Influencer marketing has become an essential part of social media marketing in Nigeria. Influencers are critical to success because they can reach out to their followers and create brand awareness. Some of them also have a large audience and are trusted by their fans.
Influencer marketing has become a very lucrative way to promote brands and businesses. Some influencers earn millions per year from sponsored social media posts alone.
But despite its popularity, influencer marketing faces some challenges in Nigeria. For example, it’s often difficult for influencers to get paid. And even if a company manage to pay an influencer, it might take months before your post gets published.
There are several reasons why influencer marketing is not working well in Nigeria. Here are some of them.
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What Pain Points in Influencer Marketing am I Neglecting?
As a form of online marketing, influencer marketing can be beneficial. With people searching for influence, influencer marketing is becoming more popular than ever before. For instance, as a lifestyle blogger or fashion influencer, getting paid to share your message and content with consumers has been lucrative for influential people.
When discussing influencer marketing, most people think about celebrities or individuals with large followings. But there are other types of influencers too!
There are several ways to market your product. With influencer marketing, you reach your potential customers by working with influential content creators, such as bloggers and YouTubers.
As noted above, it is currently the biggest buzzword in this industry. Right now, it’s a hot topic that’s gaining a lot of traction. We can find many examples of its effectiveness in both B2C and B2B.
It allows organisations to attract many eyeballs for less cost than traditional advertising. But what pain points are we neglecting in the industry today?
In this article about the pain points in influencer marketing, I will discuss the pain points of the companies seeking to engage in influencer marketing and the social media influencers’ pain points!
From the organisation’s perspective.
1) Identify the Right Influencers/Content Creators Relevant to Your Company’s Objectives and Audience.
Influencer marketing has been around for some time but still lacks awareness among companies. Most people don’t know what influencer marketing is and how they can use it to their advantage.
Developing a plan to attract the right social influencer and engage with them is crucial for many businesses, from fashion to household items. Which type of influencer are you targeting, i.e. mega–influencers, macro-influencers or micro-influencer? What content do they need from you? How often should you communicate via their email address, etc.?
Identifying the right influencer relevant to your brand’s objectives and the audience is one of the biggest challenges and struggles of running influencer marketing. As mentioned above, all influencers, including celebrities and micro-influencers, are content creators, followed by a community of fans who aspire to be like them. Therefore, brands must be cautious when choosing and engaging an influencer, especially a micro-influencer.
Influencer discovery, i.e. finding the right influencer, is the major challenge and critical for the rest of the campaign. How the influencer will embody your brand and embrace your brand’s message will determine the success of your campaign.
Create an editorial calendar that includes these elements so everyone knows what is coming next! You must schedule a time to work with your influencer to create great content. Organisations must cultivate relationships with authentic influencers by being responsive when reaching out to you or asking questions about their needs.
You must ensure that you select an influencer that is the right fit for your organisation. For instance, if your organisation focuses on child welfare, you must avoid an influencer whose content portrays hitting a child.
2) Measuring the ROI of influencer marketing is challenging.
Authentic Influencers are an essential part of any brand’s influencer marketing strategy, but measuring their effectiveness can be challenging. According to a performance-based marketing company report, of those marketers surveyed, 50% indicated that measuring ROI is the most significant pain point in influencer marketing. Engagement is still the most critical way marketers measure influencer marketing performance (89%), followed by impressions (67%) and brand awareness (65%).
To measure the return on investment for influencer campaigns, brands need to understand how much they spend compared with what they get back from these relationships. But many factors make this measurement tricky.
To prove the return on investment of influencer marketing campaigns, brands need to understand what makes them work well. They also have to know which metrics they should use to measure their success.
In addition, companies must learn to collaborate with mega and macro-influencers with a large follower base and smaller micro-influencers who may not have the same reach but get loads of engagement. Diversifying your influencer selection will also enable more excellent vertical coverage. Work with influencers whose content already resonates with your brand for the best results.
3) Transparency, Authenticity and Integrity of the Influencer
Influencers are individuals who influence others through their actions or words. They can be celebrities, politicians, business leaders, sports stars, etc. We see examples of influential figures whose behaviour is not always ethical today. For example, there has been much controversy surrounding using X (Twitter) to spread fake news during elections. There also seems to be no limit to how far some people will go to profit from other people’s misfortune.
