4 Challenges in Influencer Marketing and How to Overcome Them

Makenna Johnson
By Makenna Johnson

As industries change and social media evolves, new forms of marketing techniques begin to develop. When thinking about the different social media platforms that have become key players in the industry, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook all seem to stand out against the rest.

With social media rising in popularity, it is no surprise that companies and marketers alike are incorporating social media into their core marketing strategies. Back in the day, influencer marketing started off with famous celebrities endorsing products and services. Now thanks to social media, this pool of promoters has expanded exponentially to other influencers.

It seems as though almost every industry has adopted this new practice. I mean, can you even remember the last time you went on Instagram and you didn’t see some type of ad or product promotion?

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Just to give you some numbers, a survey was done by Collective Bias which discovered that 30% of consumers were more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Another staggering statistic done by Influencer Marketing Hub stated that for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, businesses are making $6.50.

If that’s not enough, major companies have already implemented influencer marketing into their strategies as well. Companies like H&M, Gap, Crest, and Coca-Cola are just a few major names that have used Instagram influencers in their marketing campaigns to promote their products and services.

So as you can clearly see, influencer marketing is kind of a big deal. If you haven’t started developing an influencer marketing strategy, you are doing yourself a disservice. But with that being said, just know you are still going to have to deal with its own set of challenges just like any other marketing sector.

Related: How to Find Influencers For Your Brand

To help familiarize yourself with the challenges of influencer marketing, we have come up with these four points and provided insightful tips on how to overcome them.

Negotiating Sponsored Rates

Influencer marketing has gotten to the point where almost every influencer is charging for their content and time spent creating it. This means that influencer marketers have to have a baseline comparison of lots of influencer sponsored rates to be able to negotiate sponsored rates for campaigns.

Influencers with 10k + followers will most likely charge unless the item is at a higher price point or they already know and love the brand
Micro-influencers with 10k-100k followers will typically charge somewhere between $100- a few thousand for a post

Huge influencers with 1 million + followers can charge over $100k

There is always a clearly outlined goal when it comes to influencer marketing. The company either wants general awareness, brand amplification, lead generation, or direct sales.

Before you get started on choosing your influencer for your campaign, make sure to identify what you want to achieve from this partnership. That way you can choose the best influencer for your desired outcome.

How to Overcome?

The best way to achieve this is by reaching out to influencers with different following sizes to get a better idea of rates. Every influencer is different and may have more or less experience working with brands. Make sure to really do your research before choosing an influencer to promote your product or service.

It is also recommended to negotiate social media bundles as well. An example of bundling is including both Instagram posts and Instagram stories into the same deal. Negotiating bundles will help your brand or product be exposed to a wider audience through the same influencer.

Influencers Purchasing Followers

This has become a big issue and makes it hard for brands to tell when an audience is legitimate. Since social media has become such a profitable platform to earn money, some individuals will try to take advantage of the system and buy their followers. As a marketing company, stay away from these types of influencers at all costs. Promoting with an influencer with a fake following will not only be a waste of money but could also jeopardize your brand’s reputation as well.

One of the biggest red flags to look out for when trying to see if an influencer is real or not is their engagement. If they have a low engagement rate (under 2%), chances are pretty high that the influencer does not have a legitimate following. Now, this can a bit tricky to identify right off the bat. They may have great engagement in terms of likes (which they could have purchased), but have a really low number of comments. You should also click on their followers to see what kind of accounts are following them. If they have a bunch of illegitimate or spammy accounts, we recommend going with a different influencer.

If you are still unsure if an influencer is legitimate or not, you can always ask them for their demographics. You can ask for a screenshot of their demographics as well (keep in mind this can also be photoshopped). You want to make sure that their audience is mostly US-based if you are a US brand looking to market there. If their following is fake, it may look like a large part of their following is in another country like Russia or Brazil.

Related: Breaking Down The Different Social Channels For Influencer Marketing 

You can use services like Fohr Card’s Verification that scans an influencer’s following when they sign up for free and will authenticate their following if it’s legitimate. Running all of your influencers through this service is basically giving them a stamp of approval that will help you choose the perfect influencer for the job.

Measuring Results

The best way to measure results on Instagram and YouTube is with links. You can create custom UTMs for each influencer and then look in google analytics at the brand’s traffic coming from that link. It will show everything from the number of visitors, to the number of purchases if it’s an e-commerce site and what the total revenue was generated through that link.

The best platform to monitor results is through YouTube because the influencer can house the link in the description.  Having a link in the description makes it easier for potential buyers to find them and search the featured product or service.

Promoting through Instagram and analyzing the results can be a bit more difficult compared to other social media platforms. This is because you can not directly include a link on an Instagram post. However, you can get around this by utilizing Instagram stories with the “Swipe Up” feature. When an influencer posts an Instagram story, they can easily include a link within the story features, allowing consumers to go directly to the desired website.

You can also use the link in the influencer’s bio but that is precious real estate and is usually reserved for their personal blog URL if they have a blog. Keep in mind it will probably cost you more to request the link in their bio, especially if they are a blogger themselves.

Related: Metrics You Should Be Asking Your Influencers For 

Influencer Ghosting

A big problem that lots of brands face when working with influencers is sending free product to someone and then they stop replying and you never actually see a post from them. This is, unfortunately, a very common issue that can happen with any product.

To prevent your company from losing money, you have to make sure you and the influencer are on the same page before any product is sent out.  It’s critical to set expectations at the beginning of your conversations, rather than moving forward as if it’s a “no strings attached” gifting. Don’t just send out free product and expect the best. If you want to work with influencers, you must approach the plan like you would with any other marketing strategy.

The best way to do this is with a clear campaign brief or campaign agreement. We have one where the influencer actually signs and commits to posting, whether it’s a gifting campaign or a sponsored campaign. It has a clear outline of what they are agreeing to do as part of the partnership and what they will be receiving in exchange so it’s completely clear and they are committed. Having transparency and being direct is exactly what you need when working with influencers on social media.

Wrapping up

As industries change, it’s absolutely imperative to adapt your marketing strategy to meet these demands. When it comes to social media, utilizing influencers and their wide reach is a proven way to get your brand noticed.

If you aren’t using influencer marketing as one of your marketing strategies, you may want to reconsider. Ignoring the potential influence social media platforms can have on your business can really set you back, especially if your competitors have already hopped on the bandwagon.
Just like with any sector of marketing, working with influencers still have its own set of challenges. By using these tips outlined in this article, you will be able to master the art of influencer marketing and fully deploy an effective and successful marketing plan.

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Makenna is a PR Coordinator and Account Manager at Power Digital. As a University of Oregon alumni, she studied Journalism with an emphasis on Public Relations, and has been passionate about the field ever since. Makenna spearheads SEO outreach and manages social media influencer outreach within the PR departement, building valuable partnerships with publications and influencers to elevate both brand awareness and ROI for our clients. Go ducks!