Influencers are influential because of their communities - Brian Solis

The Do’s and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing

Focusing your marketing strategy around influencers can be an effective way of quickly gaining exposure for your brand. But what exactly is an “influencer?”

An influencer can be considered anyone who has an impact on the way people think or feel about things.

When they have this characteristic coupled with a loyal online following, the influencer has created an excellent way to engage with a highly targeted audience.

The Do’s

Find the Right Influencer

Take time to find the right influencer for your brand. This step is crucial for success.

But don’t base your choice on the size of their following alone.

If you make this mistake, you’ll likely end with disappointing results. It pays to figure out what to look for, which will help you find the perfect person to collaborate with.

Start by looking for an influencer who has an engaged following. Focus on influencers who are able to generate reactions from their followers, and not just a few.

Working with someone with a large audience which isn’t engaged would be akin to placing an ad in a magazine with no readers.

Next, make sure their following aligns with your target consumer.

It will help if you have a clear buying persona in mind when you formulate your strategy.

Getting this step right up front will help you determine the right audience for your brand.

Last but not least, the content created by your ideal influencer should mirror your own brand’s image or message.

This will increase the chances of capturing their audience’s interests.

Plan Ahead

Have a strategic plan in place before reaching out to a potential influencer.

By doing so, you will ensure that you can effectively communicate exactly what you’d like them to do. Only then can you achieve the results you’re expecting.

Think about the type of campaign you’d like to run. Does it involve a post about your product? Or a more integrated approach like an account takeover?

If the aim is to drive traffic to a specific landing page, make sure you provide any necessary URLs to your target influencer(s).

Likewise, if you’d like the influencer to use a certain hashtag or tag your account, you’ll need to provide all the necessary instructions to make it easy for them to help you.

Negotiate Compensation

The most common ways to compensate influencers for their work include offering them product or service giveaways to promote, working out a commission or fee, or exchanging features on social media.

Individuals with experience in influencer marketing may already have a list of fees depending on what is required from a campaign.

I’ve found that it’s usually best to negotiate compensation on a case-by-case basis.

Promote Influencer Content

The best way to maximize effectiveness on an influencer campaign involves taking full advantage of influencer-created content.

Once your collaboration comes to an end, you can repurpose this great content in other ads or across different channels.

Repurposing is much easier than creating brand new material!

If you consider the campaign successful, you’ll know you’re working with material which attracts your target audience.

Use the data you have on users who responded to this content to optimize your next campaign toward this specific audience.

The Don’ts

Stifle the Creative Process

Many marketers find it difficult to relinquish control over the creative process. 

Don’t despair, because nobody knows their audience as well as the influencer who has built it up.

If you’re collaborating with someone who creates unique, eye-catching content, include them in your vision.

Let them create something unique for your brand.

If you want to ensure that both parties (you and the influencer) benefit from your partnership, ending up with reusable and targeted content, there are a few guidelines to follow. Talk to them about your brand.

Discuss any guidelines for the brand, messaging, and final content.

And always share what you expect from the campaign, listening attentively and openly to any feedback they might offer in return.

Dismiss Micro Influencers

What is your idea of a micro influencer? Someone with fewer than 100.000 followers? Or someone with 5.000?

The definition varies greatly from person to person, but the important thing is not to dismiss them.

Micro influencers tend to be seen as more authentic by their audience. Whilst they may have fewer followers than big celebrities, they cater to a niche audience with a higher engagement ratio.

From a cost point of view, micro influencers are in the early stages of developing their online presence may also be more eager to work with brands. Many of them will even agree to lower compensation rates.

Expect Unrealistic Results

The success of an influencer marketing campaign relies greatly on the marketer’s understanding of different types of content and the engagement it can generate.

For instance, some audiences respond well to video posts, whilst others show a much higher engagement to tagged photos.

If you ask a fashion blogger to promote a brand that is misaligned with their usual content and messages, their audience is unlikely to engage with  the promotion.

If you select the wrong influencer, you shouldn’t expect a large surge of new followers or traffic to your website in return.

Try to fall in line with what the influencer usually posts and understand what their audience reacts to the most.

Overlook New Traffic

Whilst a lot of effort goes into creating a great campaign, many brands make the mistake of not capitalizing on influencer content.

This is a mistake that could prevent the expected benefit of increased traffic to the brand’s site.

To make the most out of new visitors on your landing page or profile, make sure you showcase your best images or videos to give users a reason to like, share, and comment on your content.

Keep them coming back for more.

The Bottom Line

Influencer marketing is edging out more traditional forms of advertising, as consumers trust other consumers more and often turn to social media for purchase advice.

The key to a successful collaboration is to ensure the influencer has an engaged audience which is relevant to your target market, and that their content matches your brand’s vision.  


All Images Credit: CC 0; Public Domain. View original image on

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

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Callum Mundine

Callum is the head of marketing at Warble Media. They are a boutique website design and SEO agency based in Dubbo, NSW, Australia. If you have any questions about marketing, feel free to contact him on

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