The Biggest Influencer Marketing Mistake (And How to Avoid it!)

Marketers everywhere are beginning to establish best practices when it comes to influencer marketing. From influencer selection, to outreach methods and success measurement, marketers are learning what works and what doesn’t, through trial and error . Navigating through this new world of influencer marketing can be intimidating because there is no set precedent. There are many minor mistakes that can be made along the path to a successful influencer marketing program but if I had one piece of advice for your influencer marketing program, it would be this. The biggest influencer marketing mistake you can make is not thinking long-term when it comes to influencer relations. Avoid this downfall by focusing on continuously building relationships with the influencers your brand works with.

Short-term relationships yield short-term results

Without an influencer strategy in place, many interactions with influencers end up being one-time asks. Whether the influencer work is being done in-house or is outsourced via an agency, it is essential to keep a up-to-date place of record of influencer relationships. While this may sound like extra work for your team now, this is critical to the overall success of influencer marketing.

Although the initial interaction with an influencer may be “pay-to-play” or “pay-to-post” that is not where the relationship should end. Keeping a record of what influencers you have had interactions with and the results these efforts had will help you scale your influencer marketing practice overtime because like it or not, influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere.

Often, most influencer marketing initiatives are campaign based around a new product launch or seasonal promotion which causes a spike in impact but will typically fall right after.  Maximize the return on your influencer investments by continuing to build relationships with influencers after a campaign has ended.

Date your influencers

Building relationships with influencers is like dating in many ways. You don’t want to propose marriage on the first date but, on the other hand you also don’t want to ask them out every few months and expect them to be loyal to you either. Building lasting relationships with influencers requires constant attention and not calling them only when you need something. Find unique ways to build relationships with your influencers outside of marketing asks. Have one or two main points of contact at your brand that influencers get to know and are used to working with. Provide value to your influencers and support them in other ventures they may have. Similar to dating, building a healthy relationship takes time and effort but, if executed properly, can be extremely rewarding.  

Influencers are human too

Influencers are human too after all, and humans want to do business with people they like. By no means is this a popularity contest but getting your influencers to like you and think of your brand in context other than simply a business interaction could prove to be very beneficial.

Follow up with your influencers once campaigns have ended. Say thank you in a creative way to stand out from other brands they are working with. You are courting them and want them to love you so they naturally turn into an advocate of your brand.

Influencers are constantly bombarded by requests from brands and companies trying to elevate themselves through the audience an influencer has worked hard to build and gain trust from. Think about your approach from the influencers perspective, how would you want to be approached and treated? (For relationship building tips directly from the source, watch our influencer interview series.) The best influencer brand partnerships are genuine, mutually beneficial relationships. I challenge you to invest time and resources into building relationships with influencers.