More than 40 percent of your target audience is using ad blocking, Marketing Land reports. To get in front of users, you have to infiltrate the content they’re viewing. Influencer marketing is an effective way to do this, since content influencers publish is already in social media feeds and on the blog posts your audience reads.

A study by TapInfluence and Nielsen Catalina Solutions found influencer marketing can deliver a return on investment that increases sales by 11 times. Linqia reports 94 percent of marketers who used influencer marketing in 2017 found it to be effective.

Here are some common time and financial spends you can expect with an influencer marketing campaign:

Some brands spend millions of dollars on influencer marketing campaigns with high-profile celebrities. Any size brand will need to make some type of investment for an influencer marketing campaign. Increase your likelihood of success for your next influencer marketing campaign. Avoid these four common influencer marketing mistakes.

Don't Make These 4 Common Mistakes with Your Influencer MarketingMistake #1: Not Starting with a Campaign Strategy

The top challenge of influencer marketing in 2017 was determining ROI, with 78 percent of marketers citing it as a challenge, the American Marketing Association reports. Not starting with a clearly stated goal in mind puts brands at a disadvantage. Each influencer marketing campaign should have clearly measurable metrics as a goal. These can include:

  • Referrals from a specific website or URL
  • Coupon codes used that have been shared by an influencer
  • Increase in social media followers when an influencer campaign is on a specific channel
  • Number of sales of a product that an influencer promotes

Simply having someone with a large following mention your product is not enough. Setting goals and measuring them can help your marketing team optimize future campaigns.

Mistake #2: Choosing the Wrong Influencer

Research on influencers is crucial to campaign success. If the influencer’s content doesn’t align with your brand’s product, service and/or mission, you could actually be harming your brand. Some disadvantages to working with an irrelevant influencer include:

  • Your business may be associated with offensive content
  • The influencer’s followers may be turned off and generate negative sentiment for your brand
  • You could waste time and money without gaining meaningful results

Before approaching an influencer for a campaign, you should thoroughly research their content, as well as the types of following and engagement they have. The content and tone should relate to your brand. Since you want any influencer you work with to share your business from their point of view, consider how comfortable you are with that before launching a campaign.

Also, avoid approaching influencers solely based on follower counts. An user with 50,000 Facebook followers but who gets very few comments or shares on posts is less valuable than an influencer with a couple hundred followers who share content often. Aim for engagement over follower count when considering influencers.

Don't Make These 4 Common Mistakes with Your Influencer MarketingMistake #3: Creating an Illegal Campaign

The Federal Trade Commission mandates transparency in online advertising, and that includes influencer marketing campaigns. To stay legal in any influencer marketing campaign, from an Instagram post to a blog post, the following guidelines must be met.

  • The influencer must disclose the relationship and make clear what the terms were if that partnership can influence followers
  • The influencer must explain what typical results are from using a certain product, especially if theirs were exceptional
  • Any time an influencer posts content about a product they received for free, disclosure is recommended

This means, as a business, you must clearly request that influencers disclose their relationship with your brand if you send free products or provide a free service to the influencer. This could be in the form of adding an “#Ad” or “#Sponsored” hashtag to a post, or by writing out the full disclosure in a blog post or stating it in a video.

Mistake #4: Pushing the Product, Not the Experience

Influencer marketing campaigns are more effective when the influencer’s interaction with a brand is seen as genuine. Many of those who follow influencers are already using ad blockers. If someone they follow is continuously pushing spammy product content, the influencer might suffer un-followers or negative comments. This hurts the influencer, and it can hurt your brand because it’s tied to the content.

An effective influencer marketing campaign will:

  • Provide influencers with background on your company so that they can educate themselves on your product or service
  • Emphasize to the influencer that their organic experience with your brand is what matters, not how you hope they respond to it
  • Empower influencers to cover your product or service how they best see fit so that the coverage provides value to followers

While giving influencers materials like photos or history timelines is helpful so that they understand your business, you can’t force them to use branded content in what they share. They know how best to speak to their audience. Once you’ve researched influencers and determined the best fits, your brand must trust them to share your brand effectively.

Increase Influencer Marketing Success with a Smarter Strategy

Influencer marketing can get your brand seen by more qualified leads and increase positive sentiment for your brand. Having clear goals in mind first, finding influencers whose content is a perfect fit for your brand, staying legal with every campaign, and encouraging influencers to get to know your product and share their genuine thoughts will help you have more successful influencer marketing campaigns.

Want influencer marketing advice tailored to your unique brand? Contact AlphaMind Studios for a free consultation.