14 Dos and Don'ts of Influencer Marketing: Common Mistakes to Avoid

14 Dos and Don'ts of Influencer Marketing:  Common Mistakes to Avoid

Building brand awareness can be difficult for even the most established businesses. With all the noise and information overload in today's digital age, consumers just aren't easy to capture.

But with influencer marketing, people are more likely to pay attention. That's because someone they trust is promoting a product or service.

This phenomenon is especially true for younger generations, who shop more online. In fact, 55% of Gen Zers trust influencers more than traditional celebrities.

And nearly 50% of Millennials worldwide find influencers' brand or product recommendations more engaging than regular advertisements.

In other words, it's no surprise that the influencer market in the US was valued at a record $16.4 billion in 2022.

If you're considering jumping on the bandwagon, educating yourself about influencer marketing is important. In this blog post, we review the dos and don'ts to help you maximize your influencer marketing success.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

With influencer marketing, brands work with people with a large influencer online to promote their products or services.

Influencers have worked hard to gain their audience's trust. As a result, their recommendations are often more convincing than regular advertisements.

Usually, influencers showcase and share new products or services on social media platforms.

But influencer marketing can happen anywhere online or even in person, through blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, online reviews, rating platforms, emails, or events and conferences.

It's also important to note that there are different types of influencers, such as:

  • Mega influencers: These influencers have a huge following, with more than one million people. Many of them are celebrity influencers. While their relationships with followers tend to be more distant, they still provide a lot of reach in one hit.
  • Macro-influencers: These influencers have a strong online presence, anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million followers. Macro influencers often have a broader audience because they cover a range of topics.
  • Micro-influencers: Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. They're a great option for businesses targeting a specific niche because they are respected experts in their industry.
  • Nano influencers: Even though nano influencers have the smallest audience, they tend to spark the most engagement. They have often less than 2,000 followers who are highly active and loyal. If you're looking to really cut your costs, you might choose to work with a nano influencer because many of them require little to no pay. Instead, you can send them free products in exchange for a review or endorsement on social media.

MAC Cosmetics actively supports nano influencers with a small audience. The brand even shares these bloggers' photos and reviews on its own page. This particular post shows Ayça Kalayci modeling lipstick and lip pencil by MAC.

Screenshot of MAC Cosmetics influencer Instagram post

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Influencer Marketing Don'ts

Here are seven simple influencer marketing mistakes to avoid in your next campaign.

1. Don't Forget to Define Your Goals

There are several reasons why brands work with influencers, and it's not just to increase brand awareness.

You might also want to generate sales or build loyalty with existing customers. Whatever the case, make sure to set a goal and keep that goal in mind throughout your influencer marketing campaign.

For example, to increase conversions, make CTAs a big part of your strategy. And share this goal with your influencers. It makes for a more successful campaign. Plus, your influencers may think of creative ways to help you achieve your goal.

2. Don't Take Complete Control of the Content

Speaking of creativity, every influencer will be different in that aspect.

Trying to control every part of the content creation process can alienate influencers and take away ‌their commitment to being honest, open, and transparent with their audience.

It doesn't mean you should relinquish all control. But create a delicate balance with clear goals and creative freedom.

After all, no one knows the audience better than the person who's built it up.

3. Don't Follow the Traditional Rules of Advertising

A big selling point for influencer marketing is authenticity. Influencers don't feel the pressure of being the best version of themselves.

There's no need to dress up, set up the camera a certain way, or follow strict guidelines. They can just be themselves.

So, instead of following the traditional advertising rules, focus on your message. And have fun creating a unique spin on videos, sounds, and filters.

4. Don't Overlook Micro-Influencers

Many people would be surprised to learn that the follower count doesn't reflect an influencer's value.

It's probably even more surprising that micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates on both Instagram and TikTok.

So, don't underestimate these key influencers. They've built a highly engaged audience that feels connected to them.

Plus, they appear more authentic, making audiences feel like they're engaging with someone they know.

Food blogger and NYT best-selling author Russ Crandall is an example of a micro-influencer with 37,000 followers on Instagram.

Screenshot of micro influencer food blogger Instagram page

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5. Don't Rely Solely on Influencer Marketing to Build Brand Awareness

Influencers may be a part of your marketing campaign, but they're not the finished product. Depending completely on an influencer to drive sales, build brand recognition, and boost customer loyalty can result in an unsuccessful overall marketing strategy.

Instead of completely relying on influencer marketing, use it as a supporting channel for other initiatives like:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Search engine optimization
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Mobile marketing

6. Don't Set Unrealistic Expectations or Deadlines

Influencers often work with multiple brands simultaneously. So, don't expect them to always deliver content on your terms.

Here are some tips for setting realistic campaign expectations:

  • Provide a date or range of dates that they must post their content.
  • If you're shipping the product yourself, consider how long it'll take to get to the influencer.
  • Set any creative requirements influencers should consider before creating their content. Remember: Give them as much creative freedom as possible.
  • Give influencers a few weeks of flexibility to create their content. That way, they're not operating under time constraints that could affect the quality of the content.

7. Don't Limit Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns to One Channel

Instagram and TikTok seem to be the go-to social media platforms for influencer marketing.

