Navigating the Challenges of Influencer Marketing

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on December 7, 2023

From the strategic insights of a Founder and Growth Marketer to the tactical approaches of a Marketing Strategist, we’ve compiled ten expert perspectives on navigating the complexities of influencer marketing campaigns. These seasoned professionals, including CEOs and Marketing Leaders, share their real-world experiences—from balancing brand voice with creative freedom to negotiating influencer fees with commission incentives. Discover how they overcame obstacles and propelled their campaigns to success.

  • Balancing Brand Voice With Creative Freedom
  • Prioritizing Authentic Influencer Partnerships
  • Selecting Micro-Influencers Strategically
  • Overcoming Complexities in Large-Scale Campaigns
  • Creative Messaging for Broader Appeal
  • Focusing on Audience Alignment Overreach
  • Collaborating in Workshops for Content Alignment
  • Navigating Engagement Predictability on TikTok
  • Monitoring Performance Through the Sales Funnel
  • Negotiating Influencer Fees With Commission Incentives

Balancing Brand Voice With Creative Freedom

We once faced a major hiccup with an influencer marketing campaign where the content created by influencers wasn’t aligning with our brand’s voice. It felt disjointed.

The challenge was clear: ensuring brand consistency while respecting the influencers’ creative freedom. We tackled this by revisiting our influencer briefing process. We started offering clearer guidelines and mood boards while encouraging their input. This co-creation approach bridged the gap between our brand voice and their personal style.

The result is content that is authentic to both our brand and the influencers. Engagement rates improved, and the campaign felt more cohesive. It taught us the power of collaboration and clear communication in influencer marketing.

Zephyr Chan, Founder and Growth Marketer, Better Marketer

Prioritizing Authentic Influencer Partnerships

In executing an influencer marketing campaign, we faced a challenge with authenticity.

One influencer we initially partnered with didn’t resonate authentically with our brand values. Recognizing this, we swiftly pivoted by engaging in transparent communication with the influencer and reevaluating our selection criteria.

We then identified an influencer whose values aligned more closely with our brand. This adjustment not only salvaged the campaign but also led to better audience engagement and increased authenticity.

The key takeaway was the importance of prioritizing genuine partnerships, even if it meant recalibrating mid-campaign.

This experience reinforced our commitment to authenticity in influencer collaborations, ultimately contributing to the success of our marketing initiatives.

Kartik Ahuja, CEO and Founder, GrowthScribe

Selecting Micro-Influencers Strategically

In my experience, we exclusively collaborated with micro-influencers, and a significant challenge we encountered revolved around the meticulous selection of these content creators. The paramount issue lies in the process of identifying influencers best suited to not only boost engagement but also facilitate conversions. This necessitated a precise alignment between their target demographic and our own. 

Additionally, a critical consideration involved the nature of the content produced by the influencer, as its compatibility with our brand image and objectives was pivotal. Yet, the most pivotal factor in this selection process remained the resonance achieved by the influencers within their audience.

Yevhen Koplyk, Head of Marketing, WiserBrand

Overcoming Complexities in Large-Scale Campaigns

A significant challenge we faced in our influencer campaign was the partnership with S’Attraction, which involved 150 influencers with an intensive process of monitoring.

This included validating communication before each post, tailoring content to specific audiences, and closely tracking results. I would say that the key to our success lies in the intricate trust between us and our clients, reflected in our efficient back-office management and the campaign results themselves.

Despite these complexities, our meticulous approach paid off, culminating in million-dollar sales and notably enhancing our brand’s authority, demonstrating the impactful synergy of strategic planning and influencer engagement.

Gabriel Kaam, CEO, KNR Agency

Creative Messaging for Broader Appeal

I’ve come across my share of challenges when implementing influencer marketing campaigns over the years. One particularly memorable instance involved collaborating with a fitness influencer to promote our natural pain relief products. 

While the influencer had a sizable following and aligned with our target audience, we encountered a hurdle: Their audience was predominantly young, and many of them had not experienced muscle or joint pain yet.

