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8 Costly Influencer Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

8 Costly Influencer Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid
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  • 8 Costly Influencer Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Have you tried influencer marketing but not had success? Wondering why your influencer marketing campaign isn’t working?

Many new marketers or small businesses are either failing to create an effective strategy or are making mistakes in execution.

It’s true that the influencer marketing game can be very profitable but if you’re not careful, you could make mistakes that will end up costing a lot of money and time down the line.

In order for your campaigns to be successful and help move your business forward, it’s essential to know what you should not do.

Let’s start with 8 influencer marketing mistakes to avoid and see how to actually do it the proper way.

8 Costly Influencer Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Read 8 Costly Influencer Marketing Mistakes you should avoid to get results.

1. Picking the Wrong Influencers

The first influencer marketing mistake that can cost you your hard-earned money is choosing to work with the wrong influencers.

Choosing an influencer that doesn’t fit with your brand or may not create an effective message is definitely a bad idea because it will not only waste your money and time but may also damage your brand image in the process.

The best type of influencers will match up directly with your business and will be willing to produce quality, engaging content on your behalf (if that’s in their terms and conditions).

In order for your campaign to be successful, you need to be strategic and choose influencers who will expose your brand to the right people.

If an influencer has an audience with no interest in your product or service, it’s going to be difficult to create the desired buzz around your brand, let alone bring one lead into your sales funnel.

If you’re looking to promote a service or product that is extremely niche, then you might want to work with an influencer that doesn’t fall into the mainstream.

You can’t always trust numbers alone when it comes to taking on an influencer. Sure, having 100k followers is impressive but if their followers don’t match your target audience, then it’s not going to work.


    • Do your homework before choosing an influencer
    • Make a list of your target influencers
    • Determine if you both have the same target audience or an audience overlap
    • Write off those that post about anything and everything
    • Pick the influencer with a decent amount of followers and with a high engagement rate

The key is to find influencers who are in tune with your niche. They’ll be more likely to share your message in a way that you would do it yourself.

By using the right influencer marketing tools, you can find related influencers to your business and start from there.

2. Not Having a Strategy in Place

One of the major influencer marketing mistakes that small businesses make is not having a clear and effective strategy in place.

The lack of a clear process is probably a direct cause of the many mistakes that occur during the campaign.

Influencer Marketing Mistakes

If you don’t have a plan, then it’s likely that your campaign will simply be a waste of time and money.

The biggest takeaway here is to ensure that you have written down exactly what you need to do before moving forward.

Having a viable strategy will help you reach a targeted audience and increase your chances of succeeding with your campaign.

It’s important to have a clear outline of what you want to achieve from the social media influencer and be prepared for any challenges that might come along the way.


    • Set short-term and long-term goals
    • Set your budget
    • Plan your outreach schedule
    • Determine the types of campaign

You have to know exactly what it is you need from them and how your relationship will work before starting a campaign.

A lack of clear instructions can make an influencer less willing to make a great effort for your campaign.

If there aren’t any clear instructions, an influencer might not even bother contacting you back.

So, to win at influencer marketing, planning is key to success.

3. Trying to Overload an Influencer with Requests

Another common mistake that people who are new in the industry tend to make is asking too much from an influencer before they even start the campaign.

Trying to overwhelm them with requests will get you nothing in return and will definitely backfire.

In simpler words, asking too much is a big no-no.

To be effective and make sure you get the best results out of your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to write down exactly what you need from them.

Sometimes these expectations might be unrealistic or even impossible to meet.

If that’s the case, you can always negotiate with them to see if they will do something less intensive in exchange.


    • Start gradually
    • Remember that influencer marketing is a two-way process.

Don’t ask too much too early because they might not even respond back.

As long as you’re honest from the start, there’s no reason why an influencer won’t honor your request.

You can increase your chances of getting the best results by staying realistic and setting reasonable expectations for the influencer.

4. Ignoring Smaller Accounts

Another influencer marketing mistake is not putting your effort towards smaller accounts.

Just because an influencer has a smaller following doesn’t mean that they are less valuable to your campaign.

They might be the perfect fit for what you’re trying to accomplish.

As a matter of fact, those smaller accounts are the real gems because:

  • they are more niched down
  • they have unique and high-quality content
  • they are easier to contact than large accounts
  • they have higher engagement rates
  • they are more likely to post your message themselves
  • they are more available for discussion and negotiation

So while it may be tempting to focus on the huge accounts, make sure you’re not missing out on the smaller ones.


    • Instead of focusing on all of the big-ticket influencers find smaller accounts that are performing well on the platform.

While it’s true that you can be successful with big influencers, smaller ones can also be a worthwhile investment.

