4 Reasons Why 90% of Agencies Are Doing Social Influencer Marketing Wrong

Makenna Johnson
By Makenna Johnson

Depending on your brand and the audience you are trying to reach, social influencers could play a huge role in your company’s success. Using these social media tycoons to help reach new factions of your audience and expose them to your product, especially from a third-party consumers trust, can be an incredibly powerful strategy.

Related: Getting Started with Social Media Influencer Outreach

Given that the popularity of  influencer marketing has recently skyrocketed in the marketing realm, it’s no surprise that several brands are still figuring out the logistics of their strategy. In fact, most marketing agencies are still “dipping their toes in the water” of influencer marketing so to speak, and most of them are doing it wrong. Here are a few areas of opportunity that over 90% of marketing agencies are missing the mark on:

 

Not Capitalizing On Instagram Stories

Instagram is one of the most popular platforms for social media influencers. It allows influencers to share high-quality content with their followers through Instagram posts and Instagram stories, and it continues to gain more popularity among influencers as its algorithm keeps changing. One of the most recent algorithm updates from Instagram, is that the platform now allows business accounts with over 10,000 followers to include links in their Instagram Stories.

This update is highly beneficial for both influencers and agencies in more way than one. Attaching links within an Instagram story is an opportunity for agencies to show brands that influencer marketing is no longer solely a brand awareness play, it is also directly affecting the brand’s bottom line.

Related: How Can Instagram Stories Benefit Your Brand?

Through the creation and use of custom UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) links for each influencer, agencies are able to monitor the traffic and conversions that are being generated from each influencer’s Instagram story in Google Analytics. Agencies will also be able to report on the number of new users that visited the site and the average duration each user is spending on the website’s landing pages.

Marketing agencies that haven’t implemented Instagram stories to their influencer marketing strategies are missing a huge opportunity to gain valuable insight into their influencer campaigns and report on these insights to their client to show how influencer marketing is directly affecting their brand’s bottom line, rather than it solely being a brand awareness play.

Failing To Create An Influencer Agreement

Upon creating a partnership with an influencer it is essential that marketing agencies create a contract agreement outlining the responsibilities of both the influencer and the brand and setting expectations. Without a contract agreement, the partnership is never truly solidified nor is either party legally held accountable. Below are some of the most important considerations when putting an agreement in place.

Protection for Both Parties

Several agencies don’t require influencers to sign an agreement when starting a partnership, which puts the partnership in jeopardy and increases the risk of the agreement falling through. Whether the brand is investing in influencer marketing by either sending free product to influencers or offering them monetary compensation, it is extremely important that their marketing agency properly coordinates the partnership to ensure that the client is getting a return on their investment.

Related: How to Choose the Right Influencer Agency

For example, if a brand sends hundreds of dollars worth of product to an influencer in return for a specific number of social media posts, and their agency fails to have the influencer sign an agreement prior to sending product, the influencer could take the product without being legally obligated to post. By not creating an influencer agreement, marketing agencies are putting their clients’ opportunity for a return of investment at risk.

Posting Guidelines

In addition, an agreement is an easy way for agencies to create posting guidelines for influencers to reference when representing the brand. Whether it’s tagging the brand in the photo or caption, using a specific hashtag, including a key brand message, featuring the brand packaging within the photo, or outlining the number of posts the influencer is responsible for, it’s crucial that you make your influencer expectations clear so there isn’t a misunderstanding.

Without a contract that establishes expectations, the agency has little to no control over the partnership and as a result, the content created could end up significantly below expectations.

Image Rights

Several marketing agencies assume that since the influencer is agreeing to a partnership, they are also agreeing to give the brand or its agency the rights to the content they create during the partnership. Wrong. If the agency doesn’t specifically request the rights to each of the influencer’s images that are a result of the partnership or have their permission to reuse those images,, the brand could be at risk for a potential lawsuit.

Obtaining the rights to another person’s content is a very serious matter that can be detrimental to a brand if not handled properly. Ironing out the details of obtaining copyrights to the influencer’s content prior to them posting is an important aspect of any influencer partnership.

By obtaining the rights to each influencer’s images, the brand is then able to repurpose those images to help support a variety of their marketing efforts, whether it may be sharing influencer content across their social media channels, using it for advertisements, or posting it on the brand’s website.

 

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Not Allowing Enough Creative Freedom

Once a partnership between an influencer and a marketing agency is created, most agencies try to control every aspect of the partnership and the influencer’s content.

What several marketing agencies don’t realize is, that by dictating what the influencer can post and what they cannot post, they are taking away from that influencer’s creativity and the authenticity of that influencer’s content. The reason most brands choose to partner with influencers is so that they can provide a different vision to their followers and feature the brand in a unique light, that most consumers don’t already see.

Influencers that post content that is too branded or clearly not in their individual voice, is  obvious to their followers that the post was created in partnership with a brand and it ruins the authenticity of the post. Influencer content needs to be in the influencer’s voice and align with their profile’s visual aesthetic in order to have the desired effect that agencies are aiming to achieve.

Related: How to Create an Influencer Campaign That Generates More Than Likes

By not allowing the influencers freedom to get creative with their vision and trusting that the influencer will post content that resonates with their followers, the marketing agency is taking away from their influencer campaign by not optimizing the partnership to its full capacity.

Also, by dictating the terms of the partnership, the agency is jeopardizing their relationship with that influencer, as well as several influencers within the same niche. No one enjoys being micromanaged, and an influencer’s experience with an agency or a brand can spread like wildfire throughout their community, especially if it is a negative experience.

Targeting Influencers With The Wrong Audience

Lastly, one of the most common mistakes that agencies do when working with influencers is targeting influencers who’s following doesn’t align with the brand’s target audience. When working with influencers, it is important to understand their audience and ensure that it falls under the niche you are targeting.

The best way to determine who the influencer is reaching is by evaluating their engagement and seeing who of their followers is engaging with their content versus solely following them because they’re appealing.

Related: Why All Social Media Influencers Aren’t Influential

For example, if the brand’s target audience is females within the ages of 20 years old and 40 years old, and the agency is solely targeting attractive female influencers within that age group, it’s likely that they’re targeting the wrong influencers.

There are several female influencers whose majority of following consists of a male audience, rather than a female audience. It’s crucial that the agency targets influencers who have a hyper-targeted audience specific to a certain niche, and that they evaluate that influencer’s engagement to determine the demographic of the audience their content is resonating with.

Wrapping Up

Using these social media influencers to help reach new factions of a brand’s target audience and expose potential consumers to new products and services is a powerful strategy when it’s done properly.

As influencer marketing continues to gain popularity as a marketing strategy for several brands, it’s crucial that the marketing agency they are working with is familiar with how to run an influencer marketing campaign and aware of potential issues that can arise if not coordinated properly.

Related: A CMO’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

Don’t wait for the marketing agency to figure out the logistics during the influencer campaign, it’s crucial to ensure that they are experienced with influencer marketing and have an effective strategy in place prior to starting the campaign!

 

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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!