When working with influencers, a lot of marketers get stuck because they don’t have the right strategy in place, or haven’t thought through the potential pitfalls they might encounter.  However, some mistakes are worse than others and can cost you significant time and money, without yielding any proper returns. We listed the top 4 you are probably making.

  1. You lack a clear strategy

By all standards, the biggest mistake you can make in influencer marketing is not knowing what you want to get as the result of collaboration. Is it new sales? Is it increase in brand awareness? Is it simply to test influencer marketing and see whether it works for your brand? 

If an influencer creates amazingly popular content, is it important if you actually wanted to sell the product?

2. You choose the influencer, instead of choosing their audience

Finding influencers is hard on its own, but if you want to the job right, it’s even ten times harder. Most people make the mistake of choosing an influencer that is popular in a given field, but they don’t pay attention to the influencer’s audience. Say you have a company that builds amazing, custom made lawn chairs. Gary Vaynerchuck is not the right type of influencer for you, since his audience consists mostly of marketers in search of social media tips and lifestyle guidance. Maybe some of them would be interested in your product, but not a lot. You could pay Gary some fine money to see diminishing returns (even though he is most likely to turn you down because he understands that he has to pay attention to his own brand  – see number 4). Instead, focus on influencers who have a big number of followers that are your target.  

If you want to find ways to analyze the profile of an influencer’s audience, you can download our ebook containing more than 100 influencer marketing tools. There are some useful tools like Followerwonk that can help you with this. 

3. You focus on the number of followers, instead of engagement numbers

With all the automation tools like Instagress out there, some influencers have built their audience by automatically following, retweeting and liking other people’s content, without taking the time to actually engage with them. Some even buy fake followers to ramp up their numbers. There are ways to recognize these people by using tools such as Twitteraudit or Fameaudit, and also by looking through their posts for engagement numbers. If an influencer has a lot of spammy comments, and the ratio of engagement is less than desired for their level of followers, you can be sure that this is not the influencer for you.

Some stats you should know: Users with 10+ million followers receive 1,6% engagement rate, and those with 1,000 followers 8%. The higher the number of followers, the lower the engagement rate.

The higher the engagement rate, if the influencers are not fake or spammy, the more you want to work with them.

4. You demand full control over content 

Before you actually start working with an influencer, you have to set the conditions of the collaboration. Does the influencer want to create content on their own or do you want to give them strictly supervised, in-house produced content?

The right influencers are appreciative of their audience, try to develop their own style and do not like it when brand managers put words in their mind. You have to understand that this can only be good for your brand. First of all, it leaves more room for your team to do other tasks.

But always be sure to check whether what they created aligns with your brief.

These are the top 4 mistakes brands make when working with influencers. What are your biggest fails when it comes to influencer marketing? Tell us in the comments!

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