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Epic Influencer Marketing Fails: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Social Media Marketing

For businesses looking to reach a wider audience, build a positive brand image, and even increase sales, influencer marketing is an incredibly popular tactic.  

Business Insider predicted in 2019 that it will be a whopping $15 billion industry this year!

However, despite the immense potential it holds, influencer marketing campaigns don’t come without risks. In other words, collaborating with influencers doesn’t always guarantee success.  

In this article, your trusted internet marketing company in Florida has put together five of the most epic influencer marketing fails of all time. We’ve also included key takeaways, so you don’t make the same mistakes!

1. Kendall Jenner’s Controversial 2017 PEPSI Ad

Social media is a powerful platform for helping raise awareness for social issues like #BlackLivesMatter and LGBT rights.  

This is why Pepsi thought it would be a great idea to feature influencer and model Kendall Jenner in an ad where she joins a group of black anti-police-violence protesters and tries to defuse the tension between the groups by handing the police a can of Pepsi.  

Though the intention was to promote unity and peace, the public found this ad misguided and offensive.

This ad’s loose approach to protest imagery turned real issues into an opportunistic excuse to plug a product and get attention.  

What You Can Learn from This Misstep

In this ad, we could see Pepsi’s poor attempt to “start a conversation” and rise above all the internet marketing noise by being faux-woke.  

Unfortunately, it came off as inauthentic and seemed to have cashed in on many people's struggles. The ad was simply insensitive and took advantage of #BlackLivesMatter’s popularity only to help their product gain appeal.  

This marketing misstep is an example of how crucial it is to choose the right influencer to convey the right message to your target audience. Otherwise, your internet marketing campaigns in Florida will be irrelevant and ineffective.

2. Scarlett London’s Picture-Perfect Post for Listerine

Another example of why it’s so important to find an influencer who accurately represents your niche and reflects your brand value is Scarlett London’s paid partnership with Listerine.  

Beauty vlogger promotes Listerine in an Instagram post.

Photo from YahooNews.

Beauty and lifestyle blogger and social media influencer Scarlet London is known for her well-curated Instagram feed and has worked with designers and brands in the past, creating impressive content for them.  

However, people were not a fan of the content she created for Listerine. People said it was too perfect and not reflective of the brand’s values.  

What You Can Learn from This Picture-Perfect Mistake

Brands partner with influencers because of their authenticity. Their posts serve as social evidence. A single authentic post that matches the influencer's brand can easily persuade many consumers to buy your product.  

Unfortunately, Scarlett London’s post came out as inauthentic, and people didn’t like this.  

Listerine should’ve chosen to work with other influencers who truly reflected the brand’s values. Or, Scarlett London should’ve just curated a more relevant post or placed the product in a more natural setting where it doesn’t look forced.  

3. Dan and Phil’s Lick Race Challenge

More than 90% of consumers say that brand transparency plays a crucial role in their purchase decisions. 94% also say that they're more likely to be loyal to a transparent brand.  

Transparency is conveyed in your communication with your customers, your willingness to acknowledge your mistakes, and the level of openness about sponsorship and paid content.  

Unfortunately for Oreo, the influencers they partnered with forgot to disclose that their content was paid for.  

Oreo collaborated with YouTubers Dan and Phil on a Lick Race challenge to see who could lick clean an Oreo cookie first. The video was removed for not being clearly labeled as a promotion.  

It affected Dan and Phil's credibility as vloggers and also Oreo's brand image.  

What You Can Learn from This Vlogger Mix-Up

Ideally, influencers should create ads that are native to the content they make. This makes people more likely to engage.

Despite this, it's still important to be transparent about paid content and promotion to prevent consumers from feeling like they're being tricked.  

Don’t forget to contractually oblige the influencers you partner with to disclose sponsored videos and other forms of content.

4. Little Mix’s Copy Paste Caption

Florida internet marketing company  helping little mix create  social media caption for a promotional post.
Photo from TeenVogue

Captions offer a way for you to communicate with your followers and help them get to know you better.  

Unfortunately for Little Mix, they forgot to edit their caption!  

What you can learn from Little Mix:

When the British pop group Little Mix promoted their perfume on Instagram, they acted surprised that they saw their picture on the side of the taxi. Unfortunately, the authenticity of their surprise was tainted when they forgot to edit their caption.

Although it's normal for big brands to have somebody else make captions for them, it's still necessary to make it appear that people are interacting with the influencer or brand.  

As an internet marketing company in Florida that has helped countless small businesses boost their social media strategy, make sure you double-check captions before posting them!

5. Johanna Olson’s Fake Trip to Paris

Photo from Johanna's Instagram

Nowadays, edited photos are nothing new. Many people use filters and other editing apps to make their photos more aesthetically appealing. However, Johanna Olson’s photoshopped trip to Paris took things to an unforgivable level.  

Instagram model and travel blogger, Johanna Olsson, was accused of faking her trip to Paris when her photos looked poorly photoshopped to make it look like she was in these luxurious Parisian places.  

At first, she refused to delete the pics and defended herself that she only photoshopped them to ‘inspire’ her followers with a more picture-perfect view of the places she visited. Because of her response, she quickly became a viral meme.  

What you can learn from Johanna Olson:

Don’t be afraid to apologize and own up to your mistakes. No business is perfect, and not everything goes to plan. So, whether you forgot to edit your caption, increased your prices without warning, accidentally released a substandard product, wasn’t transparent about sponsored content, be open and honest about it to your followers.  

All they ask is an explanation of what happened and what you’ll do to correct the situation.  

As your trusted internet marketing company in Florida, we suggest you find an influencer with a following that accurately represents your niche. And, that influencer must also reflect your brand’s values.

Influencer Marketing Can Be Extremely Advantageous if Done Right!

If you’re looking to partner with an influencer to promote your products or services and build a positive brand image, take note of these epic influencer marketing fails so you don’t make the same mistakes!

Always remember to find influencers who reflect your brand’s values and whose followers accurately represent the niche you’re targeting.  

At Digital Resource, our team of internet marketing specialists in Florida will work with you to create a custom social media plan to help your business gain traction.  

Contact us today to get the leads you need to grow your business!  

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