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3 mistakes brands make when trying to attract influencers

The right influencer can connect with your target audience and increase awareness of your brand, but the key is finding that right one.

Using influencers to grow your brand isn’t new, but the marketing practice has risen in popularity as technology advances. Rather than promoting products or services through celebrity endorsements or TV advertisements, companies use influencers to spread the word about their brand organically, to an influencer’s community and following. This type of marketing increases a company’s reach through relatable and respected sources, which is invaluable.

Influencer marketing can be a useful tool, but only when done right. Failing to research influencers properly, miscommunication and a lack of strategy are all big mistakes many brands make. Learn how to avoid these mistakes and how to effectively use influencers for your campaigns.

Mistake No. 1: Choosing the wrong influencer

Finding an influencer who has a connection to your target market is key to a successful campaign. If you choose an influencer based on their number of followers, or an influencer whose own brand doesn’t mesh with yours, the campaign won’t work as well as it could. Careful research into potential influencers prevents this mistake.

Hire an influencer for a campaign like you’d hire someone to join your company. Look into:

  • Their overall brand and area of interests. Are they primarily health and fitness? Do they focus on makeup? Do they review books?
  • An influencer’s medium. Are they most active on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat or their own website?
  • How they engage with their followers. What is their online voice like? Are they helpful, friendly, sassy, funny or sweet?
  • What and how they share content. Do they create reviews, tutorials, unboxings or best of lists? Do they post photos or create videos? Do they use Instagram Stories or Facebook Live? Do they have their own website that gets a lot of traffic?
  • What kind of followers they have. Do their followers seem like personas your company wants to target? Would they like your product or service? Are they used to influencer ads and campaigns?

When you research potential influencers, you’ll find out early if the fit isn’t right. Plus, you’ll feel comfortable approaching the right influencer when you know more about them.

Mistake No. 2: A lack of strategy

Have a campaign strategy in place that you can communicate with your new influencers. You should have clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for your campaign. To measure brand awareness, you might track the increase and decrease of follower count, likes or clickthrough links. To measure your reach with new customers, you might look at changing demographics.

Whatever goals you set for your brand, make sure you communicate to your influencers what data they should report to you and when. If an influencer doesn’t know your company’s goals or what they need from you, that can be frustrating. They might not know how to talk about your brand naturally if they don’t know what you’re looking for. Have a plan for your influencers and make sure it gets communicated properly.

Mistake No. 3: Being too strict or impersonal

Remember that influencers are successful because they’re trustworthy. They inspire loyalty in their audience. When you choose an influencer to reach your target market, trust that they will know what they’re doing. Try not to be too limiting in what they can say about their company and how they can say it. Leave room for feedback and discussion.

On that note, be sure to treat your influencers with respect and authenticity. Influencer marketing can be new territory for companies and there might be a tendency to treat influencers as a faceless online brand. Remember that you’re working with a real person. Both you and an influencer can benefit from building a genuine professional relationship with one another.

Create an influencer campaign that works

Attracting the right influencers who will fit your brand can take time, but it’s essential for your marketing campaigns to go well. The right influencer can connect with your target audience and increase awareness of your brand. Be sure to communicate clearly and honestly with your influencers and allow room for discussion about your brand strategy. You’ll likely have better success with influencer campaigns and establish valuable professional relationships with your influencers.

Natalie Henley is the CEO of Volume Nine, one of Denver, Colorado's most prominent digital marketing agencies, helping brands connect to the audience through creative content marketing strategies.

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