How often have we seen brands jump into influencer marketing campaigns only to be greeted by epic failure at the end?
Enough! Time to know that it is NOT the end of the road for your business!
Influencer marketing can be unpredictable because it relies on humans. But that is also why it is exciting and connects way better than other marketing mediums.
But bringing in famous influencers and hoping for the best is not enough. Also, social media platforms are constantly updated to incorporate new trends, which further impacts your influencer marketing campaigns.
Brands must follow the best influencer marketing practices for a successful campaign. Knowing what you’re doing wrong and how to avoid it is winning half the battle. To turn around a failed influencer marketing campaign, you must be willing to abandon outdated strategies and practices. Keep reading to know what mistakes will cost your marketing budget and how you can fix them in 2023.
4 Ways A Campaign Can Fail
Problem 1: You don’t know the right metrics to measure performance
Solution: Work backwards
Marketers have long moved on from vanity metrics such as likes and shares to measure the success of influencer marketing campaigns. Why? Because a like or share on a sponsored post doesn’t always translate into sales for you.
You must carefully assess the metrics you use to measure the success of influencer marketing. This is why we suggest you work backward. Start by spelling out the end outcome you want. The final result you want to see should decide the kind of influencer that will suit the job.
Intangible goals will leave you and your influencers guessing. For instance, by directing campaigns toward generating sales or qualified leads, you can give influencers tangible goals to work towards that directly benefit your ROI.
This helps direct the content influencers will create to benefit your product and get the response you want. Use the right metrics to measure success and ensure that your influencers work toward goals that directly benefit you.
Additionally, brand managers must monitor the type of feedback they are receiving. Check if your impression rates increase as you upload more posts. These metrics can help you determine what content is engaging your audience.
For example, if your video content gets more views, you may want to create something similar. Make sure to look beyond the numbers. These figures can sometimes help you see where your strategy is going wrong.
Problem 2: You’re reaching the wrong influencer audiences
Solution: Observe the virtual footfall
A great brand with the wrong audience can easily explain why some influencer marketing campaigns fail.
Sometimes it could be a case of getting hung up on finding the right influencer without knowing what makes them right for you. The right influencer is more than just someone who is affordable and creates the kind of content you want. They also have the exact (or a similar) audience demographic that makes up your ideal customer persona. Remember, an influencer is only influential among their target audience. Marketers who do not correctly align their product with the influencer who represents their audience, brand, and values may suffer a damaging impact.
Every social media influencer has a slightly different target audience. These audiences vary in demographics, reach, and psychographic factors. You should research your target audiences when deciding which influencers to work with. Do they have an audience for the people to whom your product speaks?
Furthermore, the price point of the products you are attempting to promote should correspond to their target audience’s purchasing power.
Take care not to overburden your influencer criteria. But also, when defining influencer profile requirements, simplify or break them down into multiple campaigns.
Problem 3: You’re investing in the wrong influencer platforms
Solution: Ask the big questions: what, who, and how
Much is dependent on the platforms where you implement influencer marketing strategies. The platforms you choose will determine your audience base and the type of content you will curate. For their influencer marketing campaigns, many brands solely focus on Instagram. This is a common influencer marketing blunder!
Instead, look at the various options and ask:
- What is the unique selling proposition of this platform?
- Who is it catering to?
- How can it work in tandem with my campaign?
You need diverse social media strategies, even within influencer marketing. Not all influencers are active on all social media platforms, and they do not necessarily have the same level of influence across all platforms where they are active.
Also, remember that each social media platform has its own demographics.
It all boils down to where your target customers hang out. Pay attention to influencers who can assist you in reaching your target audience on the appropriate platform. Understand platforms and the types of content that influencers can create and share for you on these platforms. For example, working with a medium-sized Twitch streamer could deliver far better ROI than working with a large TikTok star: the Twitch streamer’s viewers are a concentrated, engaged target audience.
Problem 4: You’re not integrating influencer outreach with the rest of your marketing strategy
Solution: Step back and look at the grand scheme
When brands first collaborate with influencers, they often fail to integrate their influencer campaigns with their overall marketing strategy fully. This can result in isolated campaigns that are disconnected from other marketing efforts regarding resources, goals, and objectives and ultimately lead to a failed influencer marketing campaign.
To succeed, you must integrate influencer marketing into your overall marketing plan. Think combining paid ads with influencer campaigns, etc. This includes follow-up engagement with influencer audiences, targeted mobile ads, and more. It is important to remember that influencer marketing is just one aspect of the overall marketing strategy and should not be treated as a standalone effort. Additionally, blending influencer marketing with organic content and social media can lead to better engagement and connection with the target audience in the long run.
Popular Influencer Campaign Fails To Learn From
Oprah x Microsoft: Pay attention to details
Microsoft worked with Oprah Winfrey to promote Microsoft Surface, the company’s newest laptop. This collaboration could have been fantastic if Oprah hadn’t made the obvious error. It doesn’t seem logical to send a tweet praising Microsoft from an iPad.
No matter how famous the influencer is, they must be appropriate for the product and message. The entire campaign fails when it becomes clear that the influencer is not using the product.
Figure 1: Screenshot of an influencer tweet gone wrong. Source: Smart Insights
Katie Price x Snickers: Honesty is truly the best policy
Marketers from Snickers’ U.K. branch were hungry for retweets when they hired British model and reality TV star Jordan (aka Katie Price) to tweet about topics she probably wouldn’t tweet about usually, such as Eurozone debt and China’s GDP. Jordan responded to her out-of-character tweets with a message about feeling more like herself thanks to Snickers. Many of her followers were taken aback, believing her Twitter account had been hacked.