Therefore, authenticity is crucial to influencer marketing. But, authenticity here extends far beyond any single piece of content. It does not (and cannot) limit professionals from partnering with brands they have never worked with. Also, it cannot force people to advertise brands that do not accurately reflect who they are as individuals.
For instance, it is common to see brands engaging in one-off campaigns with influencers in Nigeria. Then they jump from one influencer to another. It is not the best.
It would be best for brands to consider the relationship with each influencer holistically instead of worrying about an individual piece of content and assessing authenticity based on timeliness, commitment, and understanding. For example, will the influencer post feature us only once and never again? What is the influencer’s level of knowledge and expertise regarding our products and brand? Can influencers effectively endorse our products and brand if their audience asks about them? All this and more.
4) Dishonest Social Media Activity, Bots, and Fake Influencers
In recent years, there has been an increase in fake followers on X (Twitter) and Instagram accounts. They often create these to make money or gain attention for themselves. Social media platforms have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. However, they also provide opportunities for fraudsters who use them to promote their agendas.
To understand how these fraudulent activities work, we must first look at what makes up a ‘fake follower’ account.
Fake influencers with fake accounts outnumber genuine creators and social media users and are still an issue today. What are some ways to prevent being duped by counterfeit influencers? Well, I suggest you read my post on How to Avoid Being Scammed by So-called Social Media Influencers. I also recommend scheduling a consultation session if you need further help selecting the right influencer for your marketing campaigns. I can help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
5) Influencers Have No Clear Direction for Their Brand.
A brand is an intangible asset representing your company or organisation to customers. We create brands through marketing efforts such as advertising campaigns, product packaging, and website design.
In today’s world, brands have become more critical than ever before. They help companies communicate with consumers about what they offer and how those offerings can benefit them. However, many businesses struggle to create effective branding strategies because influencers don’t provide much guidance.
Unfortunately, most influencers lack any sort of business strategy for their brands. Since influencer marketing is relatively new, people have unwittingly become influencers by being opinionated, innovative, and entertaining. Those around them first recognise their value, then understand and recognise their influence. They have not fully developed their capacity to value themselves or create revenue streams for themselves or their clients.
There are no clear strategies on how to go about influencer marketing. There is no standard approach to it. Some companies have a good idea of what works best for them, while others don’t.
6) Dependent on Platforms/Social Algorithm Updates
Social algorithms are becoming more critical to our daily lives as they help us decide what we should do next or where we should go based on information from other users.
In recent years, there has been an increase in companies using social networks such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, and X (Twitter) for marketing. These social platforms have become popular because they allow businesses to target customers with specific messages at particular times.
Brands compete to get the perfect influencer for their campaign on many influencer platforms.
7) Ignoring Engagement in Favor of followers
To understand how followers are created, we need to look at what happens when someone is engaged with an organisation or community.
We often think that engagement means being involved in something, but it can mean many things. For example, you might be interested in a particular topic because you want to learn more about it. Or perhaps you have been asked to join a group. You may even feel like your involvement will help others who share similar interests as yourself. However, there could also be other reasons you would choose to engage with an organisation or community, such as wanting to make friends, feeling part of a team, having fun, or simply doing something interesting.
If an influencer does not get feedback on their posts and their audience seems uninterested in what they say, that influencer is not worth being called an influencer! They are no better than any other Tom, Dick or Harry on the streets, with 120 followers on Instagram!
8) Influencer Controversies
Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X (Twitter) allow users to create content for sharing with others. We can view them as influential if they reach a large follower count. As well as creating controversy, these influencers may influence other people’s opinions about issues. For example, some argue that fake news stories rapidly spread because they appeal to people’s emotions rather than facts.
Online influencers who have become celebrities have increased in number in recent years. We often criticise these individuals for spreading “fake news” or misinformation. However, they also play an essential role as opinion leaders in influencing public debate.
