Influencer marketing is still a relatively new industry. While some of us have more experience with it than others, let’s be honest: the rules are still being written as we go! With that said, there are definitely some clearly established do’s and don’ts in this ever-evolving industry to be mindful of. So if you’re an influencer yourself, here are 5 mistakes to avoid making.
5 Mistakes Influencers Need to Stop Making:
Failing to communicate.
I’ve often listened to influencers complain about unrealistic expectations brands assign to campaigns. “They don’t understand how much work goes into getting one photo like that, much less five!” When I inquired about how the brand replied, the influencer paused with a tilted head before exclaiming “I mean, I didn’t actually say that to them.” While I certainly am not suggesting that influencers should use an aggressive tone, I absolutely believe communicating any concern is mandatory. It’s unfair to expect a brand should automatically know all the challenges that come with your job. Failing to bring these considerations to their attention not only makes your job more difficult, it also increases the chance of underdelivering, thus disappointing the brand. Scheduled to shoot a product on a day it’s pouring rain? Communicate with the brand— there’s a chance they can offer an extension (in fact, they may prefer that over their product being shot in the middle of a monsoon). Whatever issues or concerns you have about a partnership, learn to communicate them honestly throughout the entire process. Not only does this allow for a more seamless process for everyone, it also nurtures your reputation with the brand.
Not doing your research.
Let’s say a brand emails you a proposal seeking a partnership to promote their handbag line. The pay is good and you agree instantaneously before reading the fine print or considering if you’re a suitable fit. As you get ready to post, you suddenly realize it’s a vegan brand that’s against animal cruelty. This could be very problematic if you’re scheduled to cover tasting every steak at new restaurant on your social channels later that evening. As exciting as an opportunity may be, always, always think about if a campaign is the right fit for your brand. Not only can it impact your relationship with a brand, but it can also effect your credibility with your audience.
How many times have we seen the same flat lay repeated over and over now? Or there’s that forced shot of an influencer posing unnaturally with a product that’s clearly sponsored. Brands select influencers in hopes that they’ll take their product and make it their own. They want to see a sense of your personality as you weave their product naturally into your content. Promoting a yogurt brand? Try photographing it in your most ideal breakfast setting that’s still natural to you. Or perhaps it’s a watch you’re looking to promote? Think of all the creative things you can do with your hands! Part of our job as influencers is to find ways to think outside the box. Make sure you hold up your end of the deal.
Not having clear goals.
Both brands and influencers can agree they’d like all campaign partnerships to be successful. In order to do so, it’s imperative that success first be defined. Regardless of whether you’re working solo or with an influencer agency, many influencers stop asking questions once they know the parameters around campaign deliverables. Doing so makes it difficult to ensure both parties are on the same page about what success should look like. Is the brand more concerned about reach or engagement? Is there a unique code that allows you to measure conversions? Be sure to know what the brand hopes to achieve by working together, not only so you know what to strive for but also so you can manage expectations if they’re thinking outside of what’s typically normal.
Failing to deliver a final recap after the campaign is finished.
Once you agree on what success looks like, consider it your job to create a post-campaign wrap up report to share performance details. It’s likely that brands will already be monitoring your post performance to see the number of likes received or to read post comments, but there are back-end analytics only you can see that are helpful for clients to know. Instagram, for example, lets you view specific insights including reach and the number of times each post was bookmarked. If you’re creating a dedicated blog post, be sure to use trackable links to measure how many click-throughs you drive to the brand’s site. Regardless of the campaign parameters or requirements, the more information you can share with partners the more you can discuss and learn how to optimize in the future. Not only does this create learning opportunities for you to improve for other campaigns in the future, it also nurtures your relationship with the brand increases your chances for a success story.
Are there other “influencer commandments” you firmly stand by? Tell us in the comments below!