The marketing landscape in India has undergone tremendous changes since the advent of influencer marketing. This new-age digital concept runs on the age-old formula of word-of-mouth marketing, making it the most effective branding tool for all sectors. Hence, companies have realised the importance of allocating adequate budgets to deploy fool-proof influencer marketing campaigns in order to achieve a range of objectives such as brand awareness, amplification and lead generation. However, there are two sides to every coin. Let’s take a look at the biggest challenges brands face while adding influencer marketing to their branding strategies and our solutions to each and every one of them.
Adopting a narrow approach
Problem: Even though influencer marketing is a huge concept, it is observed that many brands have adopted a narrow approach while implementing it. They begin by finding an influencer who is right for their brand and formulate strategies that are ideal for a single platform – mostly YouTube or Instagram. So much emphasis is put on selecting the influencer and type of audience following them, that the platforms used by the influencer take a back seat. The campaign, in turn, does not achieve the desired results.
Solution: In order to tackle this issue, it is highly imperative for brands to broaden the scope of their influencer marketing strategy. Ideally, brands must try to incorporate influencers who have established their presence in lesser-known platforms as well such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Pinterest. What is more important here is to select an influencer who can amplify his or her content according to the nature of the specific platform and the target audience.
Picking influencers based on followers and search words
Problem: Sometimes, choosing the right influencer can be tricky. Generally, most of the companies select their influencer based on the number of followers, frequently used keywords and feedback from their followers. Adoption of this strategy will not help you understand whether your content is reaching the right kind of audience.
Solution: While planning your campaign, make sure you clearly identify your target audience. Undertake a research on the nature of the pages and the content followed by the people in this group. Consolidate a few micro and macro influencers who can give you the best results with an appropriate content strategy. It is also logical for companies to invest in high-end technologies and tools that can help them find influencers who are on par with the campaign objectives. Remember, it is about the quality of the followers, not the quantity!
Using existing metrics for measuring ROI
Problem: Successful influencer marketing campaigns directly influence a brand’s visibility, awareness, conversions and search volume. However, even though these metrics are reliable, there are no specific ways to measure them.
Solution: When it comes to platforms like YouTube and Instagram, links are considered to be one of the most reliable sources to measure results. The best way to implement this is by creating a custom UTM links for every influencer marketing campaign. These will help you assess the traffic to your website using Google Analytics. For example, in the case of an e-commerce site, you can get all the necessary data required such as the number of views, clicks and visitors to the volume of sales and the total revenue generated. The ideal way to monitor results on YouTube is having a link in the description which will direct the customers to the actual product. YouTube analytics will help brands analyse the performance of their video to make necessary alterations in the content. However, monitoring the success of Instagram posts is even more difficult when compared to YouTube. In order to get the desired results, it is always best to use the swipe up feature which enables you to add the appropriate link to the product.
We helped one of the leading e-commerce brands in India, Craftsvilla, execute an interesting influencer marketing campaign to instil the idea that fashion is beyond all labels. In order to promote the concept, we collaborated with 20 leading woman influencers in India. The campaign was closely monitored in terms of engagement and reach using custom UTM links, and witnessed staggering results.
Lack of standardised rates for sponsored content
Problem: Every influencer decides their remuneration based on the type of the post and the time spent on creating it. Due to the absence of set guidelines and regulations, there is a huge variation in the sponsored rates of various influencers. Negotiation of rates is not possible since there is no basis for comparison.
Solution: Brands can decide on the rates based on the content and channels incorporated by the influencer. The number of genuine followers could be another baseline. For instance, rates of influencers with less than 10K followers will be much lesser than that of influencers with more than 1 million followers. The influencer should be chosen in accordance with the objectives of your campaign. Since high-quality videos are required for successful YouTube campaigns, the rates charged by YouTube influencers are generally higher as compared to influencers of other platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
Working with unresponsive influencers
Problem: Sometimes, influencers avail a product or a service from the brand and stop responding to them, without posting any type of content in their social media networks. This is one of the biggest problems faced by all the influencer marketers across the world. In such instances, brands witness a huge financial loss.
Solution: The best way to curb this problem is to undertake an extensive research about the influencers in order to understand their work history which includes the brands and the campaigns involved with them. Every brand must ensure that the influencer chosen is on the same page as they are. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the expectations of the influencer. Chart out a campaign brief or an agreement stating the objectives and the terms and conditions of your campaign. With a contract agreement in place, the influencers will have a better understanding of their roles and the benefits of a sponsored campaign.
Fake followers and loss of integrity
Problem: Recent days, it is observed that influencers tend to buy followers with the aim of becoming a social media giant. A huge percentage of followers of such influencers might not be genuine and authentic. This is also one of the biggest challenges faced by brands making it difficult for them to distinguish between fake and genuine influencers. On a larger scale, this is also a problem that questions the integrity of influencer marketing campaigns.
Solution: Engagement is the biggest factor that differentiates a fake influencer from a genuine one. For instance, if an influencer has an engagement rate of less than 2%, then it is pretty evident that he or she is an illegitimate influencer. Brands must maintain a well-established system to understand the nature of the followers.
Lack of influencers in unconventional sectors
Problem: There is a growing community of influencers especially in the areas of fashion, beauty, lifestyle, fitness and food. But, there are hardly any influencers when you consider fields such as chemical engineering, logistics and banking.
Solution: It is highly imperative to make influencer marketing more comprehensive so as to apply the concept across all sectors. Verticals like finance and logistics must strengthen their initiatives to tap and identify industry experts as potential influencers who can help them scale their business. This can ensure equal distribution of influencers across all sectors.
In a fast-growing industrial landscape, implementing effective influencer marketing strategies will help a great deal in withstanding competition and achieving high revenue in the long run. You need not think twice to incorporate influencer marketing as one of your digital marketing strategies. In order to execute a successful influencer campaign, it is important you take the right kind of guidance and support from reputed influencer marketing agencies such as influencer.in.
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