Unleashing the Influencer Beast: The Do's and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing
Jennifer Inglis | VP, Social Media

We all hear quite often about “influencers” and they have indeed become an important element of marketing. And in fact, managing the ins and outs of the twisted landscape of influencer marketing has become somewhat of a wild ride. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the digital era, it’s that influencers have taken over the world like glitter at a New Year’s Eve party. But before you dive headfirst into this buzzing hive of likes, shares, and hashtags, let’s take a moment and dig through some of the do’s and don’ts that will help you navigate the treacherous terrain of influencer marketing with style and finesse.

DO: Find the Right Fit 

  • Choosing the right influencer is like finding the perfect avocado—smooth, firm, and ready to make your guacamole dreams come true. It’s crucial to align your brand with influencers who genuinely resonate with your target audience. Remember the monumental backlash Biore got for partnering with a TikToker who survived a school shooting to promote black head clearing strips? Yeah, the only thing that went viral was the bad PR. Don’t be that brand.

DO NOT: Go Full Kardashian 

  • While we love the Kardashians for their contributions to pop culture, not every brand needs a Kardashian endorsement. Not every influencer is, nor needs to be, a seven-figure earner. Embrace diversity and seek influencers who bring something unique to the table. Big tier influencers require big tier payouts. Try embracing nano- or micro-influencers—they often have highly engaged audiences and aren’t as costly to work with. 

Endorsed on Instagram by a Kardashian, but Is It Love or Just an Ad? - The  New York Times

DO: Set Clear Expectations 

  • No, influencers aren’t mind-readers. Clearly define your expectations, goals and desired outcomes right from the start. Are you looking to drive brand awareness, grow your social followers or both? Specify key performance indicators and collaborate on a mutually beneficial strategy. 

DO NOT: Ghost Them

  • Ghosting is for haunted houses, not for professional collaborations. Treat influencers with the respect you would any business partner and be timely in your communication. Remember, they have followers who hang onto their every word. Treat them with respect.

DO: Be Authentic 

  • Authenticity is the holy grail of influencer marketing. The days of blatant product placements are as outdated as Clubhouse (and if you don’t know what that means, well, you might want to hire someone who does). Seek influencers who can seamlessly integrate your brand into their content, maintaining their unique voice and style. Long-term partnerships often yield better results than a one off post. Find influencers that genuinely care about your brand and product. Ideally you’re looking to create long-term ambassadors for your brand. 

DO NOT: Ignore Disclosure 

  • Disclosure is not an accessory; it’s the law. Don’t let your brand get caught in a web of deceit and controversy. Make sure influencers clearly disclose their partnerships with your brand, whether it’s through a simple hashtag (#sponsored) or call out in the caption. Transparency is always the best approach.

DO: Be Clear About the Budget

  • Be upfront from the beginning about the campaign budget (or lack of). If the campaign has an influencer fee budget, start by asking for their rate sheet and negotiate from there if needed. If the campaign is gifted or trade only, inform the influencer about which products or experiences they will receive. Whatever you do, be honest and open about the budget from the beginning. This key detail can make or break an influencer partnership.

Influencer marketing can be a double-edged sword—a subtle dance between modern marketing and human connection. By following these do’s and don’ts, you should avoid any colossal missteps and be well-prepared to kick-off your influencer program. And as ever, if you need help along the way, feel free to reach out to our team!

Jennifer Inglis
With over ten years experience in digital marketing, Jennifer joined Elasticity in late 2021. Originally from California, she grew up living throughout the Middle East in countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt. Jennifer studied politics and received her Masters degree from the London School of Economics. She launched a blog in 2009 and went on to become one of the first influencers in the UK, partnering with brands including American Express, eBay, London Fashion Week and Gap.
When Jennifer moved to St Louis in 2014 she worked as a consultant for small businesses in the region, helping them launch and maintain their social media accounts. She has since worked at Caleres and Rodgers Townsend/DDB where she led social strategy for a range of D2C and B2B brands. Jennifer is passionate about the power of social media to reach audiences in meaningful ways. When she isn’t at her desk thinking about hashtags and changes to the algorithm, you’ll find her sipping lattes at the newest coffee shop in town with her miniature Labradoodle in tow.
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