Why Your Influencer Campaigns are Underperforming
It may seem easy hunting down people with a large following on Instagram and asking them to post for you, but I hate to break it to you that influencer marketing is so much more than looking for a following and is much harder than many business owners and even agencies realise. The right match for your brand visually is more than likely not the right match under the surface and whilst content is incredibly important, there is a lot more to a campaign than having nice images or videos created by someone who has a lot of followers on social media. If your campaigns are not delivering the way you want them to, you may need to take a look at the following.
Arguably more important than the number of followers an influencer has, the engagement rate is a clear indicator of how many active, interested followers an influencer has; if an influencer is not achieving engagements, there is nobody looking at, or worse identifying with, the content they create and post online. This therefore provides an insight into how well an ad could work, as an engaged audience are much more likely to buy your product or try your service, compared to passive followers who probably won't even realise your product is in the shot. For reference, the industry average engagement rate is ~2%. This obviously fluctuates based on the industry the influencer is in themselves, what they post about and the time at which they post. It is also very important to remember that the higher the follower count, the lower the engagement rate will be. For example, someone with 2 followers with a 50% engagement rate is not as effective for your brand as an influencer with 100k followers, but a 2% engagement rate. By establishing the engagement rate of an influencer, you are providing yourself with much more valuable information than Instagram provides the average user.
Bought Followers & Engagements
Whilst bought engagements are rare, they do happen, and it would be naive of anyone conducting an influencer campaign to think that nobody buys followers. It may seem like an obvious point, but bought followers will not engage with content, nor will they be buying your product. The industry have picked up on this issue in a huge way in recent months, and some agencies and influencer marketing based companies have created their own apps and tools to combat these influencers being used for campaigns, making spotting these influencers a lot easier. However, it is also very useful to use common sense and logic when it comes to spotting these influencers. If an influencer's following spikes suddenly, it is more than likely a sign they have bought followers, that is unless they have participated in something which would lead to a rapid increase in followers, such as appearing on reality TV or being mentioned by another influencer of a similar size, or even larger. It is also important to check the engagement rate in this case too. Anything under 0.5% is cause for concern, especially with mid-range influencers from 10k to 1 million followers.
Fortunately influencers themselves can be very picky about the types of brands they collaborate with, which should work in your favour. When scouting for influencers for your campaign, ensure they would be likely to buy your product of use your service themselves without being prompted or paid to do so. I recently spoke to an alcohol based brand who worked with a fitness influencer to promote their subscription service, and I was not surprised to hear the campaign didn't work for them at all. You wouldn't place a print ad for a larger in a health and fitness magazine. When the fit is right between brand and influencer, the content will also appear very natural rather than a forced, salesy piece of content, which in turn is more likely to generate positive brand awareness and sales, depending on the type of campaign you are looking to run. It is also worth looking for influencers who are incredibly knowledgeable about the field you are in. Going back to the alcohol analogy, an influencer who posts solely about IPAs is more likely to get more enthusiastic about a new craft beer on the market compared to a lifestyle influencer who may still love the product, but who has a broad spectrum of topics they cover.
Make Yourself Slip Up Free
As you can imagine, all of this research and preparation before even contacting an influencer can be incredibly time consuming, and may not be a possible task for your current team to handle, especially if influencer marketing is a new venture for your business. These mistakes are very common and are often made by other digital marketers themselves, however, it is just one small mistake that can lead to the downfall of an otherwise successful campaign. Get in touch today to discuss how we can work together to improve your future influencer marketing campaigns and ensure you are slip up free.