Therefore, brands need to be extra careful in selecting the right influencer whose content is not controversial or leads to bad publicity. A good example that comes to my mind is Logan Paul’s suicide forest video, which made big waves in the influencer marketing industry.
9) Create a Strong Affinity with the Influencer.
As previously mentioned, brands must look beyond creating one-off gigs and focus on establishing a long-term connection with the influencer. Building and keeping strong influencer relationships is crucial.
To establish a long-term connection with an influencer, you need to understand what they want from your product or service. Are you trying to sell something new to someone influential? It can help if you know how that person thinks about things. To get started, ask yourself some critical questions about the influencer. What do they like? How does their life work, and why are they important? You may also learn more about their needs and wants by asking questions.
Once you have these answers, think about whether there might be any common ground between them and your business. If so, try to identify ways in which you could establish a long-term connection with them.
10) Finding a Balance Between Setting a Brief with Your Influencer and Allowing Creative Freedom
We often ask influencers to set briefs for their clients that they feel will be too restrictive or limiting. When working with an influencer who has been given free rein to do whatever she wants, it can sometimes be challenging to draw the line regarding her creativity. Finding a happy balance between giving someone total artistic freedom and ensuring that the final product meets all of your expectations is essential. It ensures that both parties benefit from the collaboration.
However, if you allow them total creative control over what they create, there is no guarantee that they won’t end up making something spectacular!
11) Identifying Talent Who Are Relevant to Goals and Audience
Talent is the ability to do something very well with skillfulness and proficiency. To be successful with their influencer marketing, companies must identify talented individuals that can contribute to their success. As mentioned before, it is best to identify and work with content creators whose content resonates with your brand.
12) Getting the Attention of Influencers and Being Able to Engage Them
Getting influencers to pay attention to your brand can be difficult. It is another pain point that companies go through with influencer marketing.
To get influencers to listen to your message, you need to understand what motivates them. You also have to know how they communicate with their community.
Brands need to understand that influencers are crucial to the brands with influencer marketing. And influencers, too, are well aware of this. So when deciding to approach a potential influencer, brands need to understand what’s at stake and explore different ways to attract the influencer’s attention and get them to promote your brand.
13) Partnerships Driven by Unrealistic Timeframes
In today’s world, influencers are becoming more critical than ever before. A lot of companies use them to enhance their marketing strategies. However, one problem with these partnerships is that they rarely work out as planned.
Many brands believe that partnering with influential individuals and content creators will help their brand gain exposure to new audiences. But what happens when those relationships end? What if your partner doesn’t deliver on their promises? How can you ensure that your partnership works well?
Companies who expect instant results, notably from well-established mega and macro-influencers, can quickly make influencers feel stressed despite their excitement about aligning with them.
Companies must realise that setting unrealistic time frames can affect their influencer marketing partnerships. You must avoid getting on the wrong side of an influencer who will turn their fans against your company.
So exercise caution and learn to coordinate your plans with your influencer. By so doing, you will not fail in your efforts to build successful partnerships with influencers.
14) Planning Appropriate Content Strategies
Planning appropriate content strategies is another pain point with influencer marketing. With influencer marketing, organisations use “influential voices” as brand ambassadors to help spread awareness about their products or services. Relevant, resonant content is the key to connecting with target audiences.
Your influencer needs to know what your audience is likely interested in to plan appropriate content strategies for their community. Different audiences have different interests. You can use data from previous or current marketing campaigns to help decide which topics should feature in your influencer marketing campaign.
Organisations must sit with their influencers to find common best approaches when planning appropriate content strategies.
Many influencers depend on metrics to track engagement rates, but you can help them take that practice to the next level as a brand. You could offer the expertise required to help influencers make better choices than they might without your help.
An excellent approach to learning involves breaking down large amounts of content into smaller bite-size pieces that your influencer can share with their fans.
15) The Pressure of Growing Visibility
The pressure of growing visibility is another crucial pain point in influencer marketing that brands must tackle. Companies seeking to increase their visibility through influencer marketing face challenges that include managing expectations about what content is appropriate for them to share online.
Companies need to examine case studies where brands used influencer marketing to overcome these challenges. These success stories will help illustrate the importance of understanding the context and audience when planning influencer campaigns. They also show that there may not always be one best way to use influencers; instead, they tailor each campaign to fit specific needs.
