With more than 150 influencer marketing campaigns under our belts, we know a thing or two about what works, and what doesn't. Don’t let these common mistakes derail your influencer marketing campaigns.
LACK OF STRATEGY
When setting up an influencer marketing campaign, ask yourself… what is the bulls-eye?
- Does the sales team care about reach? Probably not.
- Do you want to grow your social following?
- Increase awareness? Or, drive sales/clicks?
Once you answer these questions, define expectations through clear key performance indicators (KPIs). This will lead to efficiency, consistency and decrease the risk of confusion.
WRONG COMPENSATION MODEL
There's no shortage of articles on what influencers cost, and most of the time we find them inaccurate. The most common compensation model is a flat fee for content and publishing. At Carusele, we determine this rate based on the KPIs of the campaign and things like engagement rate, saturation rate, the influencer's audience, do we have a relationship with the influencer, and finally, reach.
COMPARING INFLUENCER CAMPAIGN COSTS TO PAID MEDIA
No doubt it will always be more cost effective for a brand to buy ads on their own social channels. But, it is typically more effective and ultimately helps drive sales, when a third-party is doing the talking.
The bottom line is the analysis can't be on just a CPM basis, it needs to be on an outcome basis. When you analyze costs, there are other factors your need to include than just your initial investment, such as the cost of the influencer to produce content and reach their audience, and the cost of analysis and targeting. If you want to do a cheap CPM based buy, step away from influencer and buy banner ads.
NOT USING A CREATIVE BRIEF
The creative brief is the influencer’s guide to the campaign and should be clear, concise and give them the guardrails they need to deliver content that brand wants. If you skip the brief, you are setting the influencer, and the campaign, up for failure.
At Carusele we develop the creative brief, or Welcome Packet, in collaboration with the brand. Our focus is campaign themes, KPIs and goals, brand guidelines, FTC compliance, brand safety and more. It is truly a collaborative document that allows our clients to feel confident their brand is accurately represented.
PICKING THE WRONG INFLUENCERS
Brand safety is top of mind for everyone in influencer marketing, but what many don’t realize is that it starts with influencer selection. Pick the wrong influencers and your campaign is destined to fail.
When selecting influencers, data is not enough. Sure, engagements, efficiency and reach all play a part in the selection process, but picking the right influencer’s to represent our brand is so much more than numbers. We are seeing situations where influencers have carefully curated feeds, then show their true selves on their stories.
NOT LOOKING AT SATURATION RATE
When an influencer posts primarily sponsored content, their influence diminishes. It’s the old adage, when everything is important, nothing is. If an influencer will shill anything, they lose authenticity and their audiences’ trust.
FOCUSING ON REACH
Don’t be fixated on the numbers, because reach does not equal influence. Influencers with huge followings will not get your brand the type of engagement you need to make an impact. This is because roughly 10% of their followers are likely to see your content organically. This goes from as low as 1% for certain channels to about as high as 30% for other channels.
MEASURING MAX POTENTIAL
Max potential impressions are fiction. Even worse are second generation/viral impressions. Both dramatically overstate the number of impressions being generated. Don’t fall for it. Our method of counting impressions is more balanced. For Carusele campaigns, influencers share organically and then we boost the highest performing content to reach the exact target audience. We then count the max potential reach for the organic impressions and the true views for the boosted impressions. The reason we count max potential for the influencer shares is because there's no other good way that treats influencer content fairly.
NOT USING MEDIA TARGETING
If you are not doing media targeting in an influencer campaign, you are wasting your money. Simply selecting influencers with a percentage of their audiences that resemble your target audience is not enough. At Carusele, we take the top performing content from a campaign and boost it to the exact target audience. Moms in the Midwest who like theme parks, check. Twenty-somethings in NYC who live near a specific retailer, no problem. We often weave in dayparting and always optimize daily for real-time peak performance and the most bang for the buck.
IGNORING THE FTC
Ignore the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at your own peril. The FTC’s mission is to protect consumers. Influencers need to be aware of truth-in-advertising standards about endorsements and disclosures. According to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides, if there is a material connection between an influencer and an advertiser, that connection must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed unless it’s already clear from the context of the communication. A material connection is defined as a connection that might affect the weight or credibility that consumers give the endorsement – like a business or family relationship, a payment, or the gift of a free product. To make things easy, Carusele put together an FTC Compliance Cheat Sheet.
If you'd like to learn more about influencer marketing, or what a campaign could look like for your brand, contact us today!