In this case, the creative thought behind the attempt went haywire. Nevertheless, cleverly pranking consumers can draw attention to your brand, but there may be a better way to do it. Choose honesty and authenticity at all times.
Benjamin Burnley x Electronic Arts – Product Influencer fit is a must
This is an excellent example of the importance of finding the right influencers. They will only be able to put passion into their content if they connect with your brand. Mainly if it turns out they dislike your product!
In this case, Electronic Arts contacted Benjamin Burnley, the frontman of Breaking Benjamin, and asked him to promote their new Star Wars: Battlefront game.
However, things turned sour when Benjamin took to Instagram, posting a photo of the game’s destroyed disc and captions that showed his displeasure about the brand and the game.
Tips To Turn A Campaign Around
1. Redetermine budgets
Salvage a failed influencer marketing campaign by hitting the pause button. Re-evaluate and adjust the budget allocated for the campaign. This could involve identifying where the budget was misallocated and redirecting funds toward more effective tactics or influencers.
For example, suppose the initial campaign focused on using a small number of high-profile influencers with large followings but failed to generate significant engagement or conversions. In that case, the budget could be redirected towards a larger number of micro-influencers with more engaged and niche audiences.
Another approach could be to reallocate the budget towards more targeted advertising or promotions to reach the desired audience or to create more engaging and high-quality content for the influencers to share.
Overall, it’s essential to be flexible, adapt to the campaign’s performance and feedback, and be willing to pivot and make adjustments to improve results.
2. Collaborate with micro-influencers
Collaborating with micro-influencers is an effective strategy for improving influencer marketing campaigns and salvaging a failed campaign.
One of the main benefits of working with micro-influencers is they have a smaller following, and their audience is typically more niche and engaged with the content they share. This can lead to higher engagement rates and conversions for the campaign.
Additionally, micro-influencers often have a higher level of credibility and authenticity with their followers, which can lead to more genuine and credible endorsements of the brand or product.
To collaborate with micro-influencers, brands can reach out to them directly and pitch them on the campaign. They can also use influencer marketing platforms to simplify the process and connect with micro-influencers in their niche.
When working with micro-influencers, it’s crucial to provide them with clear guidelines and creative direction and give them room to be creative and authentic with their content. This will help to ensure that the campaign is consistent and aligns with the brand’s message but also captures the unique voice and style of the influencer.
3. Choose the right influencer
Choosing the right influencers with the exact audience you need is crucial to successful influencer marketing campaigns. The influencers you choose to work with will play a major role in determining the campaign’s success by reaching the right audience and delivering your message effectively.
To choose the right influencers, clearly define your target audience and the campaign’s goals. This will help you to identify influencers with a following that aligns with your target audience and can effectively promote your message.
Keep this quick checklist handy of what you should be looking at:
- Influencer metrics like engagement rate, follower count, etc.
- Number of organic followers
- Followers to the following ratio
- Previous campaigns (brands they collaborated with)
- Content style and delivery
You can also use influencer marketing platforms to find influencers in your niche or industry. These platforms usually provide data and information about the influencer’s audience and engagement rate. For instance, our platform Atisfyreach uses AI to suggest influencers who might fit your brand.
It’s important to remember that influencer marketing is a reciprocal relationship; influencers should be a good fit for your brand, and your brand should be a good fit for them. So, it’s important to find influencers whose values, beliefs, and interests align with you.
Say, you are an all-inclusive sports fashion brand looking to collaborate with an influencer; for example, you could look for a fitness-fashion influencer who promotes self-love.
ModCloth, an indie and vintage-inspired women’s clothing online retailer, perfectly illustrates how to select the right influencers. It aims to provide its customers with an all-inclusive shopping experience. As a result, its influencer collaboration includes influencers with similar values and a customer base that is likely to be interested in its products.
Figure 2: Modcloth collaborates with influencers that are right for their brand image. Source: Modcloth
4. Aim for honesty
In the future, influencer marketing is expected to become more honest, organic, and authentic. By 2023, we may see a shift towards more genuine and transparent influencer partnerships and regulations to achieve that end. This trend is driven by the need to build trust and credibility with audiences and to create a more authentic and relatable connection.
Likewise, honesty should be a two-way street; brands should be honest with influencers about their expectations, goals, and campaign details. Clear communication and expectations setting will help the influencer understand how to promote the brand effectively and what’s expected of them.
Honesty and transparency in influencer marketing campaigns can also build a more authentic relationship between the brand and its audience. Being open and honest about the partnership makes the audience more likely to view the content and brand positively.
Try Atisfyreach: Better Influencer Campaign Solutions For Busy Marketers
If you want to work with an influencer to promote your products or services and build a positive brand image, keep these epic influencer marketing pitfalls and failures in mind, so you don’t make the same mistakes!
While influencer campaigns can sometimes fail because of reasons outside your control, being aware of potential pitfalls can help avert major disasters. Always look for influencers whose followers accurately represent the niche you’re targeting and who reflect your brand’s values.
No doubt, influencer marketing is exciting and lucrative.
But influencer marketing can be highly time and resource intensive.
And, as with anything new, your first experiences will most likely be difficult.
Our platform Atisfyreach helps marketers automate critical tasks such as influencer discovery, campaign management, contracts, and payments. Our platform uses AI and machine learning to target the right-fit influencers based on the target audience you are looking for, gives real-time data on the campaigns, and makes reporting easier and faster for you. Scale your influencer campaigns with influencers on Atisfyreach. Book a free demo here.