The Do’s and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing

What exactly is influencer marketing and why do brands use it?

Over the last few years you’ve probably heard the buzzwords "influencer marketing” used at a rapidly increasing rate.  But, what exactly is influencer marketing and why do brands use it? states that “influencer marketing” is a type of social media marketing that involves endorsements and product placements from influencers.” One of the main benefits of the tactic is the substantial return on investment; according to statistica, around 60% of marketers surveyed felt that influencer marketing had a higher ROI than traditional marketing. It’s also a preferred tactic because of the ability to target a specific predetermined audience. It’s important to note that this level of ROI only happens if the influencer marketing campaign is executed correctly, and it's a harder balance to strike than most would assume. 

Our team has helped execute a number of influencer marketing campaigns for our clients so we’ve pulled together a helpful list of how to best execute an influencer partnership. Read the below do’s and don'ts to a seamless execution. 

Do: Find an influencer that fits your brand

Authenticity is key when it comes to influencer marketing. Even with the right message, the wrong influencer can dramatically impact the campaign results. Be sure that the influencer compliments your brand’s message, image and reputation. Both parties want the relationship and endorsement to be as authentic as possible to avoid overselling the product or coming across as overly promotional. 

Just because you love a certain influencer, does not necessarily mean that they are the best fit for your brand. Find influencers that feel like genuine users and lovers of the product, since those are the people that your consumers will connect with and trust the most. And bonus points if you can find an influencer that already uses and loves your brand!

Check out the partnership between our client SnapDragon Apples and @kellabyrd.

Don’t: Ignore analytics, like engagement

Although analytics shouldn’t sway 100% of your decision on whether or not to pursue an influencer, they are often the determining factor on whether a campaign was successful or not. Engagement rate is a measurement of how the audience interacts with the content, most often through likes, comments and social shares. Most consider below 1% to be a low engagement rate and between 2-5% is considered strong. Always ask the influencer you’re partnering with if they can provide average engagement on their posts and make sure to follow up after the partnership to see how your sponsored content performed in comparison.

Do: Check out the influencer’s past campaigns and collaborations

What better way to evaluate how an influencer will handle your partnership than to see how they executed past campaigns with other companies. Look through an influencer’s Instagram grid to see if their previous partnerships support your desired marketing strategy and image. And, be sure they have not partnered with brands that would provide a conflict of interest with what you’re promoting. 

We recently helped our client, Woeber Mustard Company execute a partnership with @ohiofoodie614.

Don’t: Excessively follow up on a lead

Follow ups are an important part of the influencer marketing process, but there is such a thing as too much. Most marketers follow up with influencers about 1-2 times but it can certainly vary depending on the situation and medium. For example, if you are communicating through email, it might be best to follow up less often than if you are communicating via Instagram DM. Additionally,  if you don’t get a response from email, try sending a DM on Instagram, as well. This way, if they are active on social media, but not checking their email, you can still get through to the influencer. When following up, be sure to note something about their content to keep the conversation relevant to them (e.g. “I saw that you posted a recipe with horseradish, and our brand, Woeber’s, makes the best horseradish out there! Would you be interested in collaborating with us?”). Always use your best judgment when collaborating with an influencer.

Do: Communicate your campaign goals clearly

When you pitch the influencer, be sure to put your marketing goals in the forefront of your message. By stating right off the bat what you expect, you can ensure that the influencer knows exactly what they would be getting themselves into. 

Example: “In this campaign, we would like to see Instagram Reels around one-minute long, showcasing Thanksgiving recipes using our product. We would also like to have 2 Instagram stories advertising the reel to increase engagement (our main objective of this campaign). 

Don’t: Micromanage your influencer

Although it can be easy to want to micromanage each step of the influencer’s process, try to prevent sending excessive reminders. This will hurt your relationship with the influencer and give a sense of distrust. Simply be sure to clearly state your expectations for the campaign at the beginning, as well as your deadlines and any required deliverables, to prevent confusion. Additionally, remember that this is a professional relationship, as much as you may feel that you personally know the influencer from seeing their content, be sure to treat the relationship as professional.

Do: Pick the right platform

When vetting influencers, be sure to check out all of their platforms. An influencer that is popular on Instagram may have an even higher engagement rate on TikTok. Be sure to do your research so that you can get the best platform for your brand.

Additionally, be sure that the chosen platform makes sense for your brand. Not every form of social media makes sense for every brand, so use your best judgment when it comes to picking your platform. 

Don’t: Look for quantity of followers over quality of followers

Just because an influencer has flashy numbers does not guarantee that they have a genuine connection with their audience. Take a look at their analytics and how they engage with their audience (Instagram Live, comments, replies, etc.), and decide if those metrics reinforce that this influencer is capable of being the connection between your brand and its potential customers the way you envision.

Interested in influencer marketing for your brand? Contact us to get started.