5 common influencer problems PR pros can fix

Working with an internet celebrity can be a big boost to your brand, but the marketing strategy can be a tricky needle to thread. Here are some common mistakes that defeat sloppy campaigns.

Building an online presence that fuels an influencer career isn’t easy.

Successful influencers are in the business of relationship building and getting followers to trust them. Challenges crop up frequently. Even influencers with expansive reach occasionally need PR pros’ help to pull them out of ruts..

Regardless of whether you are an organization ready to work with influencers or a public relations professional who often takes them on as clients, you must understand and address the most pressing influencer pain points. When influencers believe you have the remedy for what ails them, they’ll be more likely to answer “yes” to your proposals.

Here are five of the most common pain points influencers face:

1. Partnerships driven by unrealistic timeframes

When influencer marketing experts bring up the most common struggles encountered by influencers and the brands they promote, misunderstood expectations are a typical theme.

Influencers might initially feel excited about aligning with a brand or company but quickly become stressed by companies that expect instant results — particularly from well-established influencers. Popularity helps, but lasting relationships don’t happen overnight. Even the most in-demand influencers need adequate time to persuade their audiences that a given product, service or name is worthy of getting behind.

When you’re aware of that reality, it’ll be easier to shape your timelines and expectations and not anticipate desirable outcomes at a snap-of-a-finger speed.

2. Planning appropriate content strategies

The best influencers reach out to target audiences with relevant, resonating content. Savvy influencers also determine the right times of day to publish content, as well as whether most people in the target audience prefer videos, images or another type of material.

When influencers fall short in catering to audiences, they risk getting overshadowed by other people who’ve built online followings and have deeper understandings of audience preferences. Many influencers depend on metrics to track engagement levels, but as a brand or marketing professional, you can help them take that practice to the next level.

Assist influencers in extending their reach by giving them clear statistics about the most effective content types. Help them understand when it might be time to do a content overhaul and look at entirely new possibilities because the once-reliable options aren’t working as well as they were. Also, give insights that equip influencers to deliver content that followers can’t wait to read and absorb.

3. Connecting with brands that truly understand an influencer’s goals

Reaching out to influencers in impersonal ways that make it clear you did little to no research about their career is a fast way to get ignored. Influencers want to maximize their impact and know they won’t do that by getting involved with companies that aren’t related—or relevant—to their audience and goals.

Brands and PR professionals successfully win influencers over by strategically highlighting how what they offer aligns with influencers needs. That’s why it’s necessary to perform meticulous research before your pitch.

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4. The pressure of growing visibility

Although most influencers love watching their follower counts go up, some also find the attention unnerving. The feedback-rich culture of social media means that if an influencer publishes a less-than-effective post, large groups of people will probably notice and express their distaste.

This happened to an influencer in Singapore who posted a picture of herself at an art exhibition while wearing a watch. Her post was meant to promote the watch band, but between a multicolored, polka-dotted background and a poor camera angle, the watch band wasn’t obvious. A Facebook user gave his criticism and caused the influencer to remove the photo — but not before it attracted attention for all the wrong reasons.

Influencers may need guidance to avoid making careless blunders. As a PR or marketing expert, you could offer the expertise required to help influencers make better choices than they might without help.

5. Feeling genuinely satisfied with a day’s work

Besides having stable ways to generate their incomes, influencers also want to get involved with campaigns that make them truly grateful for their promotional power. In other words, they love doing things that make a meaningful difference.

For example, Charles Gitnick and Joey Birlem are two teenage influencers who teamed up with the creators of an app called LARKR, the only telehealth tool that provides service to people under 18.

To spread the word about it, the influencers published weekly videos about the mental health issues dealt with by many potential audience members, along with LARKR promo codes. Gitnick and Birlem thought the LARKR opportunity was a great way to connect with their fanbases in a way that could help the audience live better lives.

While representing a brand or PR company, you could interest influencers by showing them you have connections that could enable them to have substantial, long-lasting impacts.

Remaining aware of the challenges influencers face should help you relate to them in ways they remember.

What are some common concerns you’ve heard form influencers, PR Daily readers?

Kayla Matthews writes about branding and digital marketing for websites like Convince and Convert, The Daily Muse and VICE. A version of this article originally ran on the Cision blog.

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