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How To Get Your Influencer Marketing Strategy Right One common mistake that brands make while going for influencer marketing is not looking at influencer analytics

By S Shanthi

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Most brands today realize the importance of creating an emotional connection with consumers. A lot of stress is given to reaching out directly to them through social media and creating brand loyalty. That's why often we see most of them reinventing marketing techniques frequently.

One such technique that has become a buzzword today is "Influencer Marketing'. While celebrity endorsements have existed for many decades, it always meant that brands had to shell out millions for marketing.

Influencer marketing, however, is cost-effective. This means companies of all sizes including seed-stage startups can opt for it to promote their brands. That democratization of marketing has led to the popularity of influencer promotions. It has become a key part of the marketing strategy of most companies to reach new audiences, increase brand awareness and boost marketing ROI. This has also opened up more opportunities for content creators.

According to Starngage, a content creator marketplace, 57% of beauty and fashion companies use influencers as part of their marketing strategies and on average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.

Additionally, 70 per cent of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities and 86 per cent of women turn to social networks before making a purchase.

However, often brands tend to influencer marketing in the wrong way.

Common Mistakes

Some common mistakes that brands make while doing influencer marketing are not looking at influencer analytics and data while selecting the influencer for a particular campaign. "It is important to understand data points like demographic bifurcation, engagement rate, activities done in the past with other brands, has the influencer worked with any competitors brands or not," said Sagar Pushp, CEO & Co-Founder, ClanConnect

Mostly when brands go for influencer marketing campaigns, they believe approaching one platform at a time is the best strategy. However, a cross-channel campaign or promotion is always expected to yield better results. "This also stands true with regard to the persona and ethos of a brand, for it's not necessary that the best influencers specializing in a given segment would be available on one desired platform. Therefore, if brands go for an influencer campaign on social media, they should simultaneously launch the same on other digital routes like short video apps for better results and wider outreach," said Prerna Goel, the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at WhizCo.

Also, while choosing influencers, brands rush and choose the wrong people, who either have lesser followers or do not match with the purpose and vision of the brand.

Another common mistake brands commit is not taking a multi-lingual approach. "A considerable chunk of their target consumers might be consuming content in a vernacular language rather than English or Hindi, and if they fail to reach out to them, the campaign does not really fulfill its objective," added Goel.

Also, influencer engagement spikes the traffic instantly. However, once the engagement is over, the investment is lost and becomes irrevocable. "Consider it as a spike in impressions (often uncategorized and repeated) to increase brand awareness instantly but not for an ROI in most cases. Most brands look into the count of the fans rather than looking into the quality of the engagement. Brands tend to forget to measure an influencer's influence on both tangible and intangible components," said Bala Kumaran, CEO, Brandstory.

Key Things To Remember

Firstly, brands should look for influencers whose content matches with what the brand stands for and those with a higher number of followers. "The first thing to confirm is that the influencers chosen must be in sync with the perception or impression a brand intends to create for itself among the consumers," said Goel.

She also added that especially in the Indian context, the brands should also check if they want to reach the audience in bigger cities or also to those who are in tier II or tier III regions. The choice of platform for influencer engagement must be chosen accordingly.

Pushp agrees. "One of the key things to make a campaign successful is to ensure that the objective that's the brand has for a particular campaign is in line with the kind of influencers they select, if it is more of driving engagement, then they should work with more micro and macro-influencers. For example, if it is more about driving reach and awareness, then they should be working with mega influencers," he said.

Marketing experts also believe that a bigger pool of influencers and creators - both macro and micro - needs to be created for ensuring the success of a campaign.

Brands should consider influencer marketing as a good to have a distribution channel, rather than a must to have a distribution channel, said Kumaran. Consistent frequency and a clearly defined brief on the campaign objective are also two things Kumaran suggests. And last but not the least, the language barrier should not be ignored if an impactful outreach is desired.

S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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