Understated Problems Influencer Marketers at Big Brands Face Daily

Understated Problems Influencer Marketers at Big Brands Face Daily
Haley Omick


Haley Omick

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Influencer marketing is a crucial part of many enterprise companies' marketing strategies. However, the larger the company, the more complex the processes involved in working with partners, such as influencers and freelancers. One of the biggest challenges influencer marketers at bigger companies face is having to deal with finance processes when working with social media creators. To many marketers, the challenges associated with working for a large company are a necessary evil. With that said, there are steps that can be taken to help mitigate the headaches.

What are the fundamental differences of working in Influencer Marketing at small and large companies exactly, and how do those differences impact influencer marketing campaigns and partnerships overall?

Fundamental Differences Between Small and Large Companies

One of the biggest differences between working at a small and large company is how resources are allocated. Small companies often have limited budgets and resources, requiring them to be selective in choosing influencers and optimizing their campaigns within their constraints. On the other hand, large companies typically have larger budgets and dedicated teams or agencies working on influencer campaigns, allowing for more extensive collaborations and larger-scale campaigns.

When selecting influencer partners, small companies strategically focus on micro-influencers or niche influencers who closely align with their target audience due to budget constraints, even if they have smaller follower counts. Conversely, big companies have the flexibility to work with a wider range of social media influencers, including macro-influencers and celebrities. Big companies use specialized influencer marketing and affiliate platforms, such as Impact and Partnerize, to run affiliate programs and source influencer partners.

When it comes to campaign execution, small companies often take a hands-on approach. Their generalist marketers personally handle communication, contract negotiations, and oversee the entire campaign from start to finish. On the other hand, big companies have specialized influencer marketing teams or agencies that handle day-to-day campaign execution. They have several different stakeholders in-house to ensure consistent brand messaging and compliance, but may encounter more layers of approval and decision-making processes. For example, large companies use systems like ERPs in their day-to-day business processes, leading to potential delays compared to small companies. ERPs also present other challenges for influencer marketers, such as a vendor sign-up challenges or lack of visibility into basic payment information, like due dates.

Let’s dive deeper into the challenges influencer marketers face using ERPs, and steps that can be taken to help reduce those obstacles.

Complications of ERPs in Influencer Marketing

An ERP (enterprise resource planning) is a software used by large companies that handles billing, payments, and transactions. ERPs provide a single source of truth across the company and are typically utilized by most, if not all, internal teams. ERPs serve many benefits, such as accelerated reporting and deeper insights as information silos are eliminated. They also lower risk as employees have to comply with regulatory requirements and processes.

ERPs are built specifically for internal teams and onboarding other businesses, meaning the way the system is designed can be a challenge for influencer marketers.

Below are some of the common challenges influencer marketers face when using ERPs:

  • Confusing vendor sign-up process: when onboarding onto a brand’s ERP system, influencers are required to complete steps that are generally bypassed by small and mid-market companies. For example, some companies using ERPs require vendors to provide a signed bank letter in order to be onboarded successfully and receive payment.
  • Vendor invoicing mistakes: when influencers or freelancers are instructed to invoice for a campaign, they often miss small details and make simple mistakes, such as inputting the wrong net terms or dollar amount, or invoicing prematurely, or putting the incorrect due date. These delays cause ERP data to be inconsistent and delay payment processing.
  • Built for Internal Operations: ERP systems lack collaboration features, which can make coordinating campaign details, sharing creative assets, and maintaining real-time communication with influencers difficult.
  • Complex Approval and Payment Processes: Enterprise companies often have intricate approval processes and strict financial controls to ensure compliance and risk management. Marketers don’t always have visibility into finance details such as payment due dates, meaning they need to work with other internal teams, like finance, to get accurate information. These processes can delay the approval of influencer campaigns, contract negotiations, and payment processing.
  • Performance Tracking and Analytics: ERP systems typically focus on internal operations and may not have advanced tracking capabilities for external marketing activities. To get accurate data, companies may require influencers to integrate their social channels (which puts additional own-ace on the creator).
  • Scalability and Data Management: Enterprise companies handle a large volume of data across various business units and locations. Managing influencer data, including contact details, contracts, content assets, and campaign history, can become challenging within the ERP system.

Although marketers today tend to look at these challenges as unavoidable day-to-day, there are simple steps that can be taken to relieve some of these headaches.

Tips for relieving ERP headaches

Although these challenges can’t be completely eliminated due to internal company processes, there are some steps that performance marketers can take to help minimize these headaches.

Below are some suggestions influencer marketers can use to relieve ERP pain points:

  • Simplify the Sign-Up Process: Make sure the sign-up process is user-friendly for creators. Consider integrating your ERP with a third-party system that is more intuitive for brand partners, and likely offers a support team to address any challenges.
  • Utilize External Communication Channels: Use separate communication platforms or email systems to streamline communication and collaboration with influencers. Since ERPs are designed for internal use, functionality like real-time chat, file sharing, or collaborative document editing are generally not available. Additionally, ERPs typically have specialized interfaces designed for internal users familiar with the system’s terminology and processes.
  • Streamline Approval and Payment Processes: Align the influencer payment terms, milestones, and deliverables with the ERP's financial workflows to increase efficiency. Integrating influencer campaign data with your ERP system ensures all relevant information is available within the ERP, streamlining approval and payment processes. Additionally, consider enabling electronic notifications to alert stakeholders about pending approvals or actions required.
  • Integrate with External Tracking Tools: Use third-party tools to capture and consolidate the necessary data for influencer campaigns into the ERP's reporting and analytics modules.
  • Optimize Data Management: Use robust data management strategies, data governance policies, and database optimizations to effectively organize and retrieve influencer-related data within the ERP system

Performance marketers at enterprise companies face unique challenges when it comes to influencer marketing. By understanding these challenges and utilizing the right tools and strategies, companies can streamline their influencer marketing processes and see better results from their influencer marketing and affiliate campaigns.

Haley Omick

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