4 Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Influencer Marketing Strategy & How To Avoid Them

Knowing influencer marketing mistakes is basic. Fixing them requires a strategic overhaul.

Priya Nain

Priya Nain

June 30, 2023

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Ever launched an influencer marketing campaign, only to watch it crash and burn?

Or perhaps you're starting fresh and want to sidestep common blunders.

This blog post dives into the 4 mistakes because of which influencer marketing often fails and how to avoid those pitfalls.

🕺 Mistake #1: Misalignment between brand and influencer

The mistake new brands often make is selecting influencers solely based on follower count. They think it will greatly boost their brand awareness.

But that's not right.

For example, let's say you're selling a men's grooming product. Even if a top influencer like Selena Gomez, with her millions of followers, promotes your product, you might not see a significant spike in your sales.

This is because Selena Gomez's audience might not be your target market.

Picking an influencer without considering brand alignment is like ordering a meal without checking if you're allergic to the ingredients. You may get a reaction you didn't bargain for.

Aim for Influence, not Influencers. 🙌

👉 The right thing to do when choosing influencers for your brand is to create your brand's ideal creator profile. This includes a combination of factors:

  • Numbers: Don't just check follower count but also engagement rates. A smaller, more engaged audience can often drive more impact than an ocean of passive followers.

For instance, Loop Earplugs collaborates with individuals who either have ADHD or actively advocate for ADHD awareness. They promote their earplugs through these partnerships, highlighting the benefit of their product for those sensitive to noise.

This targeted approach potentially delivers better results than a mass campaign, as it directly addresses a specific audience group that can derive real value from the product.

  • Brand values: Does the influencer embody what your brand stands for? An influencer who resonates with your brand values (e.g. an environmental enthusiast for a brand making eco-friendly products) is more likely to deliver a message that feels authentic and hits the mark with your target audience.
  • Content style: Does the influencer's content capture your attention immediately? (hook). Do you find yourself watching or reading the entire piece of content? (engagement). Does the influencer effectively promote the product or brand, urging customers to take action? (sell)

Influencer marketing isn't just about finding influencers; it's about finding influence. It's about forging partnerships that align on values and style, and resonate with your target audience. Because at the end of the day, influence is what inspires action and drives results.

📉 Mistake #2: Underestimating volume requirements

Brands new to influencer marketing often make the initial mistake of recruiting a dozen influencers and thinking they're all set.

To genuinely gain substantial brand awareness or sales goals, your influencer count needs a boost.

But why is that important?

  • Increased awareness: More influencers spreading your message equates to more people hearing about your brand. It's just that simple.
  • Edging out the competition: Having a high volume of influencers talking about your brand can give you an edge in brand awareness, pushing your competitors to the sideline.
  • Boost in search and discovery: With enough influencers talking about you on platforms like TikTok, your brand becomes a part of the platform's organic search and discovery mechanism.

Suppose you are curious about Magic Spoon. You might be wondering if it's a credible product. You may also want to know about its taste.

So, you decide to conduct a search on TikTok. You discover hundreds of videos there. These videos are posted by various influencers who've partnered with Magic Spoon.

Through these videos, you gain insights into the product. They help you decide whether to purchase Magic Spoon or not.

Hopefully, these insights will encourage you to buy it. But if not, they can just as easily inform your decision to skip it.

  • Accumulating reviews: More influencers mean more reviews and testimonials, lending greater credibility to your brand and providing compelling social proof.

"How many influencers do I need?" 🤔

There isn't a one-size-fits-all number of influencers that guarantees success. The figure varies depending on your specific goals, budget, and industry, among other factors.

If you're looking for a launchpad, particularly in building brand awareness on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, aim for a minimum of 50 micro-influencer posts per month. That's where we've seen brand awareness take off.

It also gives other influencers who might be right for your brand assurance that you're a legit brand they can collaborate with.

Enlisting 50 influencers requires outreach to a far larger pool. Not everyone will respond and even fewer may agree to a partnership.

😫 "That's a lot of influencers to find and it seems such a daunting process!", you might say.

👉 Here's an efficient and easy strategy: Leverage the power of hashtags.

Identify the hashtags that align with your audience and product type. Scout for influencers consistently using these hashtags.

You can use SARAL's Chrome extension to vet the influencer, add them to a list and do quick outreach. It's FREE! You can check it out here.

