Influencer Marketing Pitfalls and Solutions

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Brands are increasingly opting for influencer marketing to reach out to their target audiences or promote their products or services. However, influencer marketing poses certain pitfalls that brands need to be aware of before

As per Hubspot’s report, 2024-State-of-Marketing-HubSpot,

  • Influencer marketing (12%) is one of the marketing trends that has contributed in generating ROI after Short-form videos (17%), and Content showing brand values (13%).
  • 16% of marketers plan to try experiential marketing (engaging audiences in real life with pop-ups and events) and influencer marketing for the first time.

This article discusses three of the most common pitfalls of influencer marketing. It also suggests some solutions to overcome these challenges.

Over-reliance on Influencers:

Brands may become over-reliant on influencers and neglect other marketing strategies. This can lead to the absence of diversity in marketing efforts, and the brand may suffer if the influencer falls out of favor or becomes less popular.

Solutions:

Expand Marketing Channels: 

Allocating resources across multiple marketing channels like social media advertising, content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and traditional advertising.

This ensures the message reaches a larger audience, reducing the need to depend on a single channel or influencer.

Use Owned Media and Establish Brand Building: 

Brands should build and use owned media channels like the brand’s website, blog, email newsletter, and social media profiles. This helps to create high-quality content and engage directly with the audience. It strengthens brand visibility and aids in maintaining long-term relationships independent of influencers.

Similarly, Brands should focus on building a strong brand identity, value, and unique selling points that connect with audiences. This reduces the need to rely on external influencers for brand recognition and credibility.

Focus on Community Building: 

Brands should maintain a strong brand community with their customers. Brands can do this by engaging with customers, fostering user-generated content, and creating spaces for discussions and interactions. A loyal community provides support during times when influencer partnerships fluctuates.

Partner with Multiple Influencers: 

Rather than working with a single influencer, brands should focus on working with various influencers across different niches, demographics, and platforms. This spreads a brand’s message across different sectors. It also reduces the pressure on brands when a single influencer fails to perform.

Define Influencer Marketing Rules: 

Brands should set guidelines for selecting influencers. This ensures alignment with brand values, audience relevance, and long-term potential. Regularly review and update these guidelines to adapt to changing market dynamics.

Have Contingency Plans: 

Brands should have contingency plans in place to reduce influencer-related risks. These can be loss in popularity or negative publicity. To remove such a possibility, brands could diversify influencer partnerships, promoting owned media channels or tailoring their marketing strategies as needed.

Lack of Authenticity and Transparency:

Consumers are increasingly skeptical of sponsored content and fake endorsements. Influencers will need to be more authentic and transparent in their relationships with brands to build trust with their audiences. This may include disclosing payment and sponsorships and only endorsing products they genuinely believe in.

Solutions:

Choosing Influencers According to Brand Values:

A genuine partnership between the brand and the influencer is important in solving this problem. Brands should choose influencers whose values, interests, and audience align with their own. It raises the likelihood that an influencer genuinely likes the brand’s product and is not just promoting it.

Being Transparent:

Brands should encourage influencers to reveal the nature of their partnership. This can be done through using hashtags like #ad or #sponsored.

Also, brands should encourage influencers to share their honest views, both good and bad. This shows transparency, helping brands to build trust with customers.

Giving Influencers More Creative Freedom:

An influencer has their own way and style of making videos. Brands should encourage influencers to create videos according to their natural style. This makes the content feel more authentic, resonating better with the audience.

Long Term Partnership:

A long term collaboration seems more genuine than a one off time. Long term also helps an influencer connect and better understand the brand’s products. This leads to making trustworthy content over time.

Trial Periods:

Brands should offer influencers a trial period to experience their product rather than jumping into a deal. It allows an influencer to understand if the product aligns with their lifestyle and preferences.

Work with Micro Influencers:

Micro influencers have their own smaller, more niche audiences. Brands should tie up with them as they have higher engagement rates and a more authentic connection with their audiences.

Hubspot also states that 47% of marketers report successful micro-influencer partnerships. Micro-influencers offer access to engaged, loyal communities at a lower price point.

Difficulty in Measuring ROI:

Measuring the influencer marketing ROI can take time and effort. Brands may not see an immediate increase in sales or brand awareness, and measuring the campaign’s success can be challenging.

Solutions:

Set Clearly Defined Measurable Goals:

Having specific, measurable goals for influencer marketing campaigns makes it easier for brands to measure their success. These are increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or generating leads.

Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Brands should identify KPIs based on their campaign objectives. These include metrics like engagement rate, reach, clicks, conversions, and sentiment analysis.

Tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics, and affiliate marketing platforms help to monitor these metrics.

Giving Unique Tracking Links or Discount Codes:

Brands should provide influencers with unique tracking links or discount codes for their content. It helps brands to directly attribute website traffic or sales generated by the influencer’s audience to their specific efforts.

Attribution Models:

Multi-touch attribution models help brands to understand the various points of contact that contribute to conversions. This helps assign value to influencer contributions along the customer journey, even if they are not the last-click source.

Conducting Brand Lift Surveys:

Brands should conduct brand lift studies before and after their influencer campaigns. This helps to measure changes in brand awareness, perception, and awareness among the audiences. Surveys and focus groups also help to provide qualitative feedback.

Focus on Engagement Metrics:

Brands should look beyond sales and focus on engagement metrics, too. These include likes, comments, shares, and mentions. High engagement means an influencer’s content is well received by the audience. This can lead to increased brand affinity and higher word of mouth promotion.

Lifetime Value (LTV) Analysis:

Brands can measure the long term impact of influencer marketing by understanding customer value through influencer channels. This involves tracking repeated purchases, average order value, and customer retention rates.

Influencer Performance Dashboard: 

A centralized dashboard helps to track and understand influencer performance across campaigns. This allows brands to compare results easily, identify top performing influencers, and optimize future partnerships.

A/B Testing:

A/B testing helps in making data-driven decisions and optimizing for better ROI. It allows brands to try out different strategies, content formats, and messaging to understand what better goes on with the customer.

Conclusion:

Influencer marketing is a highly effective tool for brands to reach out to their audience, but it comes with its own set of challenges.

Brands should be aware of these potential pitfalls and take steps to overcome them. By partnering with multiple influencers, focusing on community building, and being transparent and authentic, brands can ensure their influencer marketing campaigns succeed.

Finally, by setting clearly defined measurable goals and tracking key performance indicators, brands can measure the success of their campaigns and make necessary adjustments to improve their ROI.

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