Influencer marketing is a multi-billion dollar industry for good reason. If done correctly, there’s potential for brands of every size to see a much bigger ROI than with traditional advertising.

With almost 50% of internet users installing ad blockers on their web browsers (and counting), social media has become an even more powerful and important tool in brands’ marketing strategy. Why? Because influencer marketing allows you to put your product directly in front of your target audience in a much more meaningful way by accessing them through a platform or creator they already know, like, and trust.

Working with the right influencer can improve your brand’s reputation, create more traffic, turn more leads into paying customers, and substantially increase revenue. But all that potential success goes out the window if you fall into these common traps.

Here are the 5 biggest mistakes brands and creators are making when it comes to maximizing their ROI with influencer marketing in 2019.

1.Failing to create a detailed campaign plan before hiring an influencer.

Too many brands rush to start campaigns without a clear idea of what their desired end results are, simply because “everybody’s doing it”. Successful influencer marketing campaigns have KPI’s that are measurable, realistic, and clear before starting influencer discovery and outreach. If you’re unclear about your campaign goals, how can you possibly know which influencers are the best fit for that campaign?

When planning your campaign, communicate with your team about exactly what audience demographic you’re trying to reach, and what action you want that audience to take when they’re exposed to your brand via influencer marketing. Which leads us to…

2.Not knowing what you want people to do after they’re exposed to your brand

This seems like such an obvious question, but it’s an often overlooked (and arguably the most important) piece of your campaign plan: what is the action you want someone to take after they’re exposed to your brand? Do you want them to click through to your profile? Sign up for your email list? Use a discount code to purchase a product?

Just getting in front of people’s eyes isn’t enough. You have to have a plan for what you want people to do after they hear about you and your product. You also need to clearly communicate that end goal to any influencers you hire.

3.Under-researching your competition (and their audience)

Too often brands are so focused on their own message and campaign that they forget to do their homework about the competition. Use a research platform to responsibly gather data on your competitors’ audience; What does their demographics look like? What are their affinities? What’s worked for them and what hasn’t in past campaigns?

Once you understand what else is out there, you can dive deeper to find the remaining pain points of your target audience. Reviews and comments are a gold mine when it comes to understanding your target audience’s pain points and desires. Mine the conversations being had by your competition’s audience. This can help you understand customers’ needs that your product or company can meet that the competition doesn’t.

4.Ignoring an influencer’s history of social media behavior

Sure, that influencer’s content from the last 6 months looks like a great fit for your brand…but with data being more and more easily searchable, it’s more important than ever to do due diligence on influencer’s history of behavior on social media across multiple platforms.

For example, if an influencer “liked” a bunch of highly controversial posts back in 2016, that could potentially come around and negatively affect an audience’s trust in them later. Just because something happened a few years ago doesn’t mean it’s not relevant to your audience today.

5.Throwing money at the problem (instead of data)

Just because you spend a ton of money on influencer marketing campaigns doesn’t guarantee you’ll see a return on that investment. Data is the foundation on which successful campaigns are built, not who can spend more money. DOn’t make the mistake of over-spending without having data to back up your plan.

And to that point, make sure you’re focusing on the right data. When it comes to audience a high follower count isn’t always better . Setting your campaign up for success is all about leveraging multiple data streams to connect with the most valuable audience, not just the biggest.

Because of the fast pace of the market and the ever-changing technology used in influencer marketing, it can be easy for brands to fall behind the curve. Steer clear of these 5 common mistakes and you’ll set your campaign up for success, and of course, the highest ROI.