The influencer marketing industry is getting bigger and better. Its market size was estimated at $9.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $13.8 billion by the end of 2021. Brands are now incorporating influencer marketing into their mainstream strategy, with 75% of them dedicating budgets towards it and 90% of them planning to increase their allocated budgets.
However, it’s only fair to point out at this stage that simply executing an influencer marketing campaign doesn’t guarantee its success. Despite fun ideas and creative concepts, some campaigns pass with flying colours while others fall short of yielding the expected outcomes.
Why does that happen? Well, it could be for any number of reasons. But in this article, we’re looking at the 9 common ones that could be affecting your influencer marketing campaign negatively.
1. Not having clear goals for the campaign.
As dynamic as influencer marketing is, one campaign can serve several purposes: improve brand awareness, reinforce a positive brand image, magnify interactions on social media, bring in user-generated content, share product information, drive traffic to your website, increase conversions, or simply collect insights on a targeted audience segment.
If you launch a campaign without defining the objective first, the whole process will be overshadowed by ambiguity and confuse everyone involved—including your audience. As a result, when the campaign ends, its performance measurement won’t be accurate and the evaluation may be misleading.
So, put a lot of thought into your campaign strategy and never lose sight of your expectations and goals.
If you launch an influencer marketing campaign without a clear objective, the whole process will be overshadowed by ambiguity and confuse everyone involved—including the audience you are trying to reach out to. Click To Tweet
2. Rolling with a bad idea.
You have to carefully ideate your campaign and analyse potential adverse outcomes if the campaign goes wrong. When Pepsi tried to create a campaign out of the Black Lives Matter protest, it received nothing but severe backlash. The brand took down the campaign soon after, but the internet never forgets!
A social revolution, a political incident, or any such sensitive issue organically receives a lot of attention. Understandably, everyone wants to take a stand and voice their opinions. But that’s not something you should try to capitalise on. Thoroughly check if your campaign is insensitive in any way. Your audiences come from all sections of society; it’s advisable to be considerate about the communities that are vulnerable to any sensitive situation.
3. Saying yes to poor content.
The Scarlett Dixon X Listerine campaign is a great example of the kind of content audiences do not want to see from brands and influencers. When the influencer posted images of her ‘normal morning’, looking picture perfect with heart-shaped balloons in the backdrop, nothing about it looked natural or normal and the audience wasted no time to point that out.
Urge your influencers to create genuine content, because it is the most significant part of your campaign and crucial to its success. Go back and forth to fine tune the messaging, and see to it that the balance between brand sponsorship and influencer authenticity is kept in check. Staged content will be found out quickly enough and invite a host of negative feedback.
Review your campaigns thoroughly, go back and forth to fine tune the messaging, and keep the balance between sponsorship and authenticity in check. Staged content only invites negative feedback. Click To Tweet
4. Choosing the wrong influencers.
The importance of choosing the right influencer cannot be emphasized enough. The job is to find somebody whose past work aligns with your brand’s products, values, and messaging. Only then will your brand be able to connect to the audience they cater to. The loyalty of their followers will improve the engagement ratio of your campaign. Also, thoroughly research the influencer’s past work to verify that they haven’t liked or shared insensitive content, or worked with brands that have negative media value. The exercise will prevent any negative impact on your brand’s image.
5. Not being clear about your expectations.
If you want influencers to create the right content for your campaign, you have to be precise about your requirements. A clear brief on your expectations, both regarding quality and quantity of deliverables, will help them align their creativity with your campaign’s objectives. The better they understand, the better the outcome of your campaign. Also, it is only fair to maintain transparency in terms of the campaign’s budget. More often than not, brands fail to determine the compensation model they want to implement, which later leads to misunderstandings and sour relationships.
A precise brief will help you avoid misinterpretations and lay a strong foundation for a successful campaign. If you’re wondering how to draft an influencer brief, check this.