To bridge this gap, we strategized a creative approach that resonated with both demographics. We encouraged the influencer to focus on the overall benefits of our products. This shift in messaging allowed us to connect with the influencer’s younger audience while still subtly conveying the relevance of our products to people of all ages.

The campaign proved to be a success. The influencer’s posts generated significant engagement, and we saw a boost in our website traffic as well as sales.

Dylan Young, Marketing Specialist, CareMax

Focusing on Audience Alignment Overreach

In a campaign for a home workout equipment brand, we initially partnered with a renowned fitness influencer, expecting their wide reach to boost sales. However, the campaign didn’t perform well, with low engagement and conversion rates.

Upon analysis, we discovered the influencer’s audience, though large, wasn’t our ideal customer base. We shifted our focus to micro-influencers who were passionate about home workouts, aligning better with our brand.

This change led to better engagement and increased sales. The experience reinforced a crucial point in influencer marketing: It’s not about how many followers an influencer has, but how well their audience aligns with your target market for truly effective results.

Md. Raisul Islam, Digital Marketing Executive, MeasureMinds Group

Collaborating in Workshops for Content Alignment

The most challenging influencer marketing campaigns are the ones where the primary obstacle is aligning the influencer’s content with the brand’s message. 

The influencer’s creative direction initially diverges from our campaign goals, leading to a mismatch in audience engagement. To address this, we advise initiating a collaborative workshop with the influencer, focusing on data-driven insights about our target audience. 

By sharing our analytical findings and understanding the influencer’s creative process, we can provide a middle ground that resonates with both the brand’s identity and the influencer’s unique style. This approach significantly improves the campaign’s relevance and engagement, achieving the desired results.

I would recommend using social listening tools before choosing an influencer with whom you want to collaborate. There’s nothing worse than a bad match when it comes to how audiences perceive such campaigns.

Wojciech Chrzan, Head of Insights, Brand24

Navigating Engagement Predictability on TikTok

A challenge that we faced when implementing some of our influencer marketing campaigns was predicting engagement, especially on platforms like TikTok, where engagement seems to vary almost at random. We’ve seen mediocre campaigns take off and some well-thought-out, high-quality footage fall completely flat (and vice versa).

Social media has been in a strange place, but when it works, it works well! It’s difficult to predict how well some content is going to perform on different platforms, and it ultimately comes down to experience on those platforms and with different influencer audiences. 

My advice is that you take the lowest post engagement as a starting point. This will help you get a base idea of what you want to beat (which shouldn’t be too hard if you’ve put some effort in and the influencer is still growing). 

Then, you can look at stats like average engagement to determine where your marketing content might sit in terms of the influencer’s usual content.

Lauren Carlstrom, COO, Oxygen Plus

Monitoring Performance Through the Sales Funnel

I’ve worked with several influencers who send a lot of traffic and leads that never convert. I highly recommend watching the performance of your relationships through the funnel to make sure everything is what it seems. 

And don’t be afraid to end a relationship (or renegotiate its terms) if you see underperformance. You’re under no obligation to continue when something’s not working.

Elliott Brown, Marketing Leader, Cache Financials

Negotiating Influencer Fees With Commission Incentives

There is always a special dynamic in how you align the influencers’ fees to the company’s budget, especially now, since influencer fees have gone up in the last few years. In a recent campaign I was running, the influencer was requesting a high per-post cost, and the company wasn’t there yet. 

Since influencers are a newer marketing element, it’s sometimes hard to get companies on board. I decided the best way to create a connection between the two was to offer a per-post cost a bit lower than the influencer’s normal rate but add on a commission incentive. So, if the influencer did well, he would be bringing in more money than he would have with his per-post rate.

The goal is to show the companies the ROI so they are willing to invest more in these content creators. Without an ROI, there is no incentive.

Libby Collett, Marketing Strategist, Libco Creative

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Greg Grzesiak is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Columnist at Grit Daily. As CEO of Grzesiak Growth LLC, Greg dedicates his time to helping CEOs influencers and entrepreneurs make the appearances that will grow their following in their reach globally. Over the years he has built strong partnerships with high profile educators and influencers in Youtube and traditional finance space. Greg is a University of Florida graduate with years of experience in marketing and journalism.

Read more

More GD News