4 challenges you'll encounter when working with influencers – and how to overcome them

Influential marketing can do wonders in promoting fintech projects – as long as you know how to use it properly. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises in the process of collaborating with opinion leaders, you'll need to be well-prepared. In this post, we will tell you about the most common problems that arise when working with influencers, as well as how to resolve them.

Challenge №1: the blogger won't respond to your emails

Let's say you've done all the preliminary work: researched the market, made a list of suitable influencers and sent them collab offers. You expect to receive dozens of replies in just a couple of days, but... the replies are much fewer than you hoped. 

There are several reasons why a blogger might not respond to an email:

  1. Too many offers;
  2. Doesn't check the email often enough;
  3. Away/on vacation/personal circumstances;
  4. Your offer didn't seem interesting, etc.

If you don't remind the influencer about your existence, they can take a month or even more to reply – and not just to your first email, but to all the subsequent ones, too. Of course, you can just cross their name out of your list and work with those who do respond. But what if a collab with that particular opinion leader is your priority?

Solutions

  • Write again. Perhaps your email simply got lost among many similar offers. Some opinion leaders only respond once your write to them four or five times. Important: persist, but don't become annoying.
  • Use other channels: Twitter, Telegram, LinkedIn and so forth. If you're dealing with a vlogger, leave a comment on YouTube – something like 'we'd like to offer you a collab and even wrote you an email, but we didn't receive any reply'. This is an effective technique because vloggers usually read their viewers' comments. 
  • Look for mutual acquaintances. You might know people who live in the same region or work in the same field as the blogger in question. In that case, try to get an introduction – it does work sometimes. 
  • Seek out the blogger at an event. Opinion leaders often publish posts about the conferences and forums they are planning to attend (and even give promo codes for them). If you are certain that an influencer will attend a specific event, you can try to connect with them there. 

Challenge №2: the blogger disappears after you've paid for their services

Fortunately, this doesn't happen too often, but it does happen. An influencer will respond quickly to all your messages and promise fantastic content – as long as you do a prepayment. You'll send the money, and then... nothing. The so-called opinion leader won't reply to your emails anymore, and the video you ordered will never get published.

Solutions

If a blogger you're working with scams you, you might be able to get a refund through PayPal's Purchase Protection service. To do this, you need to contest the transaction within 180 days after paying. PayPal will unblock the amount until the situation is resolved. If you fail to reach an agreement with the contractor within 20 days, you can file an official dispute. PayPal will take over from there and make a decision based on the data provided. 

While Purchase Protection is certainly useful, we advise you to be proactive and prevent such conflicts from happening. There are several ways to achieve that:

  • Pay in instalments. Ideally, you should pay 100% of the amount once the job is done. If the influencer won't agree to such a scheme, you can pay 50% upfront and 50% once the work is done

  • Use guarantees. Influencer marketing platforms like Epicstars and Getblogger work only with trusted bloggers and act as guarantors. On the other hand, you will be limited to the bloggers the platform can offer, which may not be ideal for your project.

In this case, you can try and arrange the payment through an escrow site like Escrow.com or Garant.pro. Your payment will be transferred to a secure account and then sent to the contractor – but only if they stick to the terms of the deal. When a blogger knows that an escrow is involved, they are usually more serious about their work and follow the requirements more closely.

In the blockchain industry specifically, there are individuals acting as escrow agents and trusted partners. You can find them on bitcointalk.org

A sample escrow table on Bitcointalk

Keep in mind, however, that far from all fintech bloggers will agree to use escrow. If an influencer already had some negative experience of working with clients who never paid for an article, he or she could also view escrow with suspicion.

Challenge №3: the blogger doesn't follow your requirements

Don't try to tell an influencer what to write or shoot: they know their audience and understand how better to present a project. However, it can happen that the blogger follows only their own creative spirit, ignoring everything you asked them. This results in lengthy and tiring corrections and editing, which can take a month.

Solutions

  • Write a clear and detailed task description. It's easier to prevent the issues related to content quality than to fix errors. Formulate the desired structure and one clear CTA. List the project's main advantages and add some facts and figures. Even the most expert blogger may not be familiar with your startup – and they will hardly want to spend hours researching your project and guides.
  • Advise instead of commanding. Show the influencer that you respect their professionalism and trust their experience. This will help build trust.
  • If the blogger's English isn't fluent enough, try to communicate in their own language. If you can't contract a translator, you can even use Google Translate. In our experience, this technique is particularly efficient when working with Asia opinion leaders. 
  • Ask how the correction process will work. For example, some bloggers prefer to make corrections to a video only once. You need to find out about such details at the very beginning of the collab.
  • Persuade the blogger to accept a payment in installments. This way the blogger will have the motivation to make the required changes and obtain your approval. 

Challenge №4: the blogger won't share his or her stats

You need to evaluate not only the blogger's content but also their statistics, such as the number of views, followers, and so forth. This is often problematic: many bloggers are unwilling to share this data. Moreover, some increase their follower numbers artificially.

Solutions

1) Analyze the channel's stats yourself. Calculate the average number of views and assess the engagement. How many likes do videos or posts get? And do the comments make sense?

A case in point is a YouTube influencer working under the nickname Crypto Professor. He has over 50,000 subscribers and posts dozens of cookie-cutter project reviews. They are accompanied by near-identical descriptions and get quite a lot of views (up to 20 thousand), as well as a suspiciously similar number of comments (between 300 and 400). 

The most interesting thing is that different videos get identical comments – though posted by users with different nicknames:

This begs the conclusion that the vlogger artificially creates an illusion of engagement. You can hardly expect a real effect when working with such an influencer. 

2) Use dedicated services. You can view the stats of a YouTube or Twitter account on a site like Nox Influencer or Social Blade.

For instance, the screenshot above demonstrates the social and demographic features of a certain blogger's audience. As you can see, 93% of the viewers live in Thailand. Nox Influencer will also show you the forecasted number of views, the blogger's approximate revenue, a comparison of daily subscriptions for different bloggers, etc. The server does give a warning that the data may not be correct. 

3) Study click stats through bitly.comWhen choosing a blogger, check if their viewers or readers click on the links in their previous videos. The screenshot shows how to do that:

  • Choose a video or post you want to analyze – it must contain a shortened link in the https://bit.ly format.
  • Copy the link and enter it in the search bar in a new tab, adding '+' to the link.
  • Review the resulting click stats.

This will help you manage your expectations and evaluate the possible outcome relative to the cost of attracting new users. However, keep in mind that you can't know the specific objective of each piece of promo content. Sometimes the goal is not to maximize the number of clicks but to increase the general brand awareness. In this case, the click stats aren't a good indicator of success. 

4) Agree on the use of UTM tags. Some bloggers refuse to use shortened links in the https://bitly... format, since they clearly mark a piece of content as a promo. If you aim for a native-looking post, you don't need UTM tags. In all other cases, it's better to use them. 

In conclusion

All the issues you might encounter when working with influencers can be resolved - you just need to be prepared for them. Sure, influencers sometimes forget to respond to messages, miss deadlines, and try to make money with the minimum possible effort- but this doesn't mean that you should avoid influencer marketing.  Quite the contrary: a quality post or video can be the cornerstone on which you build the success of your whole campaign. So do your homework, formulate your expectations, and be ready to solve all arising problems in a constructive way – and you'll see the results for yourself.