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5 mistakes to avoid for your next Influencer Marketing campaign

Influence marketing is a source of inspiration for many professionals, and this is normal, as it represents incredible opportunities for growth. We all have in mind internationally successful brands that have been built thanks to the power of social networks, content creators and well-executed Influence Marketing campaigns such as Daniel Wellington or Glossier for example. However, if this strategic lever is still an effective way to develop, increase sales or achieve success, it is only possible if you structure your campaigns well and know all the ins and outs. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid (and to keep in mind) for your next Influence Marketing projects.

Person sitting in front of a computer with a phone in hand
Person sitting in front of a computer with a phone in hand

Not defining campaign goal(s)

The first and foremost unforgivable mistake when it comes to your Influencer Marketing campaigns is certainly not defining strategic goals for them beforehand. Although this may seem obvious, a surprisingly high number of marketers and professionals forget this crucial step and therefore end up with unsatisfactory performance because they don’t know exactly what they want to achieve from the campaign and are therefore unable to analyse their results effectively.

To set the goals of your Influencer Marketing project, simply ask yourself these questions: what do I want to achieve with this campaign? What are my objectives? Do I want to develop my notoriety, increase my sales, or increase my number of followers to gain legitimacy? Whatever your goals are, define them clearly and write them down somewhere to remember them throughout your Influencer project.

With clearly defined targets, you will be able to plan the different activations needed to achieve them more easily and it will also be easier to measure the performance of your campaigns. Once you have set the objectives you want to achieve, you can define your key performance indicators (KPIs).

If your main goal is, for example, to increase brand awareness, the most important KPIs for you will probably be reach, traffic or engagement. If your objective is to increase conversions, the engagement rate, conversion rate and number of sales will be the most important key performance indicators to follow.

As a reminder, the main objectives of Influencer Marketing are to

> Improve visibility by making your brand, services or products known,

> Increase your conversion rate, your customers and therefore your sales,

> Gaining on notoriety by increasing the number of subscribers on social networks,

> Enhance your brand image to reassure the consumer and show your legitimacy,

Your aims largely determine your Influencer Marketing campaign and each of the choices and actions you will take. It’s therefore important to take the time to clearly define them before jumping in head first. Each of your commercial or marketing activities is created with precise objectives defined before any action is taken. Your Influence Marketing campaigns follow this same principle and should not be an exception to your overall strategy.

Finding the wrong KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) for your brand

The second, and probably most common, mistake is not identifying and activating the right content creator to carry your messages. The KOL (Key Opinion Leader) you choose to activate should be related to your brand, your values or at least involved in the same sector as you. Also analyse the relationship that this KOL has with his followers. The one who takes the time to engage with their followers, to answer questions or comments is the one who will generally have a higher engagement rate, and therefore surely the one you would want to work with (especially if this KPI follows your previously defined objectives). This essential step can be extremely time-consuming if done in-house, as there are so many different profiles on social networks.

In recent years, technological solutions have been developed to enable professionals to identify and activate content creators more effectively, easily and intuitively. This is notably the case with the Kolsquare Influencer Marketing platform, which allows you to identify those most in tune with your brand based on a targeted search of keywords related to your industry or key data. You will be able to find, in one place, the statistics of the KOLs you are interested in, compare them with each other and even contact them directly via the technological solution if you wish. Kolsquare allows you to save precious time in identifying the most relevant profiles for your Influence Marketing campaigns and to limit the risk of error in identifying the “right profiles” for you.

Going for the wrong compensation model

One of the biggest mistakes in Influence Marketing is when brands do not offer sufficient compensation to the KOLs they work with. It is therefore imperative that you determine the type and amount of compensation you want to offer content creators from the start.

Depending on the type of KOLs you have identified, different forms of compensation can be considered. While nano and micro-influencers may agree to work with you in exchange for a product offering or an invitation to an experience, KOLs with larger communities will likely require compensation in addition to said product offering or experience. Again, this remuneration can take different forms, you can define a fixed amount for the campaign, or choose the affiliation option or even both in some cases.

Overall, here are the main forms of compensation used today in Influence Marketing campaigns:

Pay per Cost

Pay per cost is the most common form of remuneration today. It is a model in which you pay a flat fee to content creators to publish a post for your brand.

Free products or experiences

This is another commonly used model where you offer free products or paid trips to the content creator rather than financial compensation. This model is particularly used for campaigns engaging micro-influencers.

Cost per engagement

This is a model where you pay the KOL (Key Opinion Leader) an agreed amount based on the number of people who respond to the content published by the content creator.

Cost per acquisition

Here you offer compensation for sales or subscriptions made by content creators via affiliate marketing for example. If you opt for this form of remuneration, you will have to determine beforehand the percentage of sales that will go to the influencer at the end of the Influence campaign.

Focus on top influencers to get known

Focusing entirely on the number of followers to activate a KOL is, again, one of the most common mistakes marketers make. It can be tempting to try to use celebrities and macro-influencers like Kylie Jenner (309 million followers on Instagram) or Cristiano Ronaldo (400 million followers on Instagram) for your next Influencer Marketing campaign. Seeing your product promoted to such a large audience can be a dream come true. But are you ready to pay several hundred thousand dollars for a post? Probably not. Especially since the audience of these highly followed KOLs includes a very large public that does not necessarily correspond to your target audience.

Moreover, these influencers may not be as close to their audiences as those with a smaller community. They may be appealing at first glance, but they may also be rather irrelevant to your brand. In some cases, it is better to use micro-influencers to really reach your goals (and your budget) as they will be more likely to interact with their audiences and respond to their comments/requests about your products or services. How do they do this? Because of their close relationship with their subscribers.

Source : Influencer Marketing Hub via Oberlo

Looking at the average engagement rates of the different typologies of influencers that exist, we quickly realize that those with the highest engagement rates are the micro-influencers (here less than 15K followers on Instagram) with almost 4% of average engagement rate against only 1.21% for the mega-influencers (over 1M followers on Instagram). While mega-influencers offer greater visibility to the brands that activate them, their engagement rates are the lowest of any category.

Stifling the creativity of content creators

Finally, the last mistake frequently made in Influence Marketing concerns the creative freedom given to KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) in the context of a campaign. It is necessary to have a clear brief of what is expected in the context of the Influence Marketing collaboration, but this brief should not be too restrictive for the content creator. Indeed, if you have selected an influencer rather than another, it is certainly partly because you appreciate their world and what they give off. It is therefore important to let him be creative in the realization of the campaign and the content so that his publications remain authentic and are perceived as such by his audience.

If you restrict the creativity of content creators by imposing strict guidelines or an overly advertising message, you risk greatly reducing the impact of your campaign because the subscribers of the latter, who know him well, will immediately see that it is a sponsored message, a type of publication that is generally viewed with suspicion by the communities.

Putting too many strict instructions on influencers is far from ideal. After all, influencers know their followers very well, so they are more likely to know how to tell them about your brand. Also, if you want to work with a content creator on a long-term basis, it’s important that they feel comfortable working with you, so they’re more likely to create engaging and authentic content.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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