16) Meeting Government Guidelines and Regulations
Different states and countries have varying laws governing influencer marketing campaigns. This is another pain point of influencer marketing. To ensure that your influencer marketing campaign meets government guidelines and regulations, you must familiarise yourself with the requirements of each state or country where you plan to launch an influencer marketing campaign.
What pain points in influencer marketing am I neglecting in the above list? If you know of any pain points I did not include in the above, please ping me on any of our social media pages to let me know to add them.
Now let’s turn our attention to the pain points of influencer marketing from the perspective of the influencers too!
From the influencer’s perspective.
Let me say here that I don’t consider myself an influencer (though some of my clients would think otherwise). I neither operate an influencer marketing agency nor own an influencer marketing platform. But through research, studying the industry, and interacting with a few influencers over the years, I’ve identified the following pain points. If you’re an influencer and feel I’ve missed some pain points, ping me to let me know what to add.
1) There Is No Pause in the Job of Being an Influencer.
In today’s world, there are many types of influencers. Some are celebrities like Beyonce, some are politicians such as Barack Obama, while others are ordinary people with big hearts like Oprah Winfrey. All these individuals have unique looks, talents, charisma, or personality. But what about someone who has none of these qualities? What if you were born with no physical features at all? Would your life still be full of opportunities?
Influencers are those who influence others. They can be famous or not so well known, but they all share one thing–their ability to make things happen for other people.
This ability of an influencer to make things happen for others means they are constantly in demand around the clock. It has become a crucial pain point for influencers.
Influencers’ business hours do not follow a schedule like regular office workers. Influencers rely on social media as their primary source of income. As a result, they must be online at all times, even on weekends and holidays. You are always working as an influencer, especially as an influencer-founded brand. You never stop.
Being an influencer also means doing all the social media marketing processes, unlike what the public thinks. It often includes doing time-consuming research using search tools, planning, styling, analysing, shooting, post-processing, writing, and web management.
2) You Have to Be Flexible to Be an Influencer.
We often hear about how some famous person changed our life, but what does that mean exactly? How do we know if someone has been influenced?
Influencers are those who can influence others through their actions or words. They may also use other means, such as technology. In today’s world, there is no shortage of influential figures. However, not all these individuals will make a difference for good. To become an influencer, you must adapt your behaviour to different situations.
While perks such as getting free swag or travelling for free are reasons people want to be an influencer, being a good influencer also means constantly analysing, adjusting, learning, and re-configuring yourself.
An influencer must possess certain qualities that enable them to connect with others. These include being open-minded, empathy, charisma, and creativity.
Therefore, if you don’t possess the qualities mentioned above, it can become a pain point in your success as an influencer. If this is so, you may consider another career path.
3) Authenticity Combined with Uniqueness is Vital.
For you to become an influencer, understand yourself first! If you’re considering becoming an influencer or if you already consider yourself an influencer yet, you’re not finding any fulfilment in your career. Ponder over the following questions. Be candid with yourself in providing honest answers to the following questions.
- What makes you different?
- Why should anyone listen to me?
- How would you want your audience and clients to perceive you?
Being authentic is an essential part of being an influencer. Your honest-hearted answers to these questions will help you define your identity. Once you know who you are, you can start thinking about influencing other people.
Sadly, in Nigeria, I see many so-called influencers who have no clear direction for their brand. I shall talk more about this pain point below.
4) Engage Your Followers and Pay Attention to Them.
Simply claiming to have XYZ amounts of followers on a social media platform does not automatically qualify you as a celebrity influencer. Real influencers cut across all walks of life and include ordinary individuals like bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, X (Twitter) users, etc.
These people must understand how to use different platforms effectively to become influential. Therefore most influencers have to stay engaged with their community 24/7. It helps build trust by showing the followers that this influencer is a genuine person and friend, not just some fantasy-unattainable-online-celebrity.
5) As an Influencer, You WILL Be Criticised.
