6 Most Common Influencer Marketing Mistakes

Influencer marketing is becoming more and more advanced as brands are discovering the success they can achieve through activating powerful creators. Pulse has observed lots of mistakes and missed opportunities made in the industry, and is committed to providing the most advanced programs for our clients. Below we outline the top 6 most common influencer campaign mistakes.

1. Choosing influencers with a primary focus on aesthetic

The most common consideration when choosing influencers is what their content looks like. The quality and aesthetic alignment to the brand are important considerations. If an influencer has a similar look to a brand, their followers will likely respond positively to the content due to their similar interests. Aesthetic is therefore important from a psychographic standpoint in addition to a campaign’s visual outcome.
The key mistake is not valuing the demographic of an influencer, which directly impacts ROI based on how much of a brand’s target audience is reached. If a brand’s product is only available in the US, a common mistake is partnering with influencers who are based in the country, but have a small percentage of their following from the US. Therefore, only a fraction of the investment is reaching the demographic needed for the program. Beyond geography, age and gender split are key considerations that determine an influencer’s value. Prioritizing this data will allow a brand’s budget to go farther.

2. Not diversifying the marketing mix

Influencers are a necessary and key part of a brand’s marketing strategy, but cannot be the only strategy. If a brand has not established a strong story and marketing through their own channels (strong social account, website, etc.) then the traffic created to these channels from influencers will likely not drive enough sales. With diversifying the mix through utilizing other advertising channels such as out of home, television, paid ads, and experiential events, a brand can use influencers to improve social relevance, awareness, and conversion. The customer journey is therefore better supported through a multi-channel approach that employs strong influencer programs.

3. Not taking advantage of the assets

Influencer campaigns create beautiful content outcomes. Allowing them to only live digitally on an influencer's account marks a lost opportunity to leverage the assets and the influencer’s likeness to create stronger ROI for other marketing programs. Purchasing usage rights therefore is a worthwhile investment, allowing influencers to act as the brand’s production team.

4. Campaigns that lack storytelling/creative

The social media landscape has become extremely saturated and therefore brands need to do more to stand out. A classic product placement shot without a narrative is therefore a common mistake that results in lower engagement and low brand recall. Pulse specializes in creative concept development and strategy to tailor campaigns to communicate what a brand stands for in exciting and unique ways.

5. Lacking the insights

Another big mistake is not fully looking into the insights after a campaign. The key KPI currently in the industry is engagement rate, but there are so many other key data points to evaluate in order to provide even more successful campaigns. A key offering that Pulse provides is sentiment analysis, which entails looking into every comment made during a campaign to understand the audience reaction. This can bring key learnings such as uncovering new target audiences and product innovation ideas through social listening.

6. Not listening to the creator

Managing an influencer’s creative freedom with the expectations of the brand is an important balance. Therefore, a key mistake is not listening to the influencer’s unique point of view. At the end of the day, the talent knows their audience the best, and therefore knows what will resonate and what won’t. If posts do not feel organic to the influencer they will not perform as highly, marking a lost opportunity to capture followers’ attention.