I have a lot of conversations about influencer marketing. Generally, I'm helping enterprise marketing leaders figure out how to get started with a pilot program. There is no doubt, these days, that influencer marketing works, but where companies struggle is figuring out how to make it work.
It is apparent that the market still needs a lot of educating on what it takes to really do influencer marketing at scale. Here are some common pitfalls that prevents companies from getting it right.
1. Influence is earned and not paid. It is about creating authentic relationships, not buying your way in. Remember if you can buy in, then your competitors can too. You leave your audience base wary of your ways and frankly mistrusting you.
2. Influence marketing is a powerful long-term strategy and not just a tactic. There is opportunity to leverage influencer marketing in every phase of your marketing program -- research, product development and across brand, communications and marketing executions.
3. In order to scale influencer marketing you must think broad and break down marketing silos. It means organizational change and fundamentally transforming your marketing team. This is why its critical to have C-level buy in.
4. Not all influencers are created equal. Celebrities (over 1M followers); macro-influencers (around 1M followers); middle-influencers (around 100,000 followers); and micro-influencers (around 10K followers). What isn't commonly known is that the middle and micro influencers are some of the most powerful influencers for brands to establish real relationships with.
5. H2H (human to human) interaction is still what drives conversations and enables a connection. As much as I hate the dated buzzword, it applies and is all too often forgotten. Influencers are people and people don't want to connect with brands, they want to connect with other people.
Lindsay Stein with AdAge writes her own 5 myths, check it out: