4 things that can ruin your influencer marketing efforts

As demand for influencer marketing is growing rapidly, it is necessary to differentiate good versus bad influencer marketing practices, so that only the best ones are used to convey brands’ messages to consumers. In our opinion poorly executed influencer marketing brings bad reputation and image to the whole industry. That is why we gathered this list of four pitfalls to avoid when doing influencer marketing.

1. Product or service not suitable for influencer

Based on our experience there is two distinctive situations in which influencer and product do not fit. First is that the product is not appropriate for the influencer, so the influencer does not like and would not normally use the product. This is the case for example with sports supplements and an influencer who does not train. Second one is that the brand image and influencer style are not fitting. However, this is subtle and more difficult to recognize. For example, influencers with a sexy and luxurious style are probably not the best fit for a simple, down to earth brand image. Reasons to avoid this are that the message probably does not have an impact, at least not the desired one, and secondly, it should be remembered that the influencers become brand representatives of the company and their attributes are most probably associated with the brand they are promoting. So choose only influencers whose attributes you actually wish to be associated with your brand.

2. Too strict guidelines on execution

At Monochrome we always believe that it is wisest to leave the professionals to do their core expertise. Respectively, influencers are professionals in content creation for their audience, so for their followers. If the influencers can freely create content in their own style and concept, the content will be for sure more creative, genuine and liked. We always make sure that the chosen influencers understand the essence of the brand and the campaign message. After that we trust our influencers with their job and creativity to create the content and tell the message with their own words and style. Too strict guidelines like asking influencers to write some exact words or take some specific style photos are definitely spotted, as each influencer has their own tone of voice and style which the followers are familiar with and recognize. Fake opinions of the influencers are easily spotted and their trust and interest in the particular brand and the influencer will adjust accordingly. On the other hand, natural interest will for sure transmit to the followers.

Case Healthlab

For instance, in our Healthlab vitamin water campaign we encouraged our influencers to freely express their creativity. In the end we were amazed by the diversity of content they created linked with vitamin water usage: after sauna, to help fight the frost, as a flight essential and combined with yoga, long walks and training sessions for instance. One influencer even wrote a short poem of the importance of taking care of yourself with vitamins! To summarize, so much great and creative content which would not have been created if the guidelines on the execution were too strict.

3. Not reaching the target audience

Another highly important factor that Monochrome considers when choosing the influencers for a campaign is their follower base. It is super important to do the extra research on the demographics of the followers to match with the brand’s targeted consumers. For example, when doing influencer marketing for a local product a collaboration with an influencer with 90% abroad followers is not necessary the smartest choice. Of course, the bigger follower base an influencer has, the more diverse it usually is and 100% accurate targeting is somewhat unrealistic. However, even smaller follower bases might be sometimes unexpectedly different than what assumed. Therefore to have the best impact always double check the follower base of any influencer rather than assume.

4. Not marking commercial collaboration

Last but not least, something that is still too often neglected, but can make a big difference if done properly – telling transparently about commercial collaborations by marking the content as “#collaboration”, “#ad” or “#sponsored” for example. Although the laws of commercial content in influencer marketing are only forming and they vary among different countries, a common attitude from consumers is their appreciation of truth and transparency. When the influencers are open and 100% honest, the followers have more positive attitude towards the content they see. The followers might even become angry when they see a post from influencer without a notification of commercial collaboration or sponsorship, if they suspect that there is one involved anyways. On the other hand, they most probably do not care a bit if something is sponsored or not, they just want to know about it. That is why Monochrome always makes sure that our influencers mark their posts accordingly by using appropriate hashtags. In short, better be safe than sorry!

Writers: Emma Naumanen, Do Yen