The five mistakes to avoid in influencer marketing

The appetite for content creators remains strong and it will keep on growing, says OMG’s Anthony Nghayoui

The creator economy has not been immune to the ambient volatility; nevertheless, advertisers’ appetite for influencers keeps on growing. We’ve seen influencer marketing pass through a period of sudden hype and then moments of scepticism to finally emerge as a medium that nearly 84 per cent of advertisers believe drives higher-quality customers than other channels (according to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub).

If you’re partnering up with influencers amidst all the trends and fads, here are five ‘watchouts’ to consider.


It’s time we all acknowledged the media value of influencers as they strive to put brands front and centre. With mounting pressure to demonstrate its effectiveness, influencer marketing is no different than other media channels, yet it’s commonly separated from media strategies and planned its own silo.

When planned in an integrated manner, influencer campaigns can align with other media activities to boost brands’ North Star objectives effectively. While paid media provides heightened control in targeting, budgeting and bidding, content creators cut through social platform noise and convey relevant and memorable branded messaging: the missing piece of the puzzle.


Every ad campaign in history has had one of two ultimate business objectives: selling products or raising equity. Outside those objectives, you’ve got yourself a cool art project. Planning is arguably the deciding factor for any influencer campaign, so examine each creator like you would with a media channel.

Look at who they reach and how they perform, then review the content they create and how they align with the brand’s values. After all, what good can come from achieving massive levels of engagement if it’s all out of geo?

Content and brand alignment undoubtedly play the most prominent roles in succeeding against business KPIs. According to Kelly Mokbel, Social Media Manager at OMD, “quality over quantity is crucial when selecting influencers, as genuine affinity and resonance with the brand’s message are more likely to drive meaningful results than prioritising reach alone.”


The creator industry can use more standardization in metrics and KPIs; that’s for certain. But another thing is also true: you can’t take hype to the bank and you sure can’t cash ‘buzz’. Not that sales metrics are the only metrics that matter: brand conversations and share of voice are important micro-KPIs tied to brand equity.

Engagement is a hygiene metric, not a goal, that merely helps put a number to content quality and how it resonates with specific audiences.


Influence’ is no longer the main reason advertisers utilise creator marketing. Creator content offers a different value to consumers than polished, brand-led studio content, as it delivers branded messaging that connects with niche segments on a more personal level.

According to OMG’s Social & Influencer Specialist, Aya Diab “it’s not the clout of major celebrities that captivates clients, but the creator’s knack for crafting content that resonates with the brand and its audience.

The essence lies in their ability to take a product and weave creativity into its presentation, ensuring it transcends into content that their audience can enjoy and would never feel like a paid advertisement.”


According to a 2023 US study by the IAB and TalkShoppe, both creator and studio content play significant, though distinct, roles in consumers’ lives. The research indicates that while studio content tends to be more memorable, creator content’s relevance can accelerate the purchase journey.

Hence, applying excessive brand guidelines may dilute the impact of creator content. Finding creators who can fit and embody the brand’s values and handing off creative control to them is crucial to earn attention in today’s creator landscape.

According to OMD MENA’s Head of Engagement, Christine Najarian “that kind of breakthrough can be achieved by enabling creators to show up in unexpected ways to tell the brand’s story. It’s about allowing them creative freedom to truly connect their audience to the brand with context and culture in mind.”

Let’s end with a few simple ‘dos’: think audience first, performance second, then brand alignment and content quality when planning, and always set your KPIs in alignment with your marketing and business KPIs.

Influencers are media channels and their secret weapon is their own content delivered to their own audience in their own style.

By Anthony Nghayoui, Social Media Lead at OMG MENA