The Mistakes Brands Make with Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can be a brilliantly effective way to reach a passionate and engaged audience. However, reaching out to influencers and creating meaningful partnerships can also be tricky. To ensure influencers think favorably about your brand  - and are excited to share your story with their readers – avoid these common pitfalls.

Mistake 1 : Not Approaching The Right Influencers

Finding influencers that align with your brand is far more important than working with the biggest names in your industry. While big numbers are always tempting, having a large following doesn’t necessarily make someone influential for your brand. In many cases, it pays off to go after niche bloggers, as they tend to have targeted and passionate followers and tight-knit communities. They respect the influencer and are all ears when it comes to advice in that particular niche.

To ensure you are approaching the right influencers, use a site like ours, The Shelf. You can narrow down by keyword, aesthetic, audience size, social following, price range, location and even the brands bloggers have talked about in the past. 

Mistake 2 : Not Knowing Who You're Talking To

Before you reach out to every influencer in your industry, make sure you know who you're talking to. Be sure to avoid the common pitfall of blasting out emails that aren’t targeted. Before you do any outreach, get to know their work and ensure your brand is the right fit for their audience. Take the time to comment on a blog post or retweet their work. These little actions go a long way in showing the blogger you’ve taken the time to get to know her.

If you aren’t targeted and your emails aren’t personalized, your pitches will likely go unanswered.Bloggers hate receiving cold emails that aren't personalized just as much as you do. But personalization is two-fold because you have to do the research to know who to contact in the first place and and why they would be a good fit for your brand in the first place. Perhaps you sell vintage clothes and you want to get the word out through bloggers. You would curate down to the right blogger

let her know you love the pre-loved pieces she works into her outfits and think your brand would be a good fit for her style and audience. That type of personalization will make her listen up because you’ve taken the time to get to know what she loves blogging about. You could even point out a few of her past posts to show you’re familiar with her content.

Blogging takes a lot of hard work, dedication, creativity and business smarts. There’s a reason some of the biggest bloggers are banking in at a million, being featured on magazine covers and studying at Harvard.  If a blogger decides to work with you, they’re giving you access to their audience, which – if the partnership is the right fit – can be worth your weight in gold. Approaching bloggers with respect and admiration of their work will go a long way. 

Mistake 3 : Not Knowing How Bloggers Charge

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With bloggers making it to the million-dollar mark, it has become undeniably clear that blogging is a legit business. Once you start more conversations with bloggers you’ll familiarize yourself with what price ranges you can expect with varying audience sizes. To that end, you should also take the opportunity to work with bloggers of varying sizes so you can get a sense of what to expect and what works the best for your brand. Depending on your niche, this can vary widely.  If you don’t hear back when you first start doing blogger outreach, it can be difficult to deduce what you’re doing wrong. Many times you could just be ‘barking up the wrong tree’ either in size or in relevance. 

Mistake 4 : Not Setting Clear Campaign Expectations

Not setting clear campaign expectations is another common pitfall among brands and marketers. If you just ask the blogger to write about your brand, this can often result in off-the-mark content that doesn’t drive strategic brand goals. Get clear on what you want their readers to do. Do you want them to click on a link, follow you on Instagram, enter a contest? Sharing these expectations with the blogger will ensure their message is tailored to your desired call to action.  

Beyond having a clear call to action for the blogger, don’t try to control the perspective they share with their readers. After all, it’s their voice and authenticity that resonates most with their readers. Let that be organic.

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Mistake 5 : Not Distributing The Influencer’s Content

Smart brands will take content from their influencers and repurpose it through their own social media channels and a community section on their website. This allows their customers to further engage with the content while also adding credibility to their brand. Failing to repurpose the content for your customers is a waste of resources. What’s more, the influencer will really appreciate you sharing the content they’ve worked so hard to produce for you.

Mistake 6 : Dropping The Influencer After The Campaign 

Don’t just drop the influencer like a hot potato after the campaign is over. Continue to engage through their blog and social media. Add your influencers to a private list on Twitter, monitor it on Hootsuite regularly and seek opportunities to engage with them. This shows you care about building a long-term relationship and leaves the door open for future collaborations.  

Most importantly, remember that influencers are people too! Make them feel like they are part of the team and their ideas are valued. Be sure to take their feedback into consideration as it may help to shape your influencer program in the future.