When Repurposing Influencer Content Goes Wrong


When you think about influencers in social media, celebrities and star athletes may come to mind. An influencer, though, is anyone with significant social media follow-ups. We have the power to influence the views and decisions of other people.

Brands study three key attributes when deciding who to partner with:

  • Reach: The number of followers a person has
  • Credibility: The person’s perceived knowledge or authority on a topic
  • Tact: The person’s ability to convince others of a particular point of view

Influencer marketing is a way for mainstream brands to meet their target audiences. When done right, it can make a lot of progress. Purchasing content can be costly, however.

Influencer marketing has grown in popularity, with businesses spending up to $100,000 in a single campaign. To expand this investment, there are a lot of re-purposed materials. According to one study, 83% of marketers re-use social media influencer content. Certain repackaging content for online and programmatic ads.

There’s nothing wrong with repurposing content — brands do it all the time. However, with just one misstep, things can go horribly wrong.

A lost delete key

Full authenticity is the aim of influencer marketing. Brands should partner with a consumer who is likely to use their product or service— not just someone who’s name is buzzworthy. The message will preferably come directly from the poster. That is not always the case, however.

In fact, each message is carefully crafted by a team of marketers. Influencers follow a set of guidelines on when and what to write. If it’s done right, people aren’t the wiser. Nonetheless, two celebrities caught the heat when they failed to use the delete key.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has collaborated with Nike to send a heartfelt message to Instagram. The post included a picture of Campbell with new shoes on each foot. Unfortunately, she forgot to delete the instructions with a sample message about what to publish, along with the specific name of the Adidas shoe line.

Campbell is not alone. Scott Disick, from “Keeping up With the Kardashians,” made a similar mistake. Posed in the kitchen behind a jar of Bootea protein shake, he forgot to delete the instruction, “Here you go, at 4 pm est, write the below,” followed by a prewritten post on a supposed summer workout routine.

A case of mistaken identity

Marketers can’t help but spruce repurposed influencer material with Photoshop using today’s digital resources. Nevertheless, processing images in a calculated manner is key. Editing flaws will be pointed out automatically, such as something too good or fake-looking.

Take Coach, who got a lot of input after launching Selena Gomez’s weird influencer project. The star stands before a city-scape, dressed to impress — but she’s barely recognizable.

Users shot back at the luxury brand, claiming that Photoshop was an unnecessary enhancement, particularly for a glamorous celebrity already. One user commented, “Shame on @coach for perpetuating the idea that even the best of us are not good enough. THIS IS NOT True.”

Their radars are going off to any content that looks fake or promotional. It is important to consider how your message will sound to your audience when repurposing influencer content.

A venture into hostile territory

Which happens if the presupposition of influencer content becomes an infringement of copyright? In the case of the Vintage Tee Collection of Kendall and Kylie Jenner, you were sued. In 2017, the fashion-loving pair launched the shirts online with heads of musicians such as Biggie, Tupac, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and more.

The Doors sent a letter of termination and withdrawal. Jeff Jampol, Jim Morrison estate manager, said, “This is a case of people who… are famous for being well-known but don’t really do anything but try to use and steal or build on the legacies of those who actually did…”

The Notorious B.I.G.’s wife, Voletta Wallace, spoke online. She said, “These girls ‘ disrespect for not even reaching out to me or anyone related to the property is baffling me.” She continued to say the act was disrespectful and exploitative.

The deceased’s families were not the only ones upset — consumers still thought the move was in bad taste. The sisters drew the line quickly, followed by an apology from Instagram. The blunder, though, continues to live as a lesson in what not to do. You’re bringing in the world stuff. The least that you can do is get the right to use it.

A doomed partnership

To influencer marketing, credibility is a primary theme. If businesses disregard rule No. 1 and choose an unexpected influencer, some of the biggest blunders occur. Once EA wanted to collaborate with Breaking Benjamin’s founder, Benjamin Burnley, their work was overlooked.

EA asked the artist to share his support for the new game “Star Wars Battlefront” on Xbox 360 on social media. Burnley had different ideas, though an acknowledged “Stars Wars” fan.

Rather, he went online and said the deal to his followers. He went on to claim that he hated the game and even launched a tirade on why it sucked, including bad pawn placement, unfair weapons, and a lack of system of reward. To top it off, he shared his email, broken into pieces, with a screenshot of the game’s disk.

Influencers who really like their products or services need to be sought by advertisers. Otherwise, this is a catastrophe guide. At worst, the brand will be absolutely spurned by the influencer. Your audience will at least be able to see the post for what it is— an attempt to sell it to them.

A new type of encounter

We all saw a hashtag that was unreadable. It can be difficult to parse the true meaning with a bunch of words thrown together. After their attempt to use influencer marketing, Warburtons came to light this issue.

The bakery company launched a contest, asking customers to share pictures eating a crumpet themselves. For a chance to win VIP tickets to The Christmasaurus Live Shows, users had to include the hashtag “# crumpetcreations.”

What Warburtons ‘ marketing team didn’t know was that another band— the furry family — was already using their hashtag. @crumpetcreations is, in reality, a female who is 31 years old and a furry enthusiast. Her dress is Crumpet, a goat named after a British acquaintance.

Warburtons took the mishap in step with a post-reading “Next time we’re going to do a little more testing! We’ve updated the hashtag and the pressure is still on.” They acknowledged that while social media is a great place, it’s easy to get it wrong.

An attempt at deception

How do you build a campaign of influencer catching attention? For the most part, the response is about material that is genuine and important. Others pursue deceit, like the Chinese sneaker brand Kaiwei Ni.

The company released an ad debuting its sneaker sale on Black Friday back in 2017. It was meant to trick users into thinking on their phone screen that there was ahead. Accidentally, Instagram users swiped the commercial, trying to remove the skin, only to be directed to the website of the product. It didn’t go well with customers, as you can guess.

This form of scheming often breaches the ad policies of Instagram. Kaiwei Ni was barred from – the-platform ads and removed from his account. Worse, consumers often believe in the company’s fraud activities in other business aspects.

Kaiwei Ni made the mistake of misleading users for increased traffic on the website, and the tactic did not pay off. Web users today are wise, wary about trickery and offers that are too good to be true. An genuine and frank message is the best way to an effective influencer project.

Influencer marketing: the good, the bad, the ugly

To advertisers who want to meet their target, influencer marketing is a vital device. Many are too quick to repurpose stuff, however, relying on unexpected collaborations with celebrities, stolen content, and simple trickery. The people are always victorious at the start.

The first to point out your faults will always be your target. When reusing marketing influencers, taking the wrong move could lead to mockery online. Some may bounce back, like the erroneous crumpet example. But others may be sued into oblivion.

Effective influencer marketing relies on the blend of promotion and authenticity. Brands need to establish a clear voice on social media, but they must toe the line between friendly advice and sales pitch.


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