We’ve all seen it happen before: an influencer and a brand collaborate and produce something that is embarrassing, misleading, or just a huge fail. Unfortunately for both parties, these mistakes often go viral, and are not easily forgotten.
Influencer marketing is a great strategy for businesses looking to grow their audience or become a market leader in their field. An influencer is someone who is popular, and can quite literally influence their audience. Influencers can have an audience of anything above 3,000 followers on social media, and are categorised into nano, micro, mid, macro, and mega depending on audience size.
In this blog, our Marketing Executive, Phoebe, takes you through some of the biggest influencer marketing fails and describes how to avoid them.
Copy & Paste Captions
Something we see all too often is influencers copy-pasting captions sent to them by the brands they’re working with. I’m sure we all remember the Scott Disick x BooTea incident, or how about the Little Mix perfume on the taxi? Even Naomi Campbell made this mistake when working with Adidas.
The easiest way to fix this is to not write out captions for your influencers in the first place. Let them speak to their audience in their own tone of voice, as this is way more authentic. Of course, you can still let them know what you want to include, but a bit of freedom produces better content. Be sure to check their captions as soon as they post, and that way if this ever does happen to you, they can edit it as soon as possible.
(Credit: The Mirror)
Prioritising Follower Count Over Authenticity
Scoring a Mega Influencer, such as a celebrity, can be a huge win for a brand … if it makes sense. Celebrities promoting products they have no affiliation with can lead to criticism and deliver a much lower return on investment.
My advice is to spread your budget out over smaller, value aligned influencers who have more authenticity and authority in their niche. Another key factor to look out for is engagement rate, as many people have historically bought followers. Here at Punch, we have a tool that enables us to track historic follower growth and live engagement rate of influencers, ensuring effective results.
Not Researching The Rules
Influencer marketing is unfortunately not as easy as sending someone a product and asking them to promote it. There are a number of rules and regulations which you need to follow to comply with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) here in the UK.
Over in America, Kim Kardashian experienced this problem when she promoted a morning sickness drug, without listing the side effects. She was made to repost with the correct information, admitting to her mistake.
One thing to ensure you remember is that even gifted or free products need to make it clear that they are an advertisement. Many influencers and brands do this by simply using #Ad or #Gifted. The best thing to do is check the rules, ensure your influencer knows them, and work with influencers with experience.
So you’ve secured an influencer, sent them the product and/or payment, and they haven’t fulfilled their side. Of course, you can remind them and ask for the content, but unless you have a contract, no legal action can be taken.
My advice is to always create a brief with specific deliverables and deadlines, restating the most important parts in an email in case they do not open the document. Ask them specifically if all the requirements are okay, invite questions and be open about what you want them to create so there is complete clarity. Finally, ensure you have written confirmation that they understand and agree to fulfil the brief. While this is not foolproof, it reduces the possibility of this happening and allows you to follow up with them if agreements are not met.
It’s fair to say that the extended Kardashian family have had their fair share of marketing mishaps. One of the most memorable was Kendall Jenner’s partnership with Pepsi in 2017. The video showed Kendall joining a Black Lives Matter protest, only to resolve the whole thing by offering police a can of Pepsi. The collaboration was widely criticised for trivialising the cause, with Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter, tweeting “If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi”.
Bearing this in mind, it’s essential to make sure that you are aware of any implications of influencer collaborations or partnerships that you produce. This is particularly important when you are using messaging about political movements, controversial subjects and minority groups. Consider how your marketing may affect people and run your campaign past a diverse group of people to prevent any insensitive messaging.
(Credit: The New York Times)
Don’t let these #InfluencerFails put you off implementing them into your marketing strategy. When done correctly, this approach can improve brand image and deliver a huge return on investment. Having a strategy is essential for influencer marketing, and we can help you with that. Get in touch today to discover how you can grow your business with influencer marketing.