by Maria Bell
Are you scrambling to find influencers for your brand?
You see competitors using top bloggers and driving massive social media shares and traffic to their site.
You want to imitate and get similar results.
You think “hey if it works for them—it’ll work for me too. Right?”
The purpose of influencer marketing is to grow brand awareness, build new leads, and convert prospects into customers.
Irfan Ahmed a guest writer for Social Media Today says “94% of marketers who use influencer marketing find it an effective practice, and influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising.”
Without the correct Influencer, you’ll never see 11x the ROI. If done incorrectly you’ll waste money, leads won’t convert, and your brand will be forgotten.
In this blog post, learn 10 reasons your influencer turns off customers and how to spot the right spokesperson to drive sales and crush competition.
- Influencer doesn’t fit campaign strategy
Your influencer strategy should align with your customers’ needs and build out your marketing funnel.
Choosing an influencer solely on their follower count is no longer enough, start thinking, how does this influencer fit into our customer’s journey?
Your customer’s journey comprises 5 stages:
Boagworld offers an excellent guide on researching your customer journey map.
No two maps are the same, and will vary depending on your organization. Figure out your biggest challenges. Are you having troubles getting found online or need a credible voice to back your product’s performance?
Every influencer may bring awareness, but all influencers cannot produce effective content to trigger sales.
Decide which areas your campaign needs to target. To educate customers on your product, pick an influencer who is articulate, thorough and respected for reviews to deliver the campaign. If you want customers to become brand advocates, an influencer with a weak fanbase will not yield a strong community. You want their die-hard fans to transfer over to you.
Believing your influencer is a one-stop-shop to hit all stages is guaranteed to cripple your marketing. Start organizing influencers into groups that promote, entertain, educate, and empower their audience best.
With mapping, you can scale your campaign easier, and your goals will be attainable.
2. Influencer is too popular
Numbers are a vanity metric, and a large social media following can be a problem. Mega-influencers are influxed with followers, for their personality—but for other reasons as well.
Here are a few:
- Fear of missing out: Followers have no interest in the influencer, but wants to stay connected to what’s popular with peers. Oftentimes they have no engagement with the account.
- Spammers: Have you seen the comment section of huge accounts?Spammers offer no value to discussions.They self-promote and bombard accounts with annoying comments.
Here’s a photo of celebrity influencer Kylie Jenner. Kylie’s Instagram account is notoriously filled with the comments LB, FB, and CB, which stands for like, follow, and comment back.
You need engaged followers to build relationships ,and your sales funnel. Think about, how can one person have a strong connection to millions of people? The larger you are, the less of a connection you have. Realistically, you only convert a small fraction of followers.
Your eyes may widen when you see your product on a page with 2 million followers, but engagement and sales conversion are what matters most.
It’s difficult, but deterring your strategy towards a small, lesser-known influencer with higher engagement is a better alternative. Here’s where micro-influencers come in place.
Micro-influencers are influencers who have anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of followers. Adweek shares those with an audience of 1,000 produce an engagement rate of 15%.
A study by HelloSociety states micro-influencers are 6.7X more efficient at engaging audiences than popular influencers. The study also confirms their followers tend to be more loyal with engagement rates 60% higher.
Instead of testing your luck with huge accounts who may have the numbers, but not the connection; try reaching out to niche influencers. There’s less competition, less expensive, and they’ll hold your customer’s attention better.
3. Poor audience segmentation
Does your influencer understand their audience? Before you launch your campaign, you need to gather insights on what’s appropriate to promote, what time, which platform and to whom.
The Health Compass, provides an excellent example of different customer segmentation groups.
When developing your campaign, consider these questions for each group.
- Socio-demographic: What is the most common customer persona? Ex: Asian female, who’s 25-40 years of age with an income under $70,000.
- Geographic: Where is our target audience located? What are the best times to post on social media in that region and time zone?
- Behavioral: Which groups respond best to written content? How many prefer short videos before they take action?
- Psychographic: What are the shared values and beliefs? Is the audience snarky and loud or conservative?
A well-researched segmentation strategy will provide insights on how to market the influencer and to their audience.
- Messaging is the same across platforms
When you log into Twitter and see an advertisement and then see the same ad on Facebook, do you feel compelled to buy?
I don’t. I automatically keep scrolling.
With personalized ads, marketers follow you around the web on different websites in hopes you’ll finally make a purchase.
Your influencer should tailor your product’s message to each platform and audience. A one-size-fits-all advertisement is not adaptable across social media. A long video product placement may perform well on Youtube but may do poorly on Instagram where short videos perform best.
When fleshing out your content plan with your team, create variations of the same ad to hit target customers on every platform. Play with images, messaging style and tone to see which ad gets the best response. Track and measure engagement, click rates and sales to see which creates better conversions.
4. Influencer is controversial
You scour social media for your best spokesperson, you develop a campaign strategy, invest money, prepare to launch and then bam —you’re hit with a dilemma.
