We were recently talking to a brand about how they work with influencers. The brand is large enough that there is a formalised marketing strategy which includes engaging with elite athletes and some influencers.

So far so good.

The problems started showing when we dug a little deeper. And the problems are ones that we see over and over again;

No new voices

A quick check of the people linked to the brand reveals that the majority of them have been sponsored athletes or ambassadors for quite a while. The lifeblood of brand marketing is – to some extent at least – reaching new audiences. We know that one of the problems with influencer marketing is finding new people (that is one of the reasons we have built the Freestak Platform) but

It is essential that new influencers are recruited and with them new audiences.

Otherwise you are telling the same people your brand message over and over again, which will quickly lose impact.

Location, location, location

The brand that we were talking to was quite open about the fact that there is a huge bias for the influencers that they work with, to come from the country that their HQ – and therefore their marketing team – is based in. But their aim is to attract customers all over the world. And of course if your business is based in a non-English speaking country, the chances are that your influencers are creating content in their native tongue. That massively limits the appeal and effectiveness of that content.

If you want to be a global brand, the spread of your influencers needs to reflect that.

Private influencers

Whilst checking the influencers that the brand we were speaking with uses, we discovered that quite a few of them have private social media accounts. Yes, you read that correctly. This brand – and we know from experience, many other brands – works with influencers that keep their social media accounts private. Even worse, a similarly large number of the influencers the brand was working with had no (publicly visible) blog. There is certainly an argument that working with an athlete who is winning high profile events trumps them talking publicly on social media.

But even so, investing in an ambassador or brand advocate whose posts are not visible or who are not creating content on a blog or YouTube channel, is pretty pointless.

Undoubtedly it is hard to ensure that all the different aspects of your influencer engagement are working perfectly. But if you make sure that you are not falling into the pitfalls that we see over and over again – using the same influencers for years and years, using local influencers that lack global appeal and working with ‘influencers’ who keep all their content and channels private – then you are at least making sure that you are doing the basics.

Simon, CEO

Got a question about your Influencer Marketing?

P.S. we are offering free 30 minute influencer marketing consultations to brands. If you would like to talk to us about how you can get started or – if you are already working with influencers – make the most of what you are currently doing, drop us a line and we’ll arrange a good time to talk.


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