8 Mistakes To Avoid When Launching an Influencer Campaign

8 Mistakes To Avoid When Launching an Influencer Campaign

A 2023 HubSpot study revealed that one in four marketers worked with influencers. Why is this marketing strategy ‌so popular?

According to Matter Communications, 69% of consumers trust influencers’ product recommendations. When people discover brands through their favorite influencers, they’re more likely to trust what they have to say.

It’s all about the human element. While businesses have their own brand identity, there’s no face consumers can put to the name. But when an influencer posts content with themselves talking about a company and showcasing its products, it helps humanize the brand.

This makes it more appealing to potential customers, fosters a sense of community, and creates social proof.

Are you considering launching an influencer campaign? It’s important to be aware of common mistakes marketers make when they work with influencers.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where a brand collaborates with an online influencer to promote one of its products or services.

It also helps to increase brand awareness and recognition.

Globally, influencer marketing reached a market valuation of 21.1 billion US dollars in 2023. The market for this key strategy will only grow as more influencers and brands work together and create content that builds awareness and persuades customers to make a purchase.

8 Influencer Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these eight influencer campaign mistakes to give yourself the best chance of hitting your performance goals.

1. Overlooking the Power of Nano and Micro-Influencers

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when working with influencers is ignoring the ones with smaller followings.

It might seem backward because why wouldn’t you go after the larger influencers? The larger the following, the better, right?

Not necessarily. The opposite is sometimes true. Nano influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers) and micro-influencers (10,000 to 100,000 followers) often nurture authentic relationships with their followers.

These relationships often lead to more trust and sway over purchasing decisions. So, these smaller influencers can be a gold mine for connecting with an audience that’s more likely to buy.

2. Working With the Wrong Influencers

Choosing the wrong influencer to represent your brand could be highly damaging to your reputation, especially if you’re just starting out and haven’t yet built a good level of trust with your target audience.

There are many things that could go wrong. For example, the influencer could have a bad reputation themselves.

The wrong influencer might also have low engagement rates on their social media content, which might indicate that they really don’t have a genuine connection with their audience.

Or, maybe their audience doesn’t align with the product you’re promoting. For example, it may be a niche audience while your industry is more broad.

So, when choosing influencers, make sure their interests and the type of content they post are relevant to your industry, brand, and niche. They should also have expertise in your field and have a high level of engagement with their followers.

Make sure you look for people who are responsive, reliable, and easy to work with. They should have a good reputation for posting quality content.

3. Not Prioritizing Long-Term Relationships

It’s not realistic to expect results after a single post from an influencer. Yes, it might work for huge celebrity influencers like Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian, but these types of influencers often require a larger budget that some businesses don’t have.

However, influencer marketing thrives on collaboration between brands, publishers (platforms), and talented influencers. And you don’t need a million-dollar budget to meet with success.

AdTech platforms play a crucial role in fostering these powerful partnerships. By providing innovative tools and streamlined connections, AdTech empowers brands to find the perfect influencer fit for their campaigns.

You should always aim to build long-term arrangements by finding the influencers you want to work with and locking them into a multi-post deal. This strategy gives the influencer time to build a strong connection between your audience and your brand.

4. Not Choosing the Right Channels

You may look at other brands and see their success on certain social media platforms. Maybe one of their influencer campaigns went viral.

But that doesn’t guarantee the same results for your brand. Every situation is different.

For example, imagine a luxury fashion brand that wants to promote its latest collection of handbags. The brand wants to work with influencers to reach a younger audience and generate excitement around its products.

The company has narrowed down its influencers to two. One is an Instagram influencer in the fashion niche. The other is a well-known YouTuber who posts lifestyle and fashion content.

Screenshot of influencer YouTube Shorts video showcasing luxury handbag

(Image Source)

Who’s the better fit? Which social media channel is best? The Instagram fashion blogger might be due to the nature of the platform and the audience’s preferences.

Instagram is highly visual, with a focus on curated images and short-form videos. The fashion blogger can showcase the handbags through aesthetically pleasing photos, stylish outfit pairings, unboxing videos, and engaging Instagram Stories or Reels.

