Brands: Mistakes To Avoid With Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing continued to play a significant role in the digital ecosystem with brands embracing their eminent relevance as a valuable tool in identifying and targeting key audiences. When used well, they can be an effective marketing tool. But a number of brands still haven’t grasped how to get the most out of them viewing them as a checklist item rather than holding them with high regard as they do other marketing channels. They are simply going through the motions and flowing with the current. They don’t invest enough time to build proper influencer teams neither do they have a clear rationale or strategy in their approach, they just send out bare minimum execution briefs and offer free products in exchange for their ‘expertise’.

That is why today, we see many one-off influencer projects and rushed campaigns run by digital subsets that lack the power or budget to deliver something informative and transformative. This boils down to a simple lack of planning to ensure that influencers are on boarded on time, for the right duration of time, that they are part and parcel of a social strategy which executes and disseminates content that will move brand stories forward and deliver metrics that make sense.


Online Influencers. Image from


Influencers consider themselves celebrities of the respective platforms they have a large number of followers/fans on, something that occasionally panders their ego. This is not entirely true, but most brands are quick to adopt this general mindset, plotting campaigns and treat them as celebrities rather than the sales/marketing channels. They are lead generating assets that can market products in a super-authentic way for brands, not celebrities with VIP access to the same platform your target consumers are on. They are supposed to be creators who are in tune with their audiences (who are supposed fall under the bracket of people you are targeting) and can create relevant and engaging content.

Read: Do You Have the Right Social Influencers in Place?

When identifying who to work with as an influencer, brands should not focus on the biggest and most followed account, rather, they should identify the right group of micro-influencers who align perfectly with the brand image, values and who are most likely to drive meaningful conversations and outcomes. Brands that choose to go the micro-influencer route tend to make a uniform mistake, they fail to think about scale and reach. They choose the right influencers but onboard very few of them that they cannot fully penetrate and exploit the potential market opportunity. There are a number of micro-influencers that might be a perfect fit for your brand, choosing a handful of them only serves to limit the scope of their overall reach. With proper planning, proper budgets and a good number of micro-influencers, you could reach a wider audience and get a lot more organic views from different sources.

Influencer marketing campaigns can fail to deliver when there are no predetermined factors or criteria for measurement. The goals and key performance indicators across influencer marketing and the business should be somewhat related if not totally related. This allows brands to adequately collect data over time so that they can get smarter about what works and what doesn’t. Don’t keep investing in influencers without a proper structure to measure and monitor their performance. Return on investment for influencer marketing can be measured by many KPI’s that are down to your brand’s marketing goals. Work with a number of influencers, analyze which ones are effective and keep the ones that work best. Re-evaluate and continue adding to the mix to keep a healthy balance. It is also important to note that with the passive-aggressive nature of internet users in Kenya, influencers aren’t always relevant.

Its high time brands stop getting sucked into the allure of numbers, the guarantee of engagement or a trending position for a few hours on twitter and start looking at influencers the same way as other media buying options. Getting the right influencers for your campaign is not as easy as choosing. It needs proper research, a compelling creative collaboration proposition, a clear execution strategy and detailed execution brief and proper measurement to capture tangible results

Influencers are not going anywhere anytime soon, but brands that do it right keep open a channel that can only serve to benefit everyone in the influencer ecosystem.

Rick Ray Butler termed influencers as the most important media buys of 2018, I couldn’t agree more.

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Ken is a marketing strategist working with various brands online. He is passionate about helping businesses build relationships by providing actionable insights on online marketing and advertising trends.