The dangers of mismanaging an Influencer campaign
You’ve planned your campaign ahead of time, the campaign has kicked off smoothly and everything seems to be in order. You’ve run through a risk management process with your influencers and determined how to mitigate brand risk effectively. What if you haven’t considered all the factors?
Here are some questions to consider when mitigating brand risk in influencer campaign management:
- What if the influencer’s content is not engaging and the content unintentionally drags the conversation away from the brand?
- What if the influencer has put a lot of time and energy into creating the content but what they’ve produced is not in line with your brand or client expectations?
- What if the content only arrives in your inbox for approval after campaign activation and deadline date?
- What if the influencer really really likes your brand or product and wants to speak extensively about it beyond the campaign? How will you manage what is being said to ensure it doesn’t violate any regulations in industries such as liquor, finance, health etc?
- What if you have been monitoring the influencer’s public social media but discover that they have posted something completely inappropriate, or something that may be interpreted as sexist or racist even if this was not the intention, on their private blog or alternative channels or forums?
- What if the influencer has used the incorrect hashtag or has spelt it wrong (trust me, we see this far too often)?
- What if the link they include is broken and leads their audience nowhere? It would be such a pity to achieve great results but not be able to track them…
Without effective and proper campaign management from the outset and throughout, the brand may run the risk of having:
- Content that looks the same, content that is not engaging or does not meet expectations,
- The inability to track campaign results because mandatory hashtags are missing or misspelled,
- Legal risks because mandatory mentions and disclosures are missing or because the content does not respect the regulations per country,
- Financial and reputational risk if contracts are not set up correctly,
- Overall poor results and a disappointing ROI.
Often during campaigns there is an audience overlap among influencers that are part of the same campaign.
Therefore, it’s extremely important for the influencers to tell a story and create content in their own signature style to ensure authenticity and originality.
To ensure content quality and authenticity from the outset and throughout, all posts should be checked and verified before publication. This will ensure the content is authentic, properly engaging, conforms to all required regulations and meets the brand’s expectations. It is important to include verification timelines in the original contract with influencers, allowing the brand time to verify posts and to ensure there is time to request a redo, if necessary. In doing so, the potential that the post will achieve a better ROI is far greater, and the brand’s equity will be protected. An important aspect of campaign management is monitoring the actions of the influencers outside of the campaign to ensure that the selected influencers are still the best fit for the brand, for the full duration of the campaign.
As the influencer is an ambassador of the brand and associated with it for the duration of the campaign, it is important to ensure that the influencer’s actions and content is favourable and remains within the objectives of the brand and reinforces the brands message, rather than alienating the audience. To achieve this, brands need to check all of the influencer’s social media consistently throughout the campaign, and take necessary action if they believe something may backfire on the brand, in the short or long run. Influencer Marketing is all about creating positive word-of-mouth for the brand, and to do so, brands need to monitor all actions of their ambassadors and influencers.
Other than the external potentialities that exist, effective campaign management should deal with all internal matters that may be of concern – those being between the influencer and the brand, which are covered in the contract. These internal matters include, but are not limited to:
- Verifying the content to meet expectations and coordinating with the influencers regarding content issues,
- Ensuring that posts are delivered timeously,
- Communicating with influencers on how to respond to negative engagement, if any, or to dissuade engagement that drags the discussion to the competition,
- Arranging that new content be provided should the original submission not be satisfactory.
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are another aspect of a campaign that will change and evolve as the campaign continues, and effective dynamic campaign management allows brands to analyse these changes and to set new KPIs as the campaign progresses through its timeline.
In my previous article, you saw the importance of aligning the influencer’s publication calendars with daily/weekly/monthly calendar events to ensure the campaign is fresh and relevant. In the campaign management stages, brands should keep updating their publication calendars with new events and themes as the campaign progresses.
Influencer Marketing campaign management is undoubtedly dynamic in nature; brands are managing people speaking to an audience rather than managing the audience itself. In order to protect brand equity and ensure the highest possible return for the campaign, brands should use Influencer Marketing experts who have a very specialised skillset tailored to Influencer Marketing needs.
In previous articles, my colleagues and I demonstrated how a kickass influencer marketing campaign should be run in a series of articles. You’ve already seen what Influencer Marketing is all about in the first article of the series, and you've learnt about the importance of having a dedicated influencer marketing strategy. Following that, you’ve seen the importance of vetting and selecting the right influencers. In the previous article, you saw the importance of effectively planning a campaign and setting mission statements.
In this article, you’ve learnt about effective campaign management to ensure the protection of your brand equity. These articles (and more) will be released regularly. If you’re dying to know more now and you’d like expert assistance with creating and managing your influencer marketing campaigns, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org