When you think about it, influencer marketing is more about the end results than the person or company behind that huge account of followers.

For instance, you can run a campaign with a big influencer and only make $100. On the other hand, you can partner with a smaller account and make $10K at the end of the campaign.

So, which one has successfully influenced people to make a purchase decision?

With that said, I want you to see the potential of smaller influencers. They are often more authentic and have the ability to make an impact on your audience.

5. Putting Them on the Spot

Working with an influencer, especially for the first time, should be a professional experience from both sides.

Trying to put too much pressure on an influencer can make them less willing to engage and they might not be willing to do business with you if you seem too demanding.

And guess where your emails will end?

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Here are a few examples of things not to say to an influencer:

  • “I need this done by the end of today.”
  • “I have sent the payment, can you post the content immediately?”
  • “There’s something I need to tweak in the post, can you stop the process?”

It’s very unlikely that they will rush just to get through this for you. They have other projects and clients to deal with.

So, when you put them on the spot, you are only putting a stain on your own reputation and your brand’s image as well.

In fact, you might even scare them away by being too demanding or unclear about your expectations.


    • It’s important to remember that influencers are people too.
    • Stay professional and open-minded.

Sometimes, they may need to focus on other things like more important projects or their personal life.

In other words, they are independent of you and it’s up to you to be realistic with the expectations you have for them.

Before asking an influencer for their service, make sure that you have a timeline written down and that they fully understand what is expected of them, instead of just expecting them to do all the work.

Some influencers might not be able to get to your project immediately for various reasons. So, give them time to be able to settle in and attend to your project.

If you’re expecting too much from them or have unrealistic expectations, the relationship is bound to fail.

6. Focusing on Social Media Influencers Only

Nowadays, when we talk about influencer marketing, we often restrict ourselves to those influencers on social media only.

The fact is that social media influencers are very much a small minority in the wider picture, compared to well-established blogs or YouTube channels.

Have you ever thought of a blog that has a readership of 1 million people every month?

While it’s true that an influencer has more of a direct and immediate contact with their followers, you should not forget that social media marketing is often termed as “interruptive marketing”.

This means is that you should not limit yourself to getting in touch with social media influencers only.


  • Reach out to bloggers or YouTubers that get a decent amount of traffic per month.

Unlike social media, these blogs or YouTube channels might send you more qualified traffic and your ROI might be even greater than if you would do influencer marketing from social media.

7. Not Looking at the Influencer’s Engagement Rate

As I said earlier, looking at an Instagram account with 100K followers can be impressive but what about the engagement rate on their posts?

According to a study by Hootsuite, a good average engagement on social media platforms can be anywhere between 1% – 5%.

Do your maths and start from there to see if the return you might get from that influencer is really worth it.

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It’s important to look deeper than just at the number of followers as it doesn’t mean that they are a good fit for your brand.

The truth is, bigger doesn’t always mean better. You should be looking at the lifecycle of their posts and pay close attention to how their followers are reacting to their content.


  • See to it that the influencer’s followers are engaging with their posts through likes, comments, shares, and saves, depending on the platform.

Doing so will give you an estimate of what you can expect from doing a marketing campaign with them.

If you see that the number of likes or comments on their latest posts is low, then it may signal that you should look for another influencer.

For instance, an Instagram post with 1 million likes and 10 comments should immediately give you a clear signal that this person’s community is pretty much “dead” or they have bought followers.

8. Not Following up With the Influencer

Without a proper follow-up plan, it will be difficult to get the most out of your influencer marketing efforts.

Influencers are usually people that have a lot on their plate, so it should be no surprise if they don’t get back to you right away.

Sometimes, they might have read your email about your desire to collaborate but something else has caught their attention, or they have a specific day of the week that they reply to partnership emails.

Don’t fuss if they don’t respond to your email right away. Just leave it be and wait for a few days before reaching out again.


  • Wait at least 2 days before sending them another email and try to avoid being too pushy. After all, you’re trying to collaborate with them so the last thing that you want is to make them feel like you’re hounding them for something.

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The key is knowing how to get in touch with influencers in the first place and also not forgetting to follow up. After all, you are the one who needs them.

So, it’s only natural that you should have to work your way into their mailbox (sometimes more than one time) to make them interested in collaborating with you.

Costly Influencer Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Influencer marketing can be a powerful strategy that can bring your business to new heights.

However, making the most basic mistakes can cost you a lot and as a business owner, frustration and headaches are the last things that you want.

So, make sure that you have written down a clear strategy in place to ensure that you don’t make the mistakes mentioned here.

Doing so will help you avoid burning through your hard-earned money and time, and give you peace of mind as well.

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