Influencer marketing campaigns can be as simple or as nuanced as a brand marketer needs them to be. There are a variety of ways to activate creators – from large-scale micro influencer campaigns vs. small-scale macro influencer campaigns, to specific network-focused initiatives (such as activating on TikTok) vs. review-only activations, and so on – the possibilities are endless.
All campaigns carry some risk of something going awry. Unexpected challenges can pop up at any point during the activation or execution up until when the influencers are paid. Below are some of the most common campaign mishaps and tips on how you can avoid them.
1. Selecting The Wrong Influencers
There are a number of variables that will affect your final selection of influencers, such as the time needed to source creators, the pool of available influencers, the amount of time to campaign launch, the type/quality of the content needed, and your budget.
Here are some things to keep in mind when sourcing the best pool of creators for you:
- Niche personas can be hard to source for. When selecting the group of influencers you would like to activate, always make sure to target the most diverse group of creators possible and then curate your applicant pool (not the invitation pool) to find the best fits for your campaign.
- Avoid over-curating your invitation pool by applying too many persona requirements, as this can make the pool of potential influencers very small. Cast a wider net by expanding your search criteria, inclusive of things like audience demographics, and then narrow down your final selections from the applicant pool. It’s important to remember who is going to be seeing the IGC created for your brand, not just who is creating it.
- Identify influencers that have a content aesthetic that matches your brand identity and the quality of content you are looking for so that you can repurpose the IGC to support your marketing objectives. Mavrck allows you to easily review the creator’s social feeds during the curation process to help with this effort.
2. Selecting Too Many or Too Few Influencers
Too many influencers in a campaign can tactically be very hard to guide and manage if you don’t use a platform like Mavrck, and too few influencers may not generate enough content, awareness or the engagement you need in order to hit your campaign objectives.
The optimal number of participants may vary campaign to campaign, but a curated pool of influencers based on the desired outcome of your campaign will always yield you higher quality content.
Recommendations to help you find the best influencers for your brand:
- Consider running an evergreen campaign to help gather quality influencers that really want to work with your brand and who support your campaign needs.
- Consider reactivating influencers and building long-term relationships to yield quality content. Creators value long-term partnerships, so consider creating an ambassador program that will allow you to activate a trusted group of creators time and time again.
- Activate curated groups of creators to experiment with influencers in different verticals so you can find the best influencer type and audience for your brand. By diversifying your group of influencers, you’ll be able to tap into a wider target audience while staying mindful of underrepresenting demographics that might not typically be as present in your marketing initiatives.
3. Offering The Incorrect Incentive
Different kinds of campaigns require different incentive budgets due to their content and platform requirements. Offering incentives at the beginning or end of your campaign will ensure you are able to meet your campaign benchmarks and increase your overall completion rate. By properly incentivizing your influencer partners, you’re able to establish trust in your partnership by showing you understand the value of the creators you’re working with.
The most common options to incentivize influencers include:
- Monetary incentive only: Cash is the preferred incentive type amongst creators. The Mavrck platform has an integration with PayPal that makes the process of paying influencers cash seamless.
- Product incentive only: There are some campaigns with high-value products that influencers will accept as compensation in exchange for producing content. We have seen instances of creators that are brand advocates willing to collaborate for only product.
- Product incentive and monetary incentive: Another widely used method of incentivizing influencers includes sending them your product beforehand – or sending them a gift card or promo code to purchase the product themselves – so they can test and create content around it, then receive monetary compensation upon campaign completion.
There are other ways to incentivize creators as well, such as the option to join an affiliate program, VIP experiences or brand-sponsored events. Read here for more information on the most frequently asked questions about influencer compensation.
4. Providing Too Many Restrictive Guidelines Within the Campaign Brief
Allowing influencers to represent your brand while still using their own authentic creativity is what makes influencer marketing successful. The more restrictions you add to your content guidelines, the more difficult it can be to source influencers willing to accommodate your content requirements, and the higher the incentive price point may become.
What should you include in the DON’Ts section of your brief?
- Anything your brand needs to abide by to meet legal standards – i.e.“DON’T make unproven environmental claims.”
- Anything an influencer may not know about when it comes to your in-house content regulations – i.e. “DON’T include your hands in the post.”
- Any competitor-related items – i.e. “DON’T display, tag, or mention any other brands (including competing brands) in your post image, tags, or caption.”
What should you stay away from in your DON’Ts section?
- Asking your influencers to agree to brand exclusivity. While this is possible, it will automatically increase budgets and require contracts, so you need to make sure to communicate this ask as early as the invitation email.
- Putting creative constraints on your influencer partners that will decrease their content development and limit their creative freedom. Remember that influencers are experts in their space and know what resonates best with their audience – your target consumer – so trust them to put their best work forth while respecting your reasonable guidelines.
5. Setting Unrealistic Content Requirements
When building out a campaign brief, always be mindful of the requirements you’re asking your influencers to complete. The requirement asks should be fair in relation to the value you are incentivizing your partners with. Pinpointing your marker for success in a campaign will allow you to determine the optimal campaign requirements. These requirements should be succinct and outline the specific needs for a campaign so that the IGC created for your brand can be boosted, repurposed or shared on your owned channels. Contracting influencers allows your content requirements or post cadence to be more in-depth while holding your influencer partners to a higher standard of accountability. Remember that respecting their creative freedom is still crucial.
Some campaign requirement best practices include:
- Don’t ask an influencer to post more than once a week on the same channel. Be mindful that they likely have other brand partnerships and may maintain a content calendar. By optimizing your posting cadence, you are allowing them to feel authentic to their audience as well as opening up the opportunity to show product growth and brand affinity with the influencer.
- Always be mindful of the time it may take an influencer to create different assets. Video content will increase the time spent creating, and therefore increase your incentive costs, while a review may only take a few minutes and can be syndicated to your website or other retailers. While both are effective, they contribute to different performance measurements.
- Asking influencers to create something out of season, or with a product that’s out of stock (thus may require them to obtain the product themselves) can make their job harder, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. If you want to capture content for something that would fit into this bucket, be prepared to offer additional help to influencers and to support them through their questions. Implementing additional posting reminders over an extended posting period, extending deadlines as needed and adding additional resources to your campaign messaging make these campaigns successful.
6. Giving Influencers Too Little Time
Every campaign operates on a different timeline. It’s important to remember the more nuanced your campaign requirements are, the more time you’ll need for each phase of the campaign lifecycle. This includes everything from sourcing, contracting, product retrieval, draft review, content creation or any other component that is relevant to your campaign. Set realistic expectations with your internal teams and partners by building out a campaign timeline.
The campaign pieces that take the largest amount of time and resources:
- Curating your applicant pool and securing participants
- Shipping product to creators
- Content creation
- Draft review and resubmission
What can unexpectedly extend the length of campaigns?
- Unclear directions for content creation
- Product is out of stock so influencers are unable to purchase or receive their product
- Product is being shipped to influencers and is damaged upon arrival
- Influencer drop-off that results in needing to source additional creators
- Lapse in communications from an influencer due to unforeseen circumstances in an influencer’s life
- Lapse in communication from a brand during a campaign (which is why sending posting reminders is so important in maintaining open lines of communication with your influencers)
Though there is always going to be unexpected challenges to overcome while running an influencer marketing campaign, we hope that you keep the above guide in mind when activating creators to help your program run as smoothly as possible. Book a demo with one of our strategists, who can help you navigate the ins and outs of running an influencer campaign from start to finish.