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Three Influencer Marketing Practices to Leave in 2018

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In the second quarter of 2018, global advertising spend on Instagram was up 177 percent year on year, according to Merkle. Marketers are shifting more of their budget than ever before into social media and the investment in influencer marketing continues to rise. It’s an effective way for brands to tap into specialised audiences, achieve wide reach and have their product seen in a different light by prospective customers. These authentic product placements can result into impressive engagement for brands who often fail to reach the same standards with their own content.

Despite its popularity, it’s an industry still in its infancy compared to its predicted $101 billion worth by 2020. Brands and marketers are still getting to grips with best practices and there have predictably been some slip ups along the way. Learn from their mistakes and make sure the strategy you’re taking into 2019 is fool proof.

Read More: The Secrets of B2B Influencer Marketing Revealed

Mistake #1: Being Hung up on Follower Counts

Traditionally influencers with larger followings were thought to be the key to wide reach and awareness, therefore, a more effective campaign. So, marketers targeted them first and paid over the odds for access. However, this practice overlooks one of the fundamentals of influencer marketing. It’s effective and engaging because influencers don’t feel like celebrities, they feel approachable. They’ll reply to your comments or messages. You can imagine wearing what they wear because they’re more relatable than a model.

Once follower count goes over a certain level, they start to lose this magic and engagement drops as a result. According to a 2017 survey by Edelman, 49% of internet users worldwide said they trusted information from online personalities with a small following, whereas only 36% said the same of well-known online personalities. In choosing a micro influencer, you’ll not only be increasing your chances of achieving stronger engagement, you’ll be saving money. Your budget could stretch to multiple influencers, in different vertices, with different niche audiences, making the connections so much more relevant.

A much more worthwhile consideration is the quality of the content. After all, inspiring, high-quality content will provoke a reaction. Prioritize choosing talented content creators over high follower counts and watch your engagement soar.

Read More: Influencer Marketing… But Not as You Know It

Mistake #2: Writing Over-Prescriptive Briefs

Marketers are naturally protective of their brand. They’ll have a vision for the campaign, a precious budget and a strong interest in everything going to plan. But detailed briefs, with no room for creative interpretation, are one of the fastest ways to derail a campaign before it even has a chance to get started.

Showing unique experiences of your product is one of the beauties of influencer marketing. Restricting this by telling an influencer exactly how they should photograph and write about your product makes the collaboration look forced and fake. Their loyal followers will soon notice the change in the tone they know so well and the post will be dismissed as an ad. Not only this, but you will be depriving your campaign exactly the type of creative flair and talent that made you choose that influencer in the first place.

By all means, set the ground rules, make any campaign messages loud and clear, but then step away and wait to be surprised and amazed by the content.

Read More: Key Metrics for Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Mistake #3: Letting Content Live and Die on Social

Once you’ve carefully assigned your budget, selected relevant influencers with top-notch creative credentials and created a brief that allows them to work their magic, you’re going to be left with some epic assets. Incredible images, cinemagraphs and videos. So what do you do? Leave them all alone on social? Oh.

All too often, brands fail to amplify content created by influencers in their own social channels. What a waste. Instagram has made it easier than ever to republish stories a user has been mentioned in, and there’s always the humble #regram.

Modern marketing demands more content than ever to satisfy the expectations of an ‘always on’ approach. Why not use the influencer assets you have already invested in as the fuel for your marketing machine. This year, we’ve seen them used in Facebook ads, out of home and on websites. The possibilities are endless. Some brands are now even bypassing the product placement stage entirely and using influencers purely as creators of authentic and budget-friendly assets that can be used in their marketing mix.

Read More: How NOT to Handle a Collaboration Request When it Comes to Influencer Marketing

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