Screenshot of influencer Instagram video showcasing luxury handbag

(Image Source)

5. Failing to Set a Goal for Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

When developing your influencer marketing plan, the biggest mistake you can make isn’t establishing a goal. There isn’t just one outcome you can achieve with influencer marketing. There are many.

For example, some brands choose to work with an influencer to build brand recognition, while others do so to boost sales. Yet, hundreds of companies want to build a community around their brand and engage with their target audience in a more meaningful way.

SoFi, a personal finance brand, uses influencers for yet another reason‌ — ‌to educate its audience and build trust. Working with influencers helps finance and banking companies like SoFi educate their audience on topics like online savings accounts or facilitate important conversations around inclusivity when it comes to finance.

For example, Caitlyn Kumi worked with SoFi to highlight women’s financial success.

Screenshot of LinkedIn influencer post for SoFi

(Image Source)

This post empowers her audience, especially women, to feel confident about their financial potential. SoFi aims to achieve this empowerment through financial education.

6. Ignoring Audience Data

Failing to analyze and understand your influencers’ audience can lead to ineffective targeting and messaging. As a result, your campaign might see lackluster results like lower engagement rates and conversions.

Let’s look at an example.

A skincare brand decides to work with a popular beauty influencer who has a large following on TikTok.

The influencer posts about makeup tutorials, beauty product reviews, and skincare routines.

Screenshot of beauty influencer video on TikTok

(Image source)

The brand notices that the audience is highly engaged with the content and assumes they’re all interested in skincare products.

So, it goes forward with the influencer campaign and starts promoting a new luxury anti-aging serum product launch.

The campaign fails to produce a positive ROI. After looking into the influencer’s audience, the brand discovered that a large percentage of the influencer’s audience is teenagers and young adults who are more interested in makeup trends and affordable beauty products rather than anti-aging solutions.

While this may seem like an obvious mistake, it’s an easy one to make. Makeup, beauty, and skincare all go hand in hand. So, anyone could make the mistake of not digging deeper.

7. Thinking That Your Product Can’t Benefit From Influencer Marketing

When you think of influencer marketing, the first things that probably come to mind are fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.

Influencers often post content promoting products related to those categories. But that doesn’t mean other types of products and niches can’t benefit from influencer marketing.

A wide range of brands in different industries partner with influencers to get their products in front of more people.

Think BMW in the automotive sector or Apple in the tech industry.

A data backup and recovery solutions provider could really stand out from the crowd because it operates in an industry where influencer marketing isn’t a popular marketing strategy.

It can partner with IT and technology influencers who post reviews, tutorials, and recommendations for software solutions.

The types of content influencers can post include common data loss scenarios, the risks of not having a backup solution in place, and the benefits of using the company’s product for data protection.

8. Not Considering the Different Compensation Models

There’s more than one way to pay an influencer. So, avoid going into the relationship without thinking about the best compensation model for your company and budget.

Here are the most common compensation models:

  • Pay per post: This is a flat rate for each post your social media influencer creates for your product or brand.
  • Cost per click: You pay the influencer based on the clicks their content got. This could be clicks to your website, landing page, or product page.
  • Cost per engagement: You pay based on the level of engagement the influencer drives to each social media post.
  • Free merchandise or services: Some influencers accept free products or services. This could include jewelry, high-end fashion, luxury vacations, hotel stays, or cars. You could also offer free services or solutions.
  • Cost per acquisition: This is the least popular option for influencers, but it’s the most ideal for brands because it bases payment on the sales or subscriptions the social post drives.


Investing in an influencer marketing strategy is a go-to for brands looking to generate excitement around their products, drive growth, and create social proof.

When consumers see someone they trust and like promoting a brand or its products, this reduces the inhibitions that may be holding them back from buying.

Not everyone can achieve this level of success. However, as long as you avoid the mistakes we highlighted and pick the most relevant influencers for your brand, your influencer marketing campaign should go off without a hitch.

Not sure where to start with influencer marketing platforms? Check out Shoutcart today!

About the author:

Ian David started his career in brick-and-mortar retail management, which quickly included eCommerce and digital marketing as well. He is an avid reader and a self-taught expert in SEO and content marketing. He writes for several publications on a variety of digital marketing topics. Recently, his focus has been on using influencer and affiliate marketing to drive more conversions.