We have seen many firms succeed exceptionally well with influencer marketing. Some of our clients have reported spectacular success. DRÂRE Clothing, for instance, achieved an ROI of 920%. That’s £9.20 returned for every £1 they spent. We have recently discussed why brands see success with an influencer strategy. But we are realistic. There can be brand challenges with influencer marketing. Some firms rush in without thought and planning and end up being disappointed by their results. Others do their research, jump in and are shocked at how difficult it can be.
Like all forms of marketing, there are also some brand challenges that may occur when implementing your influencer marketing campaign. If you analyse virtually any type of marketing, traditional or online, you will find some brands succeed, and others fail to engage their target audience. However, your firm can work to improve their chances of beating any brand challenges.
1. Finding Effective Influencers
According to eConsultancy’s 2016 The Rise of Influencers report, 59% of marketers struggle with approaching and engaging potential influencers.
Indeed, trying to find effective influencers organically can be a major issue for brands.
Firstly they have to work out who is influential on social media. A high following doesn’t equate to sales.
Even if a business manages to sort out the challenge of finding suitable influencers, they still have the issue of contacting them. How do you encourage somebody you have never met to promote or endorse your brand? In the case of those relying on organic search, this may mean a long, slow process of building relationships. And even that may fail if those you contact don’t react positively to your overtures. In our experience of influencers we’ve learnt the need to sell to every influencer you work with.
We have already found and authenticated genuine influencers in virtually every niche imaginable. Working with an agency makes it really easy for you to identify and collaborate with effective influencers. It also means that once you have found suitable influencers you don’t have to go through a long process of relationship-building.
2. Maintaining Authenticity
For influencer marketing to be effective influencers need to maintain authenticity with their fans. While in many ways, this is more a challenge for influencers, it does become a brand challenge if the influencers aren’t good at it. Nobody will believe or react positively to messages that don’t come across as authentic.
Scott Disick gained press for all the wrong reasons with one of his Instagram fails. He simply copied and pasted a message – including the instructions the brand gave him. He should have simply posted, “keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!” In reality, he wrote, “Here you go, at 4pm est, write the below. Caption: Keeping up with the summer workout routine with my morning @booteauk protein shake!”
Obviously, the best way you can maintain authenticity is to ensure that you work with authentic influencers that are likely to not make mistakes. Do your homework first, to ensure that fans recognize these people for their genuine authentic posting.
Of course, as a brand, you have to make certain that you are authentic too. Authentic influencers are not going to lie about your products. They won’t tell their followers how great your product is if they don’t like it.
To work with organic influencers you first need to build up a relationship with them. While the process may not be so lengthy and convoluted if you work with an agency, it is just as important that you work on relationship-building. It will have an impact on how genuine the influencer sounds when talking about your products to his or her fans.
3. Keeping Track of Influencers’ Activity
Augure’s State Of Influencer Engagement In 2015 Report found that 32% of the respondents considered keeping track of influencers’ activity to be a brand challenge. When a brand works with influencers to help them with their social media marketing strategy, brands hand over a lot of control to the influencer or influencer agency.
What we do to keep as much control of the influencers as possible is keep a strict schedule for our influencers. Additionally, we like to ensure influencers regularly update us, providing us with any content before it goes live. We also like to pay the influencers at the end of the campaign so the highest quality is produced within our clients’ campaigns.
4. Avoid Following Trends Blindly
Don’t follow the leader when it comes to influencer marketing. Just because you hear that another business did well working with a specific Instagram influencer does not necessarily mean that you should work with the same Instagram influencer. You may well find that alternative influencers or influencers on another social media channel will perform better for your particular brand.
Indeed, quite a few influencer campaigns work best when you follow a multi-channel strategy. You need to find the channel mix that is best for your business – not just the ones that are trendy.
Some agencies are experienced when working with firms across a wide range of verticals and can help you determine which is the best channel and influencers-mix for your particular brand.
Also, remember that influencers have gained their status because they have built up an authentic reputation with their fans. They will have a good idea what works with their audiences, and what is likely to fall flat. It pays to trust your influencers.
5. Don’t Restrict Your Campaigns to Influencers Only
While influencers can do an amazing job of spreading the word about your brand, you shouldn’t leave all of your marketing efforts to them alone. The best campaigns involve an element of cross promotion. You may not have the reach of your influencers, but it makes sense that you republish the great content that your influencers create into your own channels.
Don’t Let Brand Challenges Disrupt Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Although there can be a range of brand challenges in influencer marketing, none are insurmountable for most businesses. In many cases, the problems are simply caused by inexperience and a simple lack of knowledge.
Firms trying to work organically in a vacuum may have difficulties, particularly with finding suitable influencers. However, many of these brand challenges are easily solved when a brand works with a strong influencer marketing agency. Alternatively, you should have a go yourself. However, do not be too discouraged if your first attempts are not as successful as you have planned. Influencer marketing is not easy but you can pull of some absolutely remarkable results when using the most effective influencers in your industry.