My 3 Failed Attempts at Influencer Marketing and the Lessons Learned

Influencer marketing is not a fad. In fact, it has stayed much longer and grown much bigger. Important to state that Instagram alone was responsible for 93 percent of the influencer campaigns in 2018.

With all the buzz around influencer marketing, I decided to dive in and take my business to new heights. Being a social media and influencer marketing blogger, I thought I know everything there’s to be about influencer marketing and I’m going to drive huge revenues.

There’s no suspense that my influencer marketing campaigns were big failures. I lost my money and got zero sales. I’m not exaggerating one bit, but influencer marketing got me zero sales.

How much money did I invest in total in my influencer marketing campaigns? More than $ 1,500. (This would include the amount paid to the influencer, commission paid to the influencer platform, free jewelry given to the influencer, shipping and insurance cost)

Here are my three influencer marketing mistakes:

Being in jewelry business, I decided to hire influencers who are present both in YouTube and Instagram. I wanted them to create beautiful videos of my jewelry and show them off to their audiences.

They did create amazing videos. On the basis of content creation, I can give all of them straight A’s. Where they all failed were to get me actual clicks if not conversions.

I hired my influencers using Famebit. And, I was extremely impressed with how easy Famebit is. It was also super convenient to create campaigns and talk to influencers. Thanks to their tracking, I can share my campaign results with everyone:

Influencer marketing mistake 1: Collaborating with an influencer with high reach in my target demographics

influencer marketing mistakes

For my first campaign, I picked up someone with huge YouTube and Instagram followers and engagement. She did have a good reach and I was happy with the number of people she could reach.

But, most of her clicks came from unreliable sources and the social clicks were far too less than what I would have gained by spending the same amount on social ads.

influencer marketing mistakes


Influencer marketing mistake 2: Collaborating with an Influencer who resonated with my brand persona

influencer marketing mistakes

I decided to promote one of my Amazon Prime product with this influencer. Even though her other videos were slightly off-topic compared to mine, I believed she had a strong YouTube audience. For Instagram, she would fall as a micro-influencer and I believed she had a small but engaged following.

The product I promoted with her neither got sales nor any substantial visits. In fact, that wasn’t hard to believe because even in the tracking information, her clicks was shown as zero.

influencer marketing mistakes

Campaign 3: Collaborating with a fake influencer:

My most innocent yet worst mistake was collaborating with someone who wasn’t even an influencer. She bought her Instagram and YouTube followers and completely unaware of that I signed her up. I made the payment and sent her my jewelry worth $300 to get a review video done.

Result? Few days before the posting schedule, the platform (Famebit, in my case) tells me that her followers weren’t legitimate and she was no longer an influencer. They did offer me some coupon to compensate but it didn’t matter much.

What did these influencer marketing mistakes teach me?

  • Don’t rush:

I was too excited to hire my influencers and begin my influencer marketing. I didn’t spend enough time analyzing how influential my influencers actually were.

Moving forward, I have realized that next time I decide to hire an influencer, I first follow them for some time. And, I notice how their likes, comments and followers are growing. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s better than a campaign with no results.

  • Ask influencers for their previous collaboration results:

Whether you use any third-party influencer platform or not, it’s a must to ask any influencer for their past endorsements and results before hiring them. I didn’t ask any of my influencers for their past results before hiring them and that was a huge mistake.

If your influencers are not willing to share their results, I think that’s a good sign for you to not trust them.

  • Don’t expect immediate sales:

As it might be much evident from my blog that my sole purpose of influencer marketing was sales. I wasn’t looking at promotion or marketing, I was too focused on sales and too disappointed when not achieved.

For some brands, getting visibility, brand recognition and website visits are also considered as success metrics. So, don’t just focus on sales to determine the success of your influencer campaign.

Are you willing to improve your influencer marketing results?

I hope my influencer marketing mistakes will help you to create effective influencer marketing campaigns and not repeat the same mistakes.

I would love to know your influencer marketing experiences, so please share them in the comments below.

Harshita Agrawal

I started as a Freelancer with small projects only to learn that I was capable of so much more. I underestimated myself for long till my clients enjoyed my work as much as I did. Now, I want to share some of the proven tips & tricks of the online marketing world that helped me grow. I hope they help you too.

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2 Responses

  1. Adip Gaurav says:

    Such a gud post.

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