Your influencer put their foot in their mouths and now has an outraged audience. You still have a contract to fulfill, but their followers no longer care what they promote, either they apologize and return to grace or forever be blacklisted.
All your time, money and resources wasted. This happens all too often on social media.
Kuwaiti beauty guru Sondos Al Qattan, who has 2.4 million Instagram followers recently faced backlash for complaining about a new regulation allowing her maid at least one day off from work a week.
Her rant triggered global outrage, and several brands who sponsored her such as Mac Factor, Phyto USA, and Chelsea Boutique swiftly had to cut ties from her brand.
If you find yourself in a media controversy, you’ll have to address heavy issues you didn’t plan for. For businesses without a PR department timing is everything during a crisis and you don’t want to get burned.
Pressure to back away from an investment you spent months on will happen, and to retain customers, you’ll have to. Research past scandals online to get a feel of any shortcomings your influencer has. Are they impulsive and lash out often? See how they handle themselves when they make public mistakes.
Choosing an influencer with tact and good sense will save you from offending customers.
5. Awkward collaboration
Do you cringe when you see fashion gurus promoting jalapeno mayonnaise? Or Olympic athletes sponsored by Mcdonalds?
Brand collaborations should make sense. If your followers sign up to see content about digital marketing than you reviewing software that helps schedule social media posts is beneficial.
Chriselle Lim a luxury lifestyle blogger, on Instagram, received backlash after bringing awareness of Volvo’s eco-friendly car campaign.
Her followers immediately hated the pairing and Chriselle was called a hypocrite because of her extravagant lifestyle, fast fashion wardrobe, and cars.
Chriselle was forced to address the harsh criticisms, which overshadowed the environmental message Volvo was attempting to spread.
Customers love authenticity, in the brand and ambassador. Don’t risk losing buyers with awkward spokespersons.
6. Influencer does not disclose sponsorship
There was a time when sponsorship was a dirty word—and to some it still is. Companies used to coach influencers into concealing their advertisements, whether that be hiding their collaboration announcement where followers couldn’t see or omitting information altogether.
Customers want genuine reviews and demonstrations of a product. When influencers take money from brands, advertising a product that is low-quality or over-hyped; they are deceiving customers.
The Federal Trade Commision now enforces influencers to disclose their relationship with brands when endorsing products.
Addressing your partnership head on will not hurt your influencers credibility, transparency is key to retaining followers converting to customers.
7. Influencer doesn’t have strong community
Influencers are the new celebrities and many of their fan bases rival top Hollywood stars. A strong community will support and purchase recommendations at a higher rate than weak ones.
Some examples of popular online communities are:
- World traveling on a budget
- Bullet journaling and stationery
- Family bloggers with toddlers
Harvard Business Review says a brand community exists to serve the people. By helping followers meet their needs, and not trying to make money from them, customers will have a stronger emotional bond.
Search for influencers who create content on their own that educates, inspires and provides resources for their followers. When it’s time to introduce your brand and sell, customers will be more receptive to your product because it aligns with their community.
8. Influencer has no freedom
A research study by Linqia reveals “76% of marketers cite measuring the ROI of influencer marketing as their top challenge for 2018”.
That same study states “when measuring the success of influencer marketing programs, marketers cite engagement (90%), clicks (59%), and conversions (54%) as top performance indicators”.
Are you a little too eager to make a sale that your influencer is on tight strings?
Your influencer knows their audience best. They’ve built their platform from the ground up and interact with followers daily. If you’re a social media manager or marketer who wants to control every aspect of the campaign, you’re losing valuable insights from your influencer.
A robotic, corporate-sounding script that’s outside their usual vocabulary will signal red flags to followers and lower conversion rates.
Your influencer should always have first say in the visual and written content shared to their audience, with your input.
9. Influencer has too much freedom
Clear boundaries should be outlined in any influencer-brand contract. However, as a business owner, you have the right to protect your image and product on social media.
Your spokesperson should:
- Provide great visual content
- Not mention or show another brand in your ad
- Be polished and professional
For growing companies, Influencers may not see you as an authority when speaking about your product. This will be obvious to their audience, and your image may come off uninspiring and forgettable.
If you’ve had troubles with influencers posting late reviews or lazily thrown together tutorials, it’s time to enforce respect with stronger agreements.
The way you’re introduced to a new audience sets the tone for your future relationships. Giving too much freedom to an influencer may result in potential customers abandoning research and choosing a competitor, so create strict rules you’re not willing to compromise on.
As influencer marketing grows, brands and influencers must hold themselves accountable for how they build relationships with customers.
We all want the best outcome for our marketing campaigns. We need our efforts to be validated with increased followers, more traffic, and higher conversions. This is absolutely possible by setting realistic goals, targeted campaigns and not overburdening our influencers.
By avoiding these 10 missteps, you’ll build a stronger community, drive more sales, and showcase your business’s integrity to customers.
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Maria Bell writes for B2B SaaS and e-commerce startups on their bottom-of-funnel content and marketing strategy. She helps clients convert readers into customers and make a purchase. Connect with her at mariabell.co.