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The Single Biggest Mistake You’re Making With Influencer Marketing (And How To Fix It)

What if your influencer marketing campaign is ineffective because you’re not doing it right?

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BY Shane Barker - 01 Mar 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Marketing with influencers can be challenging; and perhaps you think that's the reason you're not seeing results from your campaign. But what if your campaign is ineffective because you're just not doing it right?

Like with every other marketing channel, there are plenty of mistakes you might be making with influencer marketing. Maybe you're launching a campaign without a clear marketing goal, or a proper plan. Maybe you failed to choose the right influencers, and now you're stuck with a campaign that's lagging.

On top of all this, however, there's a single mistake that can significantly impact the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign. And that mistake is treating influencers not as humans, but as just another advertising medium.

Sure, you hire influencers to advertise for you, but that doesn't mean you order them around and tell them exactly what to do during the campaign. There are so many things that could go wrong if you continue running your campaigns like this.

To better understand why it's such a huge mistake to treat influencers like advertising mediums, you need to know what can happen when you do this. Here are some of the biggest reasons why it's inexcusable to treat influencers like tools rather than people.

 

Influencers Lose Creative Freedom

When brands think of influencers like tools for advertising their products, they tend to try to control their voices. Most influencers are content creators; they have unique voices, and they promote products in their own unique ways. And this is exactly why influencer marketing is so effective.

But once you only view them as advertising mediums, you provide them with a standard message to use with their sponsored posts. Or you try to control how they express their opinions about the product to their audiences. Consumers can easily see through scripted messages so you might entirely fail to win their trust.

In addition to this, you could ruin your relationship with influencers. A Crowdtap survey suggests that influencers value creative freedom over everything else. In fact, 77 percent of influencers in the study said that they would be willing to work with brands more than once if those brands provide them with creative freedom.

 

You Fail to Build a Relationship with Influencers

Strong brand-influencer relationships are crucial for a campaign to work. But when you treat influencers like advertising tools, you may not make an effort to build a relationship with them. You only want to pay them, and have them do their job.

When influencers promote your products only because you pay them to, there's a chance their messaging can seem inauthentic. Consumers can easily see through an influencer's content. They can tell the difference between those who truly love the product they're promoting, and those who are just promoting a product because they were paid to do so.

 

How to Fix This Mistake

To fix this issue, you need to change your attitude towards influencer marketing. Here are some of the best ways to help you fix or avoid this mistake:

• Don't look at influencers as just another advertising tool. Instead, treat them as potential brand ambassadors, with a larger influence than regular consumers.

• When you approach them, do so with the intention of cultivating a close relationship with them, and speak to them as you would speak to a friend.

• Instead of starting with a request to help you out, try offering them something first. For example, provide them with free samples, or free access to the product in an attempt to turn them into loyal fans.

The tips above can help avoid the mistake of looking at influencers like advertising tools. But most of all, it's important that you treat them like human beings.

What did you think of the points covered in this post? Do you have any doubts or any questions in mind? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch with me to better understand how to work with influencers.