Influencer marketing suffers from eight common issues that sabotage campaign results, according to an analysis by RAD AI, a platform that delivers ROI-based creative intelligence solutions. RAD AI founder and CEO Jeremy Barnett traces the root of the problem to a lack of data-driven standards:
“While other paid advertising methods rely on decisions driven by strict big data analytics methodologies, influencer marketing still relies on intuitive guesswork,” says Barnett. “This is the root of a systemic problem that manifests itself in multiple symptoms all stemming from the same cause. We’ve seen the same patterns over and over again across multiple industries.”
The eight most common problems with influencer marketers face, Barnett says:
- Lack of standardization: The influencer marketing industry has no universally accepted key performance indicators for measuring campaign success. It further lacks standardized methodologies for interpreting the KPIs that are used.
- Short-term vs. long-term effects: Many influencer marketing campaigns focus on short-term metrics such as engagement, but long-term campaign effects on brand awareness, loyalty, and sales may not be as readily apparent or easily measured.
- Platform differences: Influencer marketing campaigns can employ numerous social media platforms, each with its own unique features and algorithms. Such differences make it difficult to identify patterns between campaigns on different platforms.
- Result attribution: Properly attributing desired outcomes to the influencer marketing campaign is challenging. It’s often hard to determine if a sale or conversion was directly influenced by a campaign or it would have happened anyway..
- Quality of content: Assessing the quality and effectiveness of influencer-generated content is subjective and open to interpretation. For example, content may look impressive to a brand’s marketing team, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it left the desired impression on the target audience.
- Data privacy restrictions on data collection: Strict data privacy regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), may limit marketer access to critical data points.
- Follower authenticity: Influencers may have fake followers, likes, and comments, inflating their perceived reach. In some cases this is deliberate, while in others, the influencers themselves may be unaware their following is being manipulated.
- Non-transparent practices: Some influencers or agencies may not be transparent about their methods, fees, or partnerships. For example, an agency emphasizes irrelevant KPIs to showcase misleading statistics, or they may have an undisclosed affiliate relationship with an influencer designed to steer traffic without regard for their client’s ROI.
Barnett says, “The answer to these issues is adopting a standardized, data-driven approach to influencer marketing.” He continues, “We recommend that brands demand more from their marketing partners and develop performance goals using quantitative, easy to understand campaign metrics.” Barnett concludes, “A new standard of excellence has been long overdue and the RAD AI mission remains constant – to help marketers harness the power of AI to create authentic, ROI-based influencer campaigns.”
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