Blogs » Influencer Gone Wrong: 7 Influencer Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Influencer Gone Wrong: 7 Influencer Marketing Mistakes to Avoid


Influencer Marketing Every Business Should Avoid

Table Contents

Everyone is on social media. And when we say everyone, that includes your target market. This is the reason why marketing strategies such as social media influencer marketing continue to become popular among different businesses. According to the benchmark report by influencer marketing hub, the influencer marketing industry is expected to grow up to $21.1 billion in 2023.

Social media influencer marketing is, without a doubt, one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for brands, including e-commerce businesses, today. However, this is only true when your campaign is done the right way. To do this, you need to be aware and avoid all the influencer marketing mistakes.

You’re in luck, because, on this page, we’re going to name the most common influencer marketing fails for business. Moreover, we’ll also cite some examples of influencers gone wrong, so you can learn from their mistakes.

Mistake#1: Choosing Influencers Based on the Size of the Following Alone

Choosing Wrong Influencer for Business

Size doesn’t matter! Well, at least when it comes to influencer marketing. If you think that the more followers an influencer has, the better for your brand, think again. You might be making a huge influencer marketing mistake.

While it can be really tempting to partner with influencers who have millions of reach, they may not give you the results you need. Their followers usually come from different demographics. They might not even be your target audience. And that means lower engagement rates for you.

Try to look beyond numbers. Don’t rule out partnering with nano and micro-influencers. In fact, a study found that micro influencers generate a 60% higher engagement rate than macro influencers. These influencers can also generate 20% more conversion for your business.

Mistake#2: Choosing Irrelevant Influencers

Another common pitfall in influencer marketing is collaborating with an influencer who doesn’t align with your brand. Not only will your content not resonate with their audience, but it can also damage your reputation.

Conduct thorough research when choosing an influencer for your brand. As mentioned, you should not focus on follower counts alone. Consider other factors such as their niche, credibility, content authenticity, and engagement. Most importantly, choose an influencer that is compatible with your brand voice and messaging.

Mistake#3: Micromanaging Your Influencers

Micromanaging an Influencer

Limiting creative freedom is one of the biggest influencer marketing mistakes you should avoid. Why? Because it just defeats the whole purpose of influencer marketing. The reason why influencer marketing provides great results is that it leverages authentic voice and creativity.

Micromanaging your influencer may result in content that is too promotional and forced. The influencer’s followers can easily see through this. You risk losing their trust. Also, you may end up ruining your relationship with your influencer. Chances are, they may refuse to collaborate with you again in the future, regardless of the outstanding result you make.

Mistake#4: Not Creating Clear Guidelines for Partnership

Huawei and Sarah Elshamy Influencer Collaboration Mistake

Giving influencers creative freedom is one thing. However, not getting involved and allowing influencers to do what they want for the content without restriction is a different matter. As a brand, it is your responsibility to give guidelines that will make the collaboration a success.

Sitting on the sidelines and waiting for things to unfold is a huge mistake in influencer marketing. Huawei and Sarah Elshamy’s learned this the hard way. In a 2018 Nova 3 commercial, the company released a 30-second video in Egypt. It showed a man and an actress taking a selfie with the phone.

Things are normal. The advertisement quality is actually amazing. But things changed when the actress released a behind the scene shoot. She accidentally revealed that the man was just pretending to hold a phone and a photographer with a DSLR camera was taking the picture. This caused a lot of negative reactions online.

A clear guideline of what can and cannot be done could have helped prevent this harmful mistake.

Mistake #5: Missing Call to Action

Call to Action in Influencer Marketing

A Call to action or CTA is a critical part of any digital marketing campaign, that includes influencer marketing. As the name suggests, it directs your readers and visitors to take action, converting them into leads. Skipping out your CTA can negatively impact your campaign.

Imagine this, your company sells gym equipment and collaborates with a fitness influencer. The influencer shares some photos of her using your equipment to endorse your products. However, she did not include any form of CTA in her message. It is just a photo of herself working out. Do you think, her content can drive sales? Probably not.

The CTA should always be relevant, engaging, and tailored to your audience and goal. When done the right way, your call to action can help you reach your specific goal.

Mistake#6: Not Reviewing Work Before Publishing

Adidas and Naomi Campbell Influencer Marketing Mistake

Before you post online, review everything carefully – the caption, the grammar, the link, the CTA, and the asset. Make sure everything is high-quality and error-free. This may sound really obvious, but neglecting this step can lead to serious problems.

Take Adidas and Naomi Campbell’s case as an example. Campbell posted a photo on Instagram of a pair of Adidas shoes to promote it. For the caption, she copied and pasted all parts of the briefs of the company. By “all”, we mean everything. This included the instructions and the greeting that were meant for her. It’s an embarrassing mistake that caused influencers and the brand to receive a backlash.

Mistake#7: Creating Insensitive Content

Subway Philippines and Kimpoy Influencer Marketing Mistake

Keep in mind that social issues today are very complex. What’s more, different people may have different opinions, values, and experiences about these issues. If you’re not careful in your messaging, you may end up upsetting someone. This influencer marketing mistake can damage your brand’s credibility and reputation. 

The case of Pepsi and Kendall Jenner is the best example of this influencer marketing gone wrong. In 2017, they collaborated on an ad featuring a mass protest of people of color. Kendall Jenner hands a Pepsi to a police officer. After he takes a sip, everyone dispersed happily, suggesting a good result. 

This ad immediately receives negative feedback. Many felt it was insensitive and disrespectful to the “Black Lives Matter”  movement. People criticized Pepsi for seemingly suggesting that their product alone could solve the issue. 

The Kendal x Pepsi issue isn’t the only example of how insensitive content can ruin your brand. Just recently, Subway Philippines and influencer Kimpoy Feliciano were labeled as misogynistic for their collaboration for an ad. Feliciano was portrayed as being infatuated with three different women. At the end of the ad, it was then revealed that women were metaphors for the various flavors of sandwiches. 

Many people cried foul of the campaign’s content. They believed that the ad equated women to sandwiches, suggesting that men can freely choose and objectify them as they pleased. After receiving multiple backlash, the brand took down the campaign and issued an apology.

Avoid Influencer Fails in Your Marketing Campaign​

Influencer Marketing can be a very powerful tool to create leads, increase sales, and boost your brand’s success. However, the result isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. Create one mistake and it could instantly mean damage to your brand reputation and credibility.

By avoiding the 7 influencer marketing mistakes discussed in this article, you can increase the chances of making a successful campaign. Learn from these influencers’ fails and thoughtfully strategize a more effective campaign for your business.

Need help with your influencer marketing strategy? Be Global E-commerce Corporation is ready to help. Visit our service page or contact us today to learn more. Let’s create the best collaboration.

Other topics you may like

Discover how can we help you grow your business

Schedule a meeting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


That's the number of e-commerce sellers we have in the Philippines.

Do you think your e-commerce business can withstand the competition? Book a FREE consultation with e-commerce experts for a boost!