A clear brief on your expectations of deliverables will help influencers align their creativity with your campaign’s objectives. The better they understand, the better the outcome of your influencer marketing campaign. Click To Tweet
6. Failing to do due diligence.
We cannot stress enough on the significance of thorough quality checks. Influencers, no matter how professional, can make last-minute errors. You have to review every last detail of the campaign till it goes live. You can consider devising a mandate document that clearly states the do’s and don’ts and serves as a checklist for every step of the campaign—right from the product or service you wish to promote and the logistics involved to the timelines you’re looking at and, of course, the final content.
Ok I don’t even want to know how this keeps happening but it’s hilarious pic.twitter.com/sUuHVh4exw
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) September 4, 2018
Disha Patani was heavily trolled when she forgot to edit her caption and, instead, posted the brief the brand had sent. Anushka Sharma tweeted from an iPhone while promoting Google Pixel. Even Oprah Winfrey’s Microsoft endorsement was tweeted from an iPad! This kind of oversight or negligence will affect your campaign, and perhaps the faux pas might never be completely forgotten.
To avoid last minute errors that influencers may make, consider devising a mandate document that clearly states the do’s and don’ts and serves as a checklist for every step of the campaign. Click To Tweet
7. Not adhering to compliances.
When Kim Kardashian endorsed Diclegis, she added links to the drug’s information page and another one with detailed safety information. However, the FDA didn’t vet that as sufficient and issued a warning letter against the campaign. The influencer later added the risks of using the drug to the caption, but the internet remembers!
If regulations mandate that a product or service has to be accompanied by a statutory warning, you have to ensure that the content includes them. Moreover, influencer marketing campaigns in India now have to adhere to ASCI’s latest guidelines, which mandate that branded collaborations and promotional content across social media should be marked with a visible disclaimer. As a brand or an agency, it is your responsibility to ensure the influencer’s post adheres to the guidelines.
We have covered everything you need to know about ASCI guidelines in another blog. Click here to read.
ASCI’s latest guidelines mandate that all branded collaborations & promotional content should be marked with a visible disclaimer. A brand or an agency has to ensure that the influencer’s post adheres to all guidelines. Click To Tweet
8. Micromanaging everything.
When Tata Tea rolled out their #FruskiLeak pre-launch campaign, the brand went for traditional ad-speak and didn’t leave any scope for the influencers to add their own personal touch to the content. You can pretty much guess what happened next. The campaign wasn’t well-received by the audience and failed to generate the kind of interest it was supposed to.
The reason influencer marketing works so well is because influencers are able to connect with the audience by staying true to themselves. You should not tell them to change their thought process, dictate how they communicate or, worse, script their whole messaging for them. Give them room to do their own thing. While overseeing is necessary to avoid goof-ups, poking unnecessarily, hovering, and incessant follow-ups might bring fatigue to their creative process.
You have to give influencers room for creative expression. This way, you will be able to reach their set of audiences in a more meaningful manner.
Influencer marketing campaigns work best when influencers showcase their authentic selves. Brands should not tell them to change their thought process, dictate how they communicate or, worse, script their whole messaging for them. Click To Tweet
9. Being impatient and hurrying for results.
Conceptualising and executing a campaign doesn’t happen in a blink. It’s okay to dedicate time and effort to fine-tune the project. Even the best campaign ideas will fail if not executed properly. Similarly, when it comes to results, do not expect every campaign to go viral overnight.
This also circles back to setting clear objectives. You may receive quick impressions on your campaign, but consumers take time to make up their minds about a product or service. For this reason, getting conversions might be a slow process. You may not see audience engagement in the very first hour of the campaign but if you have been able to strike the right chord, it will pick up.
You may receive quick impressions on an one-time influencer marketing campaign, but consumer decisions & conversions are slow-going. Be patient. You have to strike the right chords for desired outcomes. Click To Tweet
Needless to say, when done right, influencer marketing can generate great ROI for brands, bringing in earned media value or conversions depending on campaign objectives. But, as a brand, you have to tread carefully in order to get the best results from your campaign. A well-evaluated, well-executed campaign will always be free of common mistakes and help you achieve the outcomes you are looking for.