But they're not the only channels you can leverage. For example, consider repurposing and promoting your influencer content throughout your marketing funnel.

You could do this by whitelisting ads on Instagram or TikTok. This involves getting an influencer's permission to use their social media handles, content, and audience targeting to expand your reach.

You could also promote influencer content on your product pages as a form of social proof.

In addition to building trust, you can use influencer content to show your site visitors how your product works, remove any doubts they may have about your product, or answer key questions. People are more likely to buy a product they understand.

Another way to take advantage of other channels is to highlight influencers in your marketing emails. Share success stories, images, and videos of influencers discussing your product.

When consumers see real-world examples and applications of a product, they'll have a more connected buying experience.

This is key in a digital world where we often first discover a product through online channels and can't experience the tangible aspect of holding it before buying.

Influencer Marketing Dos

Now that you know what not to do, here are seven tips to help drive better results for your next influencer marketing campaign.

1. Boost Your ROI With a Cost Analysis

Working with influencers generates trust and loyalty in consumers. That's why many brands invest time and money in influencer marketing and Instagram and TikTok campaigns.

Merging influencer campaigns with paid Instagram ads helps expand the reach of your campaign, allowing it to surpass the size of the influencer's audience.

But you must have the budget for this. So, when trying to boost your ROI, consider your Instagram advertising costs, the deal you'll make with your influencers, and how these two fit into your budget.

Some Influencers are happy to work on an exchange basis, but most manage their own rates. So, before choosing an influencer, evaluate their engagement rates‌ — ‌beyond their number of followers. This will allow you to get an estimate of your potential reach.

2. Choose the Right Influencer

Choosing an influencer who aligns with your brand is crucial. Finding someone with a large enough reach to make a difference is also important.

For example, a celebrity influencer who operates within your niche can be highly valuable.

Wellness brand Hims & Hers, promoting sildenafil, works with well-known celebrities like Jennifer Lopez (JLO). Because JLO has such a big influence, this reassures consumers that the brand is reliable, which helps boost its reputation.

Screenshot of celebrity influencer JLO promoting Hims & Hers products

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3. Be Transparent

Always follow disclosure guidelines when partnering with influencers. Per the Federal Trade Commission, influencers must disclose sponsored content to their audience.

Following these guidelines will help you avoid potential legal issues, but it can also help you maintain transparency. Authenticity is crucial, and your audience should trust your recommendations.

4. Use Influencers Who Know Your Product

The influencers you work with should understand the product you're promoting. When choosing the right people for your campaign, ask them directly about their knowledge of your industry. They should know your customers' pain points, interests, and goals.

For example, if you sell luxury products like diamond stud earrings, your influencer should know the 4Cs of diamonds (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) and other essential features. This knowledge will help them communicate the product's value effectively.

For example, The Diamond Pro did a very professional review of Clean Origin lab-grown diamonds on YouTube in 2021, which generated thousands of views.

Screenshot of YouTube unboxing video for Clean Origin engagement ring and bracelet

(Image Source)

Why did it do so well? Because the influencer was educated on the topic, it added more credibility as a trustworthy source of information about lab-grown diamonds.

5. Use Quality Visuals

High-quality visuals are essential for promoting any product. Use professional photography or videography to showcase your product features and unique selling points.

Consider using tools like filters, presets, templates, captions, hashtags, stickers, and emojis to make your images pop.

If you're not providing the images, create a visual content guideline or brief for your influencer to follow. That way, they can create appealing visuals that meet your expectations and goals.

6. Tell a Story

Storytelling can make your product or service more relatable and desirable to your audience.

So, have influencers craft a compelling narrative around your product. Coming up with their own stories about how the product has improved their lives helps them come across as authentic and real.

They can also share your brand's history, the uniqueness of the product, or their personal connection with it.

7. Find Influencers With a Highly Engaged Audience

Large influencers can attract a lot of eyes, but they don't always guarantee genuine engagement. A smart strategy in influencer marketing is partnering with niche influencers who have built a truly engaged and authentic audience.

Take, for example, travel influencers dedicated to road trips and the van life culture.

A perfect example is this YouTuber, who took an RV journey around Los Angeles. The genuine excitement and engagement from viewers are clear (168K views, nearly 400 comments, and 9K likes), highlighting the impact of specialized audiences.

Screenshot of YouTube video vlogging an RC journey

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For businesses offering RV services in Los Angeles, tapping into influencers like this can be a game-changer, driving real interest and boosting potential sales.


There's no question that influencer marketing can take your campaigns to new heights. As you adopt this key marketing strategy, you'll probably experience a lot of challenges along the way.

But as long as you keep these do's and don'ts in mind, you'll be able to tackle those challenges like a pro.

Bookmark this guide, and your next influencer marketing campaign will go off without a hitch.


Amal is a seasoned content marketing enthusiast at Revealbot, the leading ads automation tool.

With over 5 years of experience in creating and executing successful content strategies for various companies in the tech industry, Amal has a passion for crafting compelling and engaging stories that resonate with target audiences and drive business growth.

When she's not busy crafting content, Amal can be found exploring new trails, working out at the gym, or trying out new recipes.