Being an influencer is not all about sweet-smelling roses. Remember that even roses have thorns! So one of the crucial pain points of being an influencer is that the public will severely criticise you for your work. In this business, mediocrity is not an option. It is another crucial pain point that most budding influencers need to understand.
For example, if you are using YouTube videos to promote yourself, ensure that you create good quality content that is well-edited so that your fans will find it interesting. If you post photos online, ensure that you take brilliant pictures with clear lighting and avoid blurry ones.
Also, be aware that influencers are often criticised for their actions or words with negative consequences. So, you need to learn what behaviour is acceptable for you as an influencer and how to respond if someone criticises your work.
6) As an Influencer, Personal Branding is Crucial.
In today’s world, where influencers have many ways to reach potential clients, you must have your distinct brand to get ahead. Personal branding includes establishing a unique identity to stand out from competitors when applying for jobs or promotions.
First, you must understand what traits make up your personality (see pain point #3 above about being authentic yet unique). Then you should think about how these traits could benefit someone else and improve the level of trust with your audience. Finally, you need to find a way to express yourself through your work.
An excellent place to start is to look at your resume! Yes!! Your resume is a crucial part of your branding as an influencer. Even though resumes are often seen as boring documents with little relevance, ask yourself, does your resume make you look good? An honest answer will help you discover areas where you need to adjust.
7) Your Finances as an Influencer Are Unpredictable.
“Chicken today, feather tomorrow” is how my dad describes situations where your finances are unpredictable. It means that there will be times when your finances will allow you to eat a whole chicken, and there will be times when you will be so broke that you can only afford the chicken’s feathers.
As influencers, you will have to deal with financial problems at some stage. Everyone does. Financial planning is one of those things which influencers need to do, but few bother doing. However, if you’re a micro-influencer and want to ensure that you don’t end up broke, you need to pay attention to this pain point.
You might not like the answer if you’ve ever wondered just how much money a micro-influencer earns.
8) It Takes a Long Time to Gain an Audience.
Influencers are those who have gained sufficient influence they can decide for others. It often takes a few years before an influencer goes viral. You must persuade others to follow your ideas or actions to become influential. This takes time and discipline. It will help if you are dedicated to your craft. You also need to know how to use these skills effectively over time.
9) You May Compare Yourself to Others a Lot.
Influencing is something that happens all around us every day. Other people can influence you, but you can also control them. We are often influenced by what we see or hear from our friends, family members, teachers, media, etc.
Therefore, another pain point is that they compare themselves to others as influencers. Being an influencer means constantly competing with those “flawless” Instagram accounts whose engagement rates are better than yours. If you are not careful, you may feel downcast, like an imposter or burned out.
To avoid this, you need to carve a niche for yourself and be determined not to keep comparing yourself with others. Otherwise, you may lose your joy if you feel that you are not meeting up with what others are doing.
Remember that there are several definitions of success, but they all seem to revolve around money. However, there are other ways of defining success, such as happiness and self-esteem.
10) You Won’t Earn a Living Right Away.
You won’t earn a living immediately as an influencer (especially a micro-influencer). Work hard before your ideas and creativity become influential enough to turn them into a brand. Most so-called influencers who get into the business for the wrong reasons (e.g., making money) will not have the discipline to wait, nor can their creativity withstand the test of time.
To get more money as an influencer, you must often take on brand sponsorships or continue seeking more followers.
Consider all your options and do your research well. Maybe you’ll discover something about being an influencer that you weren’t previously aware of. Remember, all that glitters is not gold. Don’t be shy to search for an alternative career path if you discover you can’t earn a living as an influencer.
11) Being “Trendy” Alone Is Not Sustainable.
One must understand how other people think about things to become an influencer. Therefore, one must develop good judgment not to go with trends that will only lead to disappointment later.
Trying to keep up with trends will only frustrate you, mainly if you’re doing it because of your desire to be trendy. Reliance on trends isn’t solid enough ground for your business to stand on.
12) Don’t Call Yourself an “influencer.”
Most people think influencer marketing is only used to promote products and services. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Influencer marketing is a powerful tool to increase brand awareness, engagement, and sales.
