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Two Problems Brands Run Into When Treating Influencers Like Data Points, Rather Than Human Beings

Influencers, with all their digital prowess, are actually real people at the end of the day -- or should we say at the end of the campaign?

When marketers (ourselves included) dive into impressions, engagement rates and other data-driven metrics, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that influencers are people rather than data points.

While shaping influencer data into analytics that can be interpreted, compared to other marketing efforts, and presented to your CFO (amiright?) is all very important, we urge marketers to keep in mind the value -- and ROI -- of the human relationship.

You might be thinking, “well, duh.” But, far too often we’ve seen marketers neglect this very simple but key point, stifling their influencer marketing success in two primary ways.

Problem #1: You risk ruining your brand reputation

Influencers (like people) want to be treated with dignity and respect. It’s important to use common sense when approaching influencers about a project, laying out reasonable deliverables and compensation, and keeping in mind that influencers are content creators not ad networks.

We all know that what makes influencer marketing so successful is that one influential person who loves your brand can quickly become thousands of people who love your brand.

So, the obvious problem with one influential person feeling disrespected by your brand is that can become thousands of people who now feel disrespected by your brand – yikes.

Furthermore, word travels FAST in the influencer community, and you better believe influencers share information about brands they like (and dislike) working with.

Problem #2: You might end up spending more money than you need to

The second issue we see when marketers lose sight of influencers as humans is huge overspending. Yes, influencers get invited to a lot of kick-a$$ events and get a lot of free stuff. But, again –- influencers are people who also enjoy an honest interaction in a low-key setting (not to be confused with lame).

We often see marketers running a full-on dog and pony show when a few balloons, a skyline view and a heartfelt chat would have produced the same (if not better!) results.

Influencer relations has a fine line, but if you remember that influencers are people, working with them becomes a lot more intuitive.

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