The Big Mistakes Brands Are Making With Influencer Campaigns

Most brands are focusing on influencer marketing these days — and for good reason. The industry is worth roughly $14 billion and continues to grow each year.

The best digital ad campaigns focus on authentic engagement, and influencers or creators are often the catalyst that drives that connection. They already have original content and an audience  who love what they share. Why not use that momentum to grow your own brand awareness?

There’s a catch, though: You have to do it right. Unfortunately, not every influencer marketing campaign is a massive success. Here are some of the biggest mistakes brands make when they work with influencers.

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Failing to clearly outline your goals.

Every marketing campaign needs clear goals. You’re spending a lot of time and money working with an influencer; it’s important to understand what you need to gain from the experience.

Are you hoping to increase your conversion rates? To collect data and insights? To gain more brand awareness?

Every successful influencer campaign needs this information to succeed. Don’t just throw spaghetti at the wall and hope something sticks. You need a plan, and goals are the first step of that plan.

One major trend in campaign goals happening is that brands are focused now more than ever on calculating return on advertising spend (ROAS) instead of just impressions on brand awareness when it comes to influencer or creator campaigns. Some platforms doing this successfully are #paid for sponsored posts, Anchor.fm for podcast ads, and our own Curastory for video ads.

Working with the wrong influencers.

It’s hard to say which mistake is the most costly, but this may be it: You can’t afford to work with the wrong influencers.

So, which influencers are the right ones? How can you find the best influencers to work with your brand? And is it influencers you are looking for or creators? There is a major difference between the two.

First, consider an influencer’s online reputation. Are they known for their professionalism and authentic content? Are they generally nice to work with?

You can also look at their communication skills. Do they generally interact with their audience and respond to comments quickly? Do they follow your content directions or engage with respect and courtesy?

The best influencers’ audiences will effortlessly match with your brand. Look for strong influencers or creators with engaging audiences in the locations you are targeting  who will connect with your brand. If you try to force a connection between your product and the influencer’s audience, the campaign will stand out as inauthentic and you’ll see little return for your investment.

If creators are what your brand is looking for, Curastory is the only platform matching campaigns to relevant video shows from creators across the internet by content categories, creator audiences’ location and demographics, and budget.

Treating the influencer like an employee.

When you find the best influencers and creators, it’s important to remember the nature of your relationship.

They’re not your employees. They don’t work for you. It is their content and audience you are licensing for a period of time, so you’ll need to offer and accept terms that meet the needs and expectations of both parties.

The influencer has their brand, and you have yours. The two of you are working together for mutual benefit. This requires sincere, authentic communication between the two of you or the platform you are using to engage creators’ content. You can even nurture the relationship by providing clear direction for a successful campaign.

Offering inadequate compensation.

Influencer marketing and the creator economy is still relatively new, though wildly successful and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. There aren’t any concrete rules to follow when it comes to compensation, but there are a few popular models.

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The Pay Per Post arrangement is most common, though not necessarily the most lucrative for either party. It’s very simple, though, which probably explains the popularity. With this model, you simply pay a flat fee when an influencer posts content for your brand’s marketing. This content could include a blog post, an Instagram post, or a video story.

Cost Per Engagement is also popular and arguably the best arrangement for a successful campaign. It’s also more complicated if done manually offline, so don’t be surprised if influencers prefer a flat rate instead. With a CPE model, you pay a certain rate per each engagement type the post generates. So, for example, if a creator generates 10,000 views on their recorded advertisement natively in their video shows, you’ll pay a rate per view, usually per 1,000 which is a Cost Per Mille model.

Again, Curastory handles all tracking of creator-recorded video ad performance, removing bot viewership that other platforms and offline handling of campaigns would charge you for.

These are just the two most popular types of compensation. You can compensate the influencer or creator however you like as long as you both agree. It’s most important to remember that the compensation you provide needs to benefit both of you.

Influencers and creators work hard to grow their audiences, and that’s valuable — but only to a certain point. There are research tools you can use to determine your starting point for negotiations if running campaigns offline, but platforms like Curastory analyze thousands of data points to assign pricing of creator videos matched to your campaigns running in platform.

Sacrificing quantity for quality.

Most influencers and creators focus on a single social media channel even if you request posts on multiple sites. Why? Because managing multiple social media accounts is time-consuming.

It’s hard to regularly maintain an Instagram account, Facebook account, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, etc. You can avoid this problem by working with influencers and creators who use new tools that let them create quality content on multiple sites.

For example, Curastory lets creators make high-quality video content in one place, then post it to all their accounts at once. This means less work for the creators with better engagement on each social media platform. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Final thoughts

An influencer marketing campaign requires a lot of collaboration from both parties and there are many pitfalls to avoid in order to do it right, allowing for a return on spend for your brand.

If you want to get the most value for your money, it’s important to outline your goals, choose the best influencers or creators for your campaign, treat them well, compensate them fairly, and choose both quality and quantity.

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