Why Influencer Marketing Campaigns Go Wrong (And What You Can Do To Avoid These Mistakes)

Mayank Choudhary
Social Media Specialist
November 25, 2022
min read
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We’ve all done this. We see an advertising campaign that blows our socks off. We’re inspired, we’re enthralled, but more than anything, we’re ready to do something similar for our brand.  

As marketers, we are more than ever trying to tailor our marketing campaigns to appeal to our audiences. One significant component of any marketing mix is partnering with celebrities or industry-specific micro-influencers to reach said audiences through their favorite social media idols. However, some major pitfalls could potentially ruin what could be a perfect influencer marketing campaign.

Even though it’s been a few years, the ad campaign by Pepsi with Kendall Jenner comes to mind when we talk about campaigns that fell flat on their faces, despite having big-money influencers be the voice and face of the marketing campaign.

Let’s explore some of the influencer marketing fails in more detail now, shall we?

Coca-Cola Locked Bottle

Now, whether or not this idea is a good idea is for the consumers to decide. However, as marketers burdened with the habit of analyzing every bit of marketing we come across, let’s take a deep dive and look at some of the influencer campaigns associated with this.

Here, we observe that the videos by the influencers look scripted and ‘unnatural' i.e., it doesn’t look like something you’d see any of these influencers communicate or talk about their life the way they did in these videos. One may also observe that while just sharing a carbonated beverage may not compel one to travel miles to meet someone, primarily if said beverage can be found at any local store, the fact that the idea is not sold even after watching 60-second videos by the influencers mentioned above is why this influencer campaign was such a weak one.

Pizza Hut: ‘Shut Up and Take My Money'

It’s your average hashtag challenge on Instagram to go viral. Let’s analyze the influencer campaigns in more detail, though.

Influencer collabs:

One of my first observations is that this campaign lacks one crucial fundamental to being social-media-viral: it has no touch with what’s trending in pop culture. While there’s no secret sauce or ancient (and by “ancient”, I mean social media ancient…so maybe around 2005?) scriptures that guide social media marketers, it’s common knowledge that most of the “trending” movements or dances on TikTok and Instagram are usually driven by the creators themselves.

Brands coming up with dances that are not inspired by what’s trending and asking their audience to follow suit is the opposite of how something goes viral. 

‘Little Mix’ fumble in their social media game

‘Little Mix’, a British musical band, with more than just a little mix-up (see what I did there? 😉) with their social media caption when promoting their perfume line.

Little Mix

Does the product match the kind of content Little Mix posts? Yes.

Does the target audience for this product ‘follow’ Little Mix on social media? Yes.

In other words, the product-influencer match was perfect but the only thing left to be desired was the execution! A lesson to be learned here is to always ensure you double-check what you’re posting. Period.

How can you ensure your influencer campaign doesn’t make these mistakes?

Well, for starters, ensure you have a strategy in place and know why you’re going ahead with an influencer campaign. Next, you must know How to choose the right influencer for your campaign. Working with big names doesn’t guarantee success. We talk more about why this is so in the article mentioned above.

Oh, also:

- Work with influencers who have fake followers or post ‘spam’ content.

- Have a set goal (say, ‘drive more traffic to your webpage”), a clear strategy, and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to ensure you’re tracking the progress of your campaigns.

- Don’t restrict your influencers from using their flair and creativity. A forced idea with less input from those who have a finger on the pulse of all things relevant to your target market (*cough cough* Pizza Hut *cough cough*) is an idea destined to fail.

- Lastly, if you’re looking to run campaigns on a platform like LinkedIn and Twitter, I recommend you check out the below post from affable.ai’s Co-Founder and CEO, Nisarg Shah.

To Sum Up

An influencer marketing campaign, if done right, can propel your brand and your product to the pinnacle; this is why we at affable.ai encourage brands to add this to their marketing plans.

There may always be hits and misses with every marketing campaign but that shouldn’t stop anyone from experimenting. Here are some mistakes you should definitely avoid:

As Scott Cook famously said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.”

Connect with our influencer marketing experts by booking a free trial to know how to propel your campaigns!

Or check out our latest content on influencer marketing to stay up to date about the industry!

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