Expaus has worked with clients who once thought they were getting influencers to market their brand only to wake up from talks that died down. We’ve read influencer marketing horror stories. We’ve come across cynical entrepreneurs who would rather go back to their old ways of promoting business than explore avenues to gain followers, boost engagement, and eventually increase conversion.
Even though influencer marketing statistics shows promising results, sad stories of failure, though not the norm, scare off otherwise interested business people. We’re not discounting these testimonies. In fact, we want you to understand why such failures in implementing influencer marketing strategies happen.
Apparently, the irony is that such failures take place despite the proliferation of marketing experts. You can google one right now, and you’ll find so many even in your own town. If you’re still reading this article, you, too, are probably wondering.
What went wrong in your influencer marketing?
1. You chose the wrong social influencer.
That’s okay. It happens to many of us. We sometimes hire the wrong employees, choose the wrong advertiser, and work with the wrong influencer. This is a result of bad influencer targeting, which results in you collaborating with someone who doesn’t know anything about your niche, let alone your brand, or someone who has awful social media ethics.
Finding the right influencer is an essential step in influencer marketing. Companies who are looking to gain further reach and engagement through working with key people in their industries should first know who these key people are. Influencer targeting is challenging. It may feel like finding a needle in a haystack with all the factors you have to take into account.
You can minimize mistakes by getting to know your potential influencers. Look at their social media history. See how they deal with their followers. You should also engage in a conversation with them to get to know their character.
2. Your choice was based solely on popularity.
This is another failure in influencer research and most likely a beginner mistake. Of course, who wouldn’t be enticed by Instagram or Facebook personalities with a hundred thousand followers. You befriend them and court them for weeks until you lay out your grand plan only to realize they are not interested or they engage only halfheartedly.
If your idea of influence is anchored solely in the number of followers, you’re sorely missing out on the more important variables. Engagement numbers are much more important than following. Clicks are even more important. You’re wasting your resources by working with a YouTube celebrity who doesn’t have engaging content or, worse, only has a few active followers. Chances are, if you’re working with him, he’ll bring you the numbers that won’t translate to sales.
A more important influencer marketing fact is that the mega-influencers with millions of followers are usually ineffective in the engagement department. At least, that’s what a Markerly study tells us. At some point, having more followers no longer helps your engagement. According to the Markerly team, the sweet spot for a nice balance between reach and engagement is between 10,000 and 100,000 followers.
Again, don’t just look at the following size. Look at their likes and shares. Read the comments.
3. You don’t develop long-term relationships with your influencers.
Influencer marketing sounds like some lame marketing tactic wherein you can get away with asking someone to feature your brand and that’s it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Working with influencers isn’t an overnight affair. You don’t accomplish anything meaningful by jumping off and looking elsewhere for new subjects. You’ll easily run out of people who want to work with you that way. You can also disappoint an otherwise cooperative influencer, and you’ll lose your chance at working with them again.
We often say that marketing is in some way building relationships. You build relationships with your customers through time. It takes a while. The same is true with influencer marketing. Once you start making connections with social media influencers you have to nurture that connection and turn it into a relationship. You make collaborations. You promote their page and content, so they promote your brand as well. These things take some time to transpire. You don’t get an influencer to start posting your content on their blogs or Facebook pages right after you say hi. And you don’t get off after you’ve made them share your content.
4. You have wrong expectations and exaggerated demands.
First of all, it’s wrong to think your influencers will share everything you post with their own audience just because you became Facebook pals. There is a limit to your partnership. Most of the time, your influencers are doing their thing, writing their posts, and keeping their social media content relevant to their profession and interests. Don’t expect them to share your content, especially if it’s not relevant to them and their audience.
Second, bear in mind the work an influencer offers is freely and willingly given. It’s not like they’re on your payroll. If that were the case, then you’re not working with an influencer. So be realistic with your expectations. Don’t coerce someone offering help for free to do something.
5. You pay too much attention to social media stats.
All right, we don’t want to confuse you here. We love looking at reach, likes, and shares. These tell us whether your influencer marketing tactics are working for you. Eventually, you have to look at the real deal. Are you getting new customers, increasing your sales, and getting ROI? If not, then you have to admit that somewhere in your efforts something is wrong.
We’re not saying you should stop monitoring engagement. In fact, you should. But don’t stop there. Look at figures for brand awareness and sales, too.
6. You keep doing influencer marketing strategies that already failed you.
You think you missed a step. You think maybe you should invest more time in it. No! If you did it and it didn’t work, change it. Don’t do the same thing all over again. Retrace your steps and find out where things went wrong. Now change the plan.
When things aren’t working, you have to admit that they are. Stop! Save your resources from getting used up for some futile exercise. We’ve seen overzealous influencer campaigns that collapsed under their own convolutions.
The first step in recovering from mistakes is to admit you committed them. Influencer marketing is hardly an exact science. It’s more like an art. Still, pay attention to the right details.