The 5 influencer marketing mistakes that could be holding you back

Are you using influencer marketing to promote your blog or business? Although it’s a very popular marketing technique, it’s still relatively new to bloggers, businesses and marketers – which means, mistakes are bound to happen. Here are the top 5 influencer marketing mistakes that could be holding you back.

Do you know what you want to achieve?

With some of the newly-popular marketing techniques (like social media marketing, content marketing and influencer marketing), people often fail to strategize and set clear goals before getting started.

Although planning and strategizing can be a tedious job, it’s essential; just like any marketing technique you use, you should always create a strategy and set goals before you get started with implementing it.

There are two big reasons why you should create a strategy before starting: one, because setting clear goals is the only way you can measure your influencer marketing ROI, and two, because it will allow you to gain a better understanding of what you did right and what you did wrong, which will then allow you to create better and bigger influencer marketing campaigns in the future.

Even if you don’t create a step-by-step strategy, there is one thing that you need to do that is absolutely essential: set goals. Whether it’s raising awareness of your business, getting more traffic to your website, or building links, for example, always set clear goals. Make sure they are measurable, realistic and as specific as possible. If you’re using influencers to raise traffic to your website, for example, use a goal like “increase website traffic by 10% in one month”.

Is that really the right influencer for you?

One of the most common mistakes seen with influencer marketing is using influencers that aren’t the right fit – it might be because of the types of content the influencer normally posts, or it could simply be because their audience is not the right one for you.

Before reaching out to an influencer, you should always take the time to perform some research on them and their audience. Look at their website and blog, as well as their social media accounts, but don’t make an opinion based on first impressions only. Go back a few months on their blog to see what types of content they publish, read a few blog posts to familiarise yourself with their style and check their social media to see how they interact with their audience.

You can use an influencer research tool like Buzzsumo, which allows you to see a list of the links each influencer shares with their audience – you’ll be able to gain a better idea of the type of content they like to share with their audience on social media.

Are you judging influencers based on followers?

This is another very common mistake; when researching influencers, most people tend to gravitate towards follower numbers to determine the amount of influence someone has; but the truth is, it’s not reaching a huge amount of people that will get you results – it’s reaching the right people. People who would be genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

The best influencers are not those with hundreds of thousands of followers, they’re the ones with a very engaged community. It can be much more effective to use a few different micro-influencers with under 100k followers, but who are very engaged and trust the influencer, rather than using one influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers who don’t engage.

In fact, often times, the more followers an influencer has, the more likely it is that their engagement drops. On Instagram, for example, studies have found that users that have under 1k followers get an average of 15.1% engagement, while users with over 100k followers, get 2.4% engagement – which is a huge discrepancy and the reason why so many marketers are now focusing their attention on smaller influencers, rather than the biggest names in the industry. Not to mention, it’s also cheaper to use micro-influencers – but, you will have to use more than one or 2, so that you can also reach a bigger audience.

You can use a tool like Agorapulse to create comparisons between Twitter accounts and between Facebook Pages to see, at a glance, how active an influencer is, how many interactions they have, the quality of their interactions, as well as the number of actual conversations they’ve held with other users.

The afore-mentioned Buzzsumo also has useful engagement stats; for every influencer, you will be able to see their retweet and reply ratio, so that you can get an idea of how active they are.

Are you being authentic?

When you’re using someone outside your business to help promote it, it’s quite natural to want to control everything they do: what they say about it, how they present your product and so on. You’ll probably want to give them promotional copy that they have to use when talking about you – but is that the right way?

However, doing this can be a big mistake and it can affect your results. Put simply, there is a reason why an influencer has achieved that status; their followers and readers trust their opinion, they love their voice and they trust them to be authentic.

The best way to get results from an influencer is to let them be themselves and to interact with their audience as they usually do; some direction is needed, but you shouldn’t attempt to control the way they share your message.

Are you actually measuring your results?

Earlier, I mentioned the importance of setting goals and creating a strategy before starting an influencer marketing campaign – and one of the big reasons for doing so, is so that you can measure your results at the end of your campaign.

When you measure your results, you can see where your resources were spent, where you went wrong in your campaign and where you got the best results. With this information, you can then improve your future influencer marketing campaigns: you’ll see which types of influencers were most successful, which forms of content got you the most traffic or engagement and so on.

Conclusion

Influencer marketing can be one of the most effective forms of digital marketing, when done right. What struggles have you encountered with your influencer marketing campaigns?

Guest post by:

Lilach Bullock. Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. lilachbullock.com | twitter.com/lilachbullock

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