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Influencer marketing has surpassed organic search, email marketing and paid search in terms of growth, largely because of the incredible return on investment. For every $1 spent, influencer marketing returns $6.50But knowing “why” isn’t the same as understanding “how,” and we’ve got some tips to help you avoid making costly influencer marketing mistakes as you launch campaigns.

Influencer marketing mistakes to avoid

Take the following under advisement as you develop a plan to find influencers, pitch them on partnerships and work with them to boost your brand online.

Not researching influencers thoroughly

Searching social media for influencers can be time-consuming and in some cases, will provide few details about the audience, engagement, and success of brand partnerships.

To better narrow down your search for influencers and review detailed information on engagement, frequency and the influencer’s experience working with brands, consider using influencer marketing software

You’ll be able to search through influencers in the system based on various criteria. You’ll get insight into influencers’ posting habits, audience demographics, niches, types of content, follower growth and mentions.

If you plan to focus on influencer marketing beyond a one-time campaign, relying on influencer marketing software is worth the time savings alone.

Focusing on followers

Don’t be fooled into thinking that many followers will translate to a successful campaign. Beyond simply buying followers, influencers may have accrued fans from one particular piece of content that went viral. 

Look beyond followers to determine if there is high-quality engagement with posts. Are most posts getting lots of likes, comments and shares? A mid-tier influencer with 50,000 followers might look good on paper, but a lack of engagement points toward disinterest.

On the flip side of disengaged followers lies niche influencers with strong engagement. While a narrow content focus requires your brand to be a strong match for a pairing, discovering that the perfect nano-influencer can make all the difference to a campaign’s success. 

A smaller audience of loyal, engaged followers who trust the influencer and are willing to spend money on your brand’s products or services has the potential to boost your campaign’s ROI significantly. 

Lowballing on payment

Few marketers would be surprised that celebrities and other mega-influencers can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to partner with brands on social media. But that doesn’t mean that less popular influencers are willing to create content in exchange for free products. 

Be prepared to offer fair and reasonable compensation to influencers of all sizes. If your potential influencers don’t offer campaign media kits with their rates, do your research to determine the standard compensation package before reaching out with an offer. Our State of Influencer Earnings™ report can help.

Don’t blow your ideal match for an influencer marketing campaign because you want to save money on the front end. Focus on the potential for ROI and a long-term relationship that benefits both parties.

Micromanaging everything

Most influencers know that brands need to maintain some control in marketing campaigns. Share your vision, goals and expectations, content format, discount codes and scheduling. 

If you’re the type who micromanages every project, you may turn off experienced influencers who need some breathing room in terms of content creation. This is where good research pays off. Reviewing the influencer’s previous collaborations for content quality, engagement and long-term collaboration with brands may help put your mind at ease.

Holding unrealistic expectations

A spectrum of factors can affect the outcome, but you can only focus on the things within your control. It’s important to set realistic expectations and pick KPIs to measure success

Setting sound expectations depends on your research too.

When are the influencer’s followers most active? What platforms do they prefer? What type of content do they engage with? Are there certain days of the week, holidays, or seasons that inspire them to make purchases? Are there certain hashtags that tend to generate more interest?

Analyzing the statistics is a good start, but don’t be afraid to ask the influencer for input. No one knows their followers better.

Ignoring FTC guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cracked down on deceptive advertising, including endorsements from social media influencers. While the bulk of the responsibility falls on influencers to disclose material connections, like being honest about sponsored ads, brands should review influencer FTC guidelines to ensure the campaign isn’t breaking any rules.

Avoiding these influencer marketing mistakes will help ensure your campaigns are designed for success. Manage your expectations and treat each campaign as a learning experience. You can always adjust and adapt as you analyze your results. With the right influencer, strong content and engagement, you could boost your brand’s reputation, followers and sales. 


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