Influencers working with brands, pay attention! These common mistakes influencers make come from travel influencer expert Netanya Trimboli from the brand perspective.
When reviewing influencers’ post-campaign summaries, I used to get frustrated when things that I found obvious or should have gone without saying went overlooked. But instead of getting mad, I learned from these common problems and I got specific.
I realized that influencers don’t necessarily know what I know as a marketing professional on the industry side.
Depending on the campaign, my contracts are now a very detailed 2-3 pages of information. This level of detail ensures I’m getting exactly what I want out of a collaboration.
It also helps the influencer by clearly outlining campaign details in a single space, saving them from having to source information from email strings, company websites and social channels, etc.
If your client is not this detail-oriented, take it upon yourself to get painfully specific in your contract. This will prevent potential frustration or disappointment for both sides fo the collaboration.
To avoid these common pitfalls, here are some must-haves in each of my contracts. I highly recommend you make these a staple in yours as well.
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10 Common Mistakes Influencers Make and How to Avoid Them
1. Double-Check Social Handles
This is so obvious, right? I’ve lost track of how many times an influencer has incorrectly tagged us, making us lose out on the initial impact of their social media post.
Now I always include the handle for each platform in the contract so there is no question. This makes it easy for everyone and it actually saves the influencer time by putting it all in one place.
2. Check the Spelling of the Brand Name
This should be another obvious one, but sometimes brands have very similar names to another organization. Sometimes they have specific requirements about capitalization or punctuation or abbreviations.
They also may have a particular division of their company they want to promote, which may have a slight variation in phrasing.
Making sure this is clear on what is and is not acceptable helps both sides of the collaboration.
3. Highlight the Client in Social Media Captions and Images
Since most people don’t click through on social media posts, it’s important that the client’s name is included in the caption so they get the brand exposure they’re after.
The corresponding image should also be directly tied to the brand experience and not generalized to the destination as a whole.
Being specific about this ahead of time sets expectations appropriately so everyone ends up happy with the campaign.
4. Geotag the Client’s Location on Instagram (if Applicable)
This is particularly important for accommodations, restaurants, and other establishments. It’s a great way to reinforce where you are and it authenticates that you’re an actual consumer.
This should be discussed and agreed to ahead of time. Note that some destinations don’t want you to geotag places that are experiencing overtourism, so be clear on what the collaboration should and should not include.
5. Use a Direct Link to the Client’s Website
Most travel brands are frenemies with third party booking sites. We need them for the exposure, but they charge sky-high commission fees.
When possible, always link to the company’s direct site instead of a third party.
Again, this is important to clarify in writing during the campaign negotiations. Use the exact URL the brand wants to see, which could even be a landing page specific to your collaboration.
Travel and Culture Content Creators:
6. Ask About Hashtags
The brand you’re working with may have a hashtag they’re trying to promote or maybe they want to play off a trending one.
There may also be one they don’t want to be associated with. Have a discussion about it in advance to make sure everyone is in agreement about what to include.
Get this in writing to avoid any issues later on.
7. Specify Main Message Points
It’s important to understand the client’s do’s and don’ts for writing about the brand. The thing you love most might be what they want to downplay.
They also might assume or expect that you’ll mention certain attributes, offers, or new features that may have never crossed your mind to include.
Hone your messaging before jumping into the campaign so both sides clearly understand the desired outcome.
8. Clarify Photography Preferences
Some brands want beauty shots of their product while others want to see their product in action.
Get clarity on what the subject of the photo should look like to ensure you meet their expectations.
9. Specify Instagram Feed vs. Instagram Stories
As we all know, the reach and prestige for a Feed post versus Stories on Instagram is very different.
Instead of saying “Instagram Posts” on your contract, be specific to avoid room for interpretation.
State how many Feed posts you’re offering and then include a separate bullet for Stories, with the minimum number of frames specified as well.
10. Specify Timing for Deliverables
Some influencers like to live-post during their experiences, while others prefer to carefully curate content and post everything once they’ve returned home.
Make sure your client is on the same page about when posts will be going live.
This is important for every channel used, from social to blogs to videos. You don’t want a client expecting to see posts and worrying that you aren’t fulfilling your obligations. Clarify up-front to avoid any issues during or immediately after a campaign.
Read next: PR & Marketing Terms Influencers Should Know
These 10 things to remember – whether obvious to you or not – will help set expectations with your client. Influencers should always ensure campaign results reflect the client’s objectives.
Getting things in writing in advance is the best way to avoid these common pitfalls.