Working with humans means you get authenticity, but also complications you don’t encounter with programmatic ad platforms. These imperfections are what make influencer marketing feel genuine, but sometimes they can get you in serious trouble. So how do you keep the authenticity of working with humans, without the errors? First of all, you won’t. You should expect a few bumps in the road, and learn that the best thing you can do is know how to handle situations when they arise. This is how to troubleshoot your influencer campaign.
Can’t Find the Right Influencer…
There are millions and millions of profiles across social media. So if the brand is looking for a very specific persona with, for example, a niche interest in a hyperlocal area, surely you can pull a good list of perfect influencers right? But that is not always the case, and it can be extremely difficult to locate the perfect person when there are many aspects to consider. You could find the most ideal person but find out half their audience has been purchased, or their engagement is under 1%. It can be helpful to have the brand prioritize the qualities they find most important in an influencer and work from there.
Say you do find this perfect influencer, what if timing issues come up? Or maybe they have worked with a competitor recently. Who knows, maybe they won’t even like the product. Finding the influencer is just the start; availability and willingness to work on the campaign comes after. It is important to give yourself more than enough time to find these influencers and to work with them on cost and scheduling. Having approved backup influencers ready at hand can help alleviate some stress when dealing with tight schedules or difficult creators. Or finding influencers that really care about your brand may be willing to be more flexible with pricing and posting.
Disagreements Between the Influencer and Brand…
This is something that can come up a lot, like delays on the subway when you have to be at your next meeting in 15 minutes. Sometimes the brand and the influencer have different ideas in mind for the campaign. Maybe it’s the style of the shot or the wording in the caption. But it usually comes down to the fact that the influencer wants to be completely authentic and the brand wants to make sure their product image and messaging are coordinated with other marketing outreaches. It is important to find a happy compromise that allows for creativity while reminding the influencer that certain rules need to be followed. Play the mediator – give the brand team real data on how ‘staged’ images usually garner less engagement. Talk to the influencer before the photo shoot – some hire professionals and a reshoot can be expensive and/or unrealistic with timelines. Remind the influencer that this is still an ad, but reinforce to the brand that it shouldn’t look like one.
Influencer Posts the Wrong Thing…
So the day finally comes when the influencer’s post goes live and…surprise, it isn’t right. They added an alcoholic beverage in the image or the caption mentions a competitor. Maybe they forgot to add that link in their story or tag the brand in their copy. While it may seem like small changes, none of it was approved by the brand and now it’s on your hands. This is where I cannot stress enough the importance of a good relationship between you and the influencer. The most effective thing you can do is to get on the phone with the influencer before the campaign to ensure they understand all of the guidelines of the agreement. Never assume the contract is simple and they will read every inch of it. If mistakes are still made in a post even after doing this, get on the phone and call them, because it could be 8 PM on a Saturday and they are nowhere near their email. Fix the issue as soon as you see it. Most influencers want to maintain a strong relationship with you as well and are willing to fix anything the brand may not like. So don’t blame anyone, just work together to see the issue through.
Another place we see complications is FTC guidelines. The rules have changed and they can sometimes be hard to keep up with. The brand team will expect you to stay educated and up to date on all guidelines and ensure compliance. Again, do not assume the influencer will know every rule, especially if they are micro-influencers or new to the industry. Go through the guidelines with them and write every piece into the contract. One way to ensure you’re taking compliance seriously is to provide an audit trailt hrough the blockchain. Something we have done here at Mattr. It may seem like overkill to you, but legal will rubber stamp the campaigns much faster, especially if it’s a highly regulated industry.
Influencer marketing is still young and new to many brands. It’s hard to have an exact system and plan for every scenario. When working with influencers you have to know that sometimes things can go wrong, but, through time and experience you will learn to perfect your process. Until then, communication, understanding, and patience will help you better learn how to handle these situations along the way.
MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.