influencer should lead his community to your channel – maybe also with another Call to action to your website. But the objective is in that case clearly to build up a community.
Nevertheless, if the follower still clicks on the link to your website, he’ll be super hyped to get to know your products because he knows your story. Here costs per click are higher because they weren’t the objective. You should always track costs per click and the performance of the posting, views, likes, comments, sentiment etc. But the numbers are just numbers, they need interpretation.
Brands need to take advantage of the influencers’ creativity, and the smartest way how brands can use the top influencers’ creativity is simply to work together with them as partners.
Sometimes brands want to have a certain amount of views and at the same time, they tell the influencer very strictly what to do. Often that combination doesn’t work well. Followers usually do not like ads, so the story needs to be awesome to justify an ad from the perspective of a follower. In particular on TikTok that is true.
Brands should think of the partnership in terms of brainstorm instead of an “order” because usually, the influencer knows what works best with his community. With both perspectives, the one from the influencer and the one of the brand in mind, incredibly creative campaigns can happen!
There are a lot of mistakes brands could potentially do alongside a campaign, not having a great story around the brand is certainly a big potential threat.
I would also encourage companies to take time to plan out campaigns. It’s not 2015 anymore where you could just write to 5 influencers who should put a picture of your product online – and that’s the influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing form of product promotion and pretty much everything has changed in the last couple of years.
One last takeaway for successful influencer marketing is to view the influencer as a real partner, someone who has a stake in the project and someone who can deliver value besides millions of fans. The influencers know more than all of us how to create content and engage with millions of fans – because they do that every day. Together with the input from the brand’s marketing team, who knows their product best wonderful campaigns can happen.
Bold Creators Club can give you more eCommerce tips on how to retain new customers with influencer marketing
Dealing with social media influencers is not always easy. Actually, most of the time, companies and influencers can’t communicate clearly, as there is a lack of a cultural, linguistic, and social bridge that connects both.
When it comes to Latin influencers, this communication barrier is even bigger. Not only because a lot of people in countries like Brazil or Colombia don’t English, but also because these countries are highly multicultural, with cities with completely different styles, slang, social and cultural movements within the country.
In the case of Brazil, this aspect is so strong that there are even completely different cultures within the same city, in big metropolises like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.
It is really hard to keep up with the constant changes in the pop culture and in the internet world, so contacting an agency whose job is to always be updated about what the influencers are doing, how is the stability in the country, and more important information for your company, is the best strategy.