This strategy helps streamline your influencer discovery process and connect you with potential collaborators who vibe with your brand.

💵 Mistake #3: Adopting a transactional approach

Many brands treat influencer marketing like a straightforward cash-for-service exchange. It's easy to slip into the mindset of "I pay you, you post about my product, and voila - results!"

Influencer marketing isn't a billboard along the highway or a celebrity endorsement where fame alone drives attention. It's a collaboration - a partnership that thrives on authenticity and genuine engagement.

When a brand collaborates with the right influencer, they're inspiring a conversation. This approach unlocks a richer, more authentic dialogue about your product, which, in turn, resonates deeply with the audience.

Genuine collaborations result in engaging content. It's the difference between a scripted advertisement and a heart-to-heart recommendation from a friend.

Which would you trust more?

👉 How do you switch gears from a transactional mindset to a collaborative one? Here are some concrete steps to get you started:

  • Encourage creativity: Rather than handing influencers a script give them a creative guideline document. Outline your brand values, and objectives, and let them add their unique touch to the content. After all, they know their audience best!
  • Long-term partnerships: Instead of paying per post, consider establishing an ambassador program. It's a mutually beneficial setup where influencers get to associate with your brand over an extended period, and your brand benefits from sustained and authentic advocacy.
  • Value their craft: Influencers are content creators with their own visions and goals. Be genuinely interested in their work and aspirations. By appreciating their craft, you not only establish a more robust relationship but also foster a deep sense of respect and commitment.
  • Open communication channels: Cultivate an open and honest communication line. Be receptive to their ideas and feedback. Transparency builds trust, which is key to any successful collaboration.
  • Offer value beyond monetary compensation: Think of ways you can add value beyond just monetary compensation. Can you provide exclusive access to products, insider updates, networking opportunities, or even spotlight their work on your platforms?

💔 Mistake #4: Neglecting long-term relationship building

The common pitfall that many brands face is getting lured into short-term thinking. It's tempting to choose the path of least resistance, signing influencers for a one-off post and calling it a day.

This approach lacks the deeper connection that influencers need to genuinely champion your brand.

You need a relationship-based approach where the focus isn't on immediate gains but on the long-term compounding value of the relationship.

It's like sales - build a relationship over time by providing value, not by pushing for quick wins. Today's market is savvy - they see through overt sales tactics. The same holds true for influencers.

The first change you should make is to switch to ambassador programs.

Unlike pay-per-post models, ambassador programs aim to build long-term relationships with influencers. You onboard creators who truly align with your brand, pay them based on sales commission and keep them engaged with regular updates, perks, and product previews.

A successful influencer relationship shouldn't conclude after one collaboration.

👉 If the relationship proves fruitful, keep it going. Here are 3 ideas:

  • Product collaboration: Invite them to co-create a product with you. It's a win-win situation as it gives them a chance to put their stamp on something while giving your product a personal touch.

For example, Pura Vida co-created a product with a creator. This helped the brand get ideas, and content (see the creator's poster they used in the store in the image below). And it helped the creator craft a product and gain more popularity.

  • Educational content: Get them to create educational content about your products. This could be tutorials, unboxing, product reviews, or even behind-the-scenes footage of your production process.

For instance, Gymshark leveraged their creator’s in-depth knowledge about running to create educational content for their audience. Of course, they tagged her in all the posts.

  • Giveaways and billboards: Consider hosting a giveaway on their platform or featuring them on a billboard. These high-visibility tactics can boost both the influencer's profile and your brand's reach.

Managing all these relationships can be a mammoth task, but a specialized CRM software designed for influencer relations can significantly ease the burden.


Understanding the four mistakes in influencer marketing is a significant first step, but it's often not enough.

Tackling these issues head-on requires more than just knowledge; it calls for a shift in your systems and tools.

SARAL provides the solution.

💜 It's a simple, affordable, and user-friendly tool designed specifically for small and emerging DTC brands. With SARAL, you can seamlessly find and manage influencers, track sales, and build enduring relationships without getting bogged down by time-consuming manual work.

Forget about shelling out $10,000+ upfront for complicated tools that leave you with more questions than solutions. Say goodbye to the confusion of messy spreadsheets and the tedious manual work that kills your marketing enthusiasm.

Claim your free trial for SARAL here.

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