Arii’s failure to sell 36 t-shirts to 2 million subs has nothing to do with Influencer Marketing effectiveness.

There’s a lot of buzz going around after Arii’s failure to sell some new tees to her 2 million Instagram fanbase.

Too many Marketing gurus immediately argued against the overall effectiveness of Influencer Marketing and I couldn’t disagree more.

They could have just said they weren’t able to make Influencer Marketing work for their clients, rather that Influencer Marketing is not effective at all.

Influencer Marketing is brilliant, but as anything in business and in life you have to make it work for your specific occasion.

And in order to make it work for you, you actually have to put in the work, the effort and to obviously fail a lot in the beginning.

Let me tell you what Influencer Marketing is NOT:

  1. Seeding one single product to a random Influencer that you found while scrolling on your feed, expecting tons of sales in return and probably complaining when they don’t come.
  2. Trying to sell the unsellable and then blame Influencer Marketing.
  3. Having the Influencer promote a crappy product to their audience with the belief that this audience will buy anything the Influencer will endorse.

Let me tell you what Influencer Marketing is and how you can leverage it for your brand.

Influencer Marketing is:

  1. Building long-term relationships.
  2. Selling them the vision of your brand and teaming up with the ones that do believe in it.
  3. Using the Influencers’ audiences to promote products that people do care about.
  4. Testing a lot more Influencers than you think is enough, to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
  5. Tracking down everything possible such as traffic, sales, following and engagement.

Let me elaborate on each one of them and you’ll understand how powerful can Influencer Marketing become for you business.

Building long term relationships

Ok, you’ve probably heard this one before but did you actually put in the time and effort to make it happen?

Building longer term business relationships can be a very time consuming and difficult task but it is the most crucial part of creating profitable Influencer Marketing campaigns.

Spend the time to communicate and engage on a weekly or monthly basis with your Influencer base.

Communicate any new offers, let them know about any upcoming product releases or even other brand activities/events that they could be part of.

If you want to take the extra mile, introduce them to other brand owners who happen to be your connections.

Bringing them new business partnerships can definitely give you leverage on asking any specific promotion in exchange.

Always remember to help them without expecting to get something in return, as it might happen that you will not get a return. Which is OK!

Selling them the vision of your brand and teaming up with the ones that do believe in it.

Your goal is to create new fans for your brand and your products.

You should not be looking for pure business transactions like I pay you X for 1 feed post and link in bio for 24 hours.

Approaching Influencers using a pure transactional way and bargaining about their rates it doesn’t help you at all.

In fact, it costs you a lot more than you can imagine.

Having money as the context of the conversation between you and the creators will commoditize your product and diminish every other attempt to make them truly believe in the brand.

You should rather have them know about why you created your brand, how you produce your product, what emotions your product create to your customers and why you are in business.

I’ve tried to negotiate rates with lots of Influencers and all I got was frustrated creators who just posted mediocre content to fulfil their obligation, get paid and then get rid of me.

I’ve teamed up though with Influencers who believed in the brand, really enjoyed the product itself and we together produced phenomenal results and partnerships that lasted long enough.

When you approach creators don’t focus only on their rates.

Using the Influencers’ audiences to promote products that people do care about.

Ok, I’ve talked about building and nurturing relationships with creators which will definitely be a game changer for your brand if you follow the advice.

However, the product itself still matters a lot.

We all heard the story of Arii the Influencer with the 2 million followers who failed to sell 36 t-shirts to its audience.

Have you thought that maybe the product itself was not good enough?

That her audience didn’t like it at all?

That they were not interested on buying?

Why this seems so extravagant to so many of you?

Since when 2 million followers gives you the ability to sell anything you want?

I really don’t get it.

You can’t sell the unsellable!

People are not dumb and especially during this internet era, consumers are more than ever before aware and conscious which makes it super difficult, almost impossible to sell a crappy product without having to deal with complaints and instant negative publicity.

Since social media came to our lives, news is communicated instantly, and your brand is a tweet or a Facebook post away from being criticized publicly by an unhappy customer.

It’s not that Influencer Marketing isn’t effective, rather your product is bad or you target the wrong audiences.

Testing a lot more Influencers than you think is enough, to see what works for your brand and what doesn’t.

As everything else in business Influencer Marketing is not an exception.

You have to test, and you have to test a lot.

In fact, if you don’t have the appropriate budget to allocate in terms of product seeding and paid placements then you should probably don’t choose to go with this Marketing activity.

If you do have the budget, then all you have to do is make a research and come up with a list of Influencers that resonate with your brand aesthetics and values and then reach out to them.

I cannot advice on a specific number that you should reach out to, but I can give you an insight from doing Influencer Marketing actively the last year and so.

You need to test and reach out to as many Influencers as possible based on your budget. Then stick with the ones who bring you results and scale it up if possible.

That’s the formula you want to follow.

Make sure to always keep in mind the previous tips of trying to build relationships with them and not just communicating on a transactional level.


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Track metrics such as traffic, sales, following, engagement.

eCommerce is about tracking data and then taking educated decisions based on this data.

Influencer Marketing couldn’t be different.

You have to track everything possible if you want to be able to measure the effectiveness of your Influencer Marketing initiatives.

If you use the Shopify eCommerce platform, you can install applications like Shoutout or Refersion which will help you track traffic and sales generated from each Influencer.

You can also pay commissions through the apps if that’s the agreement with your partnerships.

If you are not able to use these paid applications, then what I’d suggest is to create an excel sheet where you should keep all the contact details of creators, all the products which were sent to them, and any sales generated using the discount code that you’ve already provided to them.

You want to make sure you keep the sheet updated, as this will guide you on making decisions for the future of these collaborations.

Don’t forget to include in your sheet your social media following prior to these collaborations and then compare with the new stats.

Building brand equity through increased social media following should also be a goal for your Influencer Marketing campaigns.

In short, you want to make sure that you are able at any time to see the performance of your Influencer Marketing campaigns and adapt if needed in the most effective and efficient way.

This is where tracking anything possible comes into play and why it is so important.

If you get something from this read let it be that Influencer Marketing is still at its early stages, it is super effective if done properly and it is still under priced attention for your brands.

So, take action, plan your campaigns, execute, test different things and then see the results and adapt accordingly.

To your success!