Influencer marketing is an evolving art and science. In many cases, brands are experimenting to see what works and refining their approach as they go. Partnering with an experienced agency can help eliminate the guesswork, but there’s a learning curve for brands that are just getting started with influencer campaigns. Yet, as one of the fastest growing and most effective areas of marketing it’s well worth the effort. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common mistakes that brands make during influencer campaigns and how to avoid them.
Not Following Sponsored Campaign Guidelines
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently revised their guidelines for sponsored campaigns. An industry study showed that just 10% of marketers were aware of these guidelines and were following them. The reality is that any kind of sponsored activities, spokesperson campaign, or influencer initiative needs to be clearly denoted as such.
“Providing consumers clear disclosure around sponsored content is not just important in order to meet FTC guidelines, it is also a smart business decision,” says Natalie Enright, fullbottle’s COO. “Clearly labeling what is sponsored content builds trust with consumers which reflects positively both on influencers and brands.”
Whether you’re using the hashtag #sponsored or #ad, it needs to be “clear and conspicuous.” Not following these guidelines could result in regulatory scrutiny, expensive fines and brand damage. Don’t derail your marketing efforts by failing to establish and follow brand guidelines on this important issue from the very beginning.
“By always considering the consumer’s perspective, answers to when or how to disclose branded content become very clear – basically, be transparent. Don’t try to hide that a post is sponsored or that a brand is running a sweepstakes. Be upfront and gain the consumer’s trust. Everyone wins with this approach,” Natalie goes on to explain.
If you’re unsure of what the guidelines are and how they can affect your marketing, work with an agency partner like fullbottle to craft your efforts.
Using the Wrong Influencers
Are you using the right criteria to find the right influencers? Selecting the content creators that you’re going to work with is one of the most important elements of any campaign. Yet many brands are dazzled by big followings and choose influencers that aren’t as closely focused on their target space. Long tail influencers that align closely with your brand are likely to have more committed and engaged followers that are easier to activate, whether you’re looking to amplify content, gain new fans for your own accounts, or drive purchases. Ensure that you’re looking at your campaign’s objectives closely and using the right criteria when selecting your influencers.
When you’re developing influencer content guidelines for your campaigns, it’s important to remember the general feeling of the platform you’re targeting. Snapchat and Instagram each have their own unique ecosystems, and the expectations are different from high production value brand content. Snapchat content tends to be light and fun. Instagram content may be more visually stunning but still has a different feel than a commercial. The content that you’re creating and asking for needs to be authentic – to the network, to your brand, and to the influencer.
Not Providing Enough Creative Control
This issue is closely linked with the one above, but it’s more an execution problem than a conceptual one. Authenticity comes from how you conceptualize a campaign. Not providing enough creative control to your content creators costs you dearly in the results. Of course your brand has guidelines that must be met; but ultimately, content creators are in the business of developing videos and other content that engages, delights, and moves their followers to action. Choose creators whose brands align with your own; put baseline criteria into place to ensure brand integrity and clear campaign objectives; and then unleash your influencers’ creativity. The results can be surprising, inspiring, and exactly what you need to take your next campaign viral.
Failing to Use the Right Partners
Launching a successful influencer campaign is a major investment of time and resources. Many brands simply don’t have the human capital and expertise to make choices about platforms, influencer selection, developing guidelines and campaign KPIs, and oversee all the influencer communication and execution details. As a result, campaigns falter and don’t deliver the results that were hoped for. Partnering with an experienced agency like fullbottle will ensure that you’re fully supported at each step of the way. Your campaigns will be closely managed for success, from conceptualization through distribution and analysis.
Are you interested in learning more about how influencer marketing can support your brand’s goals and add rocket fuel to your next campaign? Contact fullbottle today to arrange for a personalized consultation and learn more about our services.