Influencer marketing can be a really powerful tool for brands and when executed well can be really successful for both the influencer and the brand. However, when it goes wrong it can be a huge marketing disaster! Some of the top influencer marketing fails include influencers bad use of photo shop, brands receiving backlash for unauthentic partnerships and both parties failing to meet the ASA’s legal requirements for advertisements. With that in mind, here’s our top tips on how you can ensure your social media influencer campaigns run smoothly:
Ensure you pick an influencer that’s right for you
People are getting really smart and are becoming quick to comment on partnerships that appear to not be genuine and this can cause real damage for brands. It’s really important that you spend time choosing influencers who are right for you, uphold your brands values and whose followers are genuinely likely to be interested in your products/brand. By doing this, you’re much more likely to achieve a successful campaign that reaches your target audience and is well engaged with. If you choose an influencer just because they have a large following or because they produce good content, this doesn’t automatically mean that they will be a good fit for your brand. Also, the last thing you want is to receive backlash for working with an influencer that makes your partnership seem unauthentic. Essentially, picking the right influencer will make all the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful influencer marketing campaign, so be sure to pick one that works for you.
Do your influencer research
This is absolutely crucial and is something that should be done before approaching any influencers and once you have. Before you do get in touch with them, check to make sure they don’t have fake followers. This can easily be done via many online tools and can save you from some damage in the long run. People are savvy and are fully aware of those influencers who have bought their followers and working with them could damage your reputation and lead to campaign backlash and is also likely to lead to the campaign not reaching a genuine audience, which will impact results. Once you’ve approached an influencer you’re also well within your right to ask them for stats about their engagement and followers as this will give you an indication as to how well their posts perform and who they reach. You can then make a judgement on whether they’re right for your brand based on these stats.
Follow the ASA guidelines for influencers
We constantly hear of occasions where brands, and influencers themselves, have come into fire from the ASA (advertising standards agency) because they haven’t properly disclosed that their content is an ad. There are many terms used quite flippantly when posting on Instagram including ‘gifted’ ‘ad’ ‘paid partnership’ ‘sponsored’ to name a few, which can be quite confusing and misleading for followers and fans. Because of this, the requirements have quite recently been updated to make it clearer for brands and influencers when posting content and it’s essential that this guidance is followed and put into place – it is a legal requirement! If you and the influencers you chose to work with stick to this, you can be confident that you won’t receive backlash for the promotion of your products.
Have a clear contractual agreement with your influencer in place
This is really important for two things – ensuring that all legal requirements are met and also to make sure that the influencer completes the agreed work for your brand. With the legal side of things, using the above from the ASA in your contract refreshes the law for the influencer and also provides clarity for both parties. Now, when you approach an influencer and agree on a scope of work that they will complete for either an agreed fee or product etc. it’s really important to you, and almost expected, that the work is completed. But, there have been cases where unfortunately influencers didn’t fulfill a brief even though they had been paid for a collaboration. Before you work with an influencer, of any size, it’s always a good idea to have a contract in place that’s been signed and agreed to by all parties. This means that action can be taken if the requirements of the brief are not met and covers your back, especially if you’re paying to work with a top-tier influencer.
Proof read content before it goes live
There are many slightly amusing stories that of course always get picked up by the press where influencers have literally copied and pasted captions that PR’s have clearly sent to them as an advisory/recommendation of what to say to accompany their ad and social posts. Scott Disick, Naomi Campbell and Little Mix have all been caught doing this on their Instagram channels. Of course, this completely makes the ad lose any sort of authenticity and is actually just pretty embarrassing for all involved! To avoid this, it’s a good idea to agree with the influencer you’re working with that you proof read their content before it goes live, just to ensure that there’s no slip ups.
If you’re interested in delivering a successful social media influencer campaign, you can always get in touch with us. We help and assist brands in all sectors with their social media and content marketing, creating engaging content and devising strategies that helps brands with their goals and to reach their target audience.