How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Influencer Marketing

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Influencer Marketing
Vamp Content

The easiest way to avoid the pitfalls of Influencer Marketing is by hiring a professional partner like Vamp that does this on a large scale with legal processes in place.

11.7% of US marketing budgets is now devoted to social media (up from 3.5% in 2009) but as a relatively new advertising channel brands are still experimenting with Influencer Marketing as they figure out what their optimal result might look like.

The return on an investment with an Influencer is typically $6.50 for every $1 you invest in Influencer Marketing, however, to maximise the ROI you need to carefully plan and manage your campaign from start to completion.

Engaging with Influencers means brands get:

Built-in distribution

Content and messaging optimised by social channel. Influencers know their audiences best, including the nuances between user engagement on Instagram versus YouTube, etc.

A one-stop shop

A model, writer, photographer, editor, marketer all in one person.

Original, Evergreen and SEO-friendly content

Influencers are your creative freelance resource, creating original content that you can repurpose, reuse and continue to leverage in your digital marketing strategy long after the end of a campaign.

Ability to engage niche audiences

Audiences which are difficult to engage via traditional paid media can be reached in a creative, relatable way.

“Influencers are extremely valuable, which mean marketing costs may be higher than paid social marketing – something marketers don’t always fully consider: From Influencer identification to activation to campaign management and reporting, a hefty amount of work goes into ensuring success when it comes to Influencer campaigns.”

Source: General Assembly 

How to avoid the pitfalls

Content created for our recent Country Road Denim campaign

Pitfall: Working with the wrong talent for your brand

The Influencers your brand chooses to work with can make or break a campaign. Choosing to work with talent who aren’t the right brand fit or who you don’t have a well-forged professional relationship with can be detrimental to the success of a campaign. You need to have a clear understanding of what you will expect to see in terms of reach, engagement, genuine interest in the product, service or brand, authentic tone, quality of content, previous marketing experience and history of success with brands.

Solution: Taking the time to properly vet the Influencers. 

A whole lot of time needs to be invested in forging strong, mutually trusting relationships with talent so that you know what to expect when you work with them on a campaign. The Vamp Collective is invite only with an in-house Global Talent Director and campaign team working tirelessly to hand recruit, forge relationships and carefully educate our talent so that they are ready professionals. Then when it comes to selecting Influencers for a specific campaign we already have expectations as to the kind of work that they will produce. We properly vet them to ensure that there no product or category conflicts, that they have a high follower engagement and quality of content. This not only maximises the brand’s ROI but it also results in a smooth, seamless process in which the brand is best represented.

Content created for our recent Williams Sonoma Easter Baking & Entertaining campaign

Pitfall: Unclear Objective & Briefing 

A brand will often have a clear idea in mind about what they want to achieve from an Influencer Marketing campaign but are unsure about the best way to execute this in a clear brief. The brief must clearly communicate the expectations to the Influencer and outline the requirements so that this carries across in the content they create. Unclear briefing can cause delays, resulting in your brand not getting the desired outcome and potentially damaging your brand’s relationship with an Influencer.

Solution: Clearly set the goals and requirements of the campaign

Working with a professional agency like Vamp can help your brand formulate a clear brief which outlines expectations, delivers expected ROI and prevents disappointment. Setting clear objectives for Influencers is key to the success of an Influencer Marketing campaign. All Vamp briefs are sent to our collective of talent via the Vamp App. The requirements of a campaign are available for the Influencers to view at any time. Before talent agree to a brief with Vamp they have full clarity on the brief expectations. We fully encourage our Influencers to turn down briefs that they can’t realistically fulfil or don’t align with. Vamp is also on-hand as support for our Influencers to provide advice during a campaign, help bounce ideas and give feedback. When the brief is clear and the brand relinquishes creative control; that’s when the magic happens.

Content created for our recent Swarovski SLAKE campaign

Content created for our recent M.A.C Hong Kong campaign

Pitfall: Not carefully monitoring a campaign

In previous campaigns Vamp has worked with anywhere between 5 and 55 Influencers in a campaign, with people posting multiple pieces of content at any given time. (We allow our Influencers to choose their posting periods as they can better plan their content calendar to optimise the results of a sponsored posts by posting at a time that their followers are most engaged. This also ensures that the sponsored post sits authentically in their feed.) The nature of social media is that it is instant and there is a fleeting window for people to engage with content before they move onto the next thing. Not staying on top of a campaign by careful monitoring can mean that a brand misses a window of opportunity to engage with the Influencers’ content, or respond to a question about a product.

Solution: Have tracking tools and campaign management systems in place

When managing multiple talent across a campaign it’s essential to stay on top of the content going live for the overall success of a campaign. A service Vamp includes in our offering for clients is daily campaign monitoring to ensure that each posts hits a campaign brief and also a Content URL with a real-time preview of all the campaign posts. The Vamp App pulls through all of the content that has gone live, including the likes, comments and post captions so that all the campaign information is in one place for our clients to see. No need to trawl through Instagram trying to find campaign posts! This is also good for keeping on top of potential content to re-gram on a brand’s own-channel.

Content created for our recent eBay campaign

Pitfall: Brands not getting the balance right between control and authenticity

The biggest fails in Influencer Marketing happen when brands dictate to Influencers exactly what they should post. Those copy and paste mishaps (ah hem Scott Disick) undermine a platform that actually thrives in authenticity. This platform does better when Influencers genuinely align with a brand and are free to recommend this to their followers in their natural tone of voice. Not only does this jar with the Influencers’ natural narratives and irritate their followers because it feels contrived, it can also be potentially damaging from a legal perspective. The new AANA guidelines in place discourage brands from being too controlling over the content.

Solution: Keep calm and trust Influencers

Although Influencer Marketing is one of the most powerful strategies available today, it must be credible in order to produce results. There is still a very real need for brands and agencies to understand the importance of authenticity and relinquish creative control. With clear briefing, skilful talent selection and a carefully managed campaign, giving up creative control and trusting Influencers to produce content will result in a campaign which surpasses expectations.