Sadly, most people who call themselves influencers don’t know what it takes to be authentic. They jump in simply to earn an income. This is why (in Nigeria) calling yourself an influencer is synonymous with being unemployed.
Genuine influencers may be famous for being influential, but they don’t like to be people referring to them as influencers.
So how do you know if your work is good enough for you to be an influencer? People will eventually search for you if you are disciplined and work hard. You will start getting feedback about your actions and how they influence others.
13) It’s Difficult Being an Influencer
We often see influencers as very successful at what they do because they have many followers or fans who love them for their work. But is that true? There are many reasons you might not get much attention from your audience.
Young people who try to wear the hat of an influencer for the wrong reasons eventually realise that being an influencer isn’t easy.
The road to becoming an influencer is more challenging than it seems to be. Being an influencer is probably a career you would not want to pursue if you dislike keeping up appearances.
14) Genuine Influencers WILL Influence People.
Influencers are now more powerful than ever. They can make or break brands, companies, products, and even entire industries. But how do they get to be so influential? And what does that mean for us as individuals?
We live in a time when everyone is trying to find their place. Some want fame, others money, but most just want to feel like they belong somewhere. If you do not fit into any of these categories, there is always the option of being an influencer.
Therefore, you need to realise that a genuine influencer will influence people for the better or worse. So as the famous saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.
15) Influencers Have No Clear Direction for Their Brand.
We are inundated with information from all directions in today’s world – online, offline, through our friends’ Facebook posts, etc. We’re constantly told what to think, how to behave, where to go, when to eat, drink, sleep, work, etc. But if there were one thing that could help us make sense of everything around us, it would be a trusted source of knowledge.
Sadly, some so-called influencers I’ve seen in Nigeria have no apparent business direction for their brand. With influencer marketing being reasonably new, people have honestly “fallen” into being an influencer by being opinionated, creative, and entertaining. Others see value in them first, and then they recognise their influence.
Because of this, they are not fully prepared to value themselves or create revenue streams for themselves.
16) Connecting With Brands That Truly Understand an Influencer’s Goals
Many genuine influencers also have goals beyond simply being famous; for example, they may want to make money from their work, gain recognition for their achievements, or even help other brands connect more effectively with consumers.
For companies to understand how influencers think about themselves and what motivates them, businesses need to look at examples of influential personalities. Companies must realise that for many influencers, it’s difficult for them to find and connect with brands that truly understand their goals as an influencer.
As a company or organisation thinking of embarking on an influencer marketing campaign to reach your target audience, remaining aware of all these challenges or pain points mentioned above should help you relate to influencers in ways they remember. Remember that influencer relationships are something you need to work on improving. Also, there is nothing like the perfect influencer.
In conclusion, influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular in Nigeria, but it’s important to know what challenges you might face when trying to grow your business through this channel.
While influencer marketing has encountered several challenges lately, there are still positive developments. Brands must break free of the established mindset about influencer marketing and focus on present conditions. Research, understanding pricing, service and taking matters into one’s own hands while stepping back from influencer platforms are essential in today’s marketplace. Influencer marketing still offers considerable growth potential despite the challenges it faces.
Knowing that influencer marketing effectively reaches your target audience is crucial to a company or organisation interested in influencer marketing. Still, it would help if you were careful about whose service you choose as an influencer. You don’t want someone with no real influence or authority over your product/service. Now, let me ask you the following questions:
Is there a problem you can solve in your business through influencer marketing? If so, what is it? Solving pain points in the influencer marketing industry before moving forward with your idea is crucial. Do you have a pain point that I’ve not discussed above as a company or organisation? Please schedule a consultation session with our agency to tell us more about it! Maybe you can work with our agency to find a solution, better influencer program, or marketing strategy.
As an influencer, it’s clear that the pain points are all in the details. Finding solutions to these pain points is critical to the success of your career as an influencer. As an influencer, do you have a pain point not discussed above? Please schedule a consultation session to tell me more about it! Maybe we can work together to find a solution.
In conclusion, this article has provided insights into what brands should know about working with influencers in Nigeria today. It has also offered influencers an idea of what they need to know about working with brands in Nigeria today. We also mentioned some of the benefits of influencer marketing.
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