image ofInfluencers Gone Wild

Top 10 Influencers Gone Wild: How NOT to Go Haywire With Influencer Marketing


Influencer marketing has changed rapidly. It is no longer a question of whether or not it is a thing since it is already an essential part of every brand’s budget. In 2016 the influencer industry was valued at around $1 billion, and by 2028 it is projected to skyrocket and become an $80 billion industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • The article discusses the potential pitfalls of influencer marketing campaigns by highlighting 10 instances where influencers’ behavior or actions caused controversy or backlash.
  • These examples serve as cautionary tales for brands and marketers, emphasizing the importance of thorough vetting, clear communication, and alignment with brand values when partnering with influencers.
  • Issues such as inappropriate content, ethical lapses, brand misalignment, and lack of transparency can damage a brand’s reputation and credibility, highlighting the risks associated with influencer collaborations.
  • By learning from past mistakes and implementing robust influencer selection criteria, contractual agreements, and monitoring mechanisms, brands can mitigate risks and ensure the success of their influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Building genuine, mutually beneficial relationships with influencers based on trust, authenticity, and shared values is key to navigating the complexities of influencer marketing and avoiding potential pitfalls.

Due to the fierce competition among influencers, some of them have resorted to unethical, distasteful tactics. Influencers gone wild are all over social media, and although they can be entertaining to watch, they are less likely to turn into conversions, because people won’t take them seriously. Yes, they will get a lot of attention for sure, but they will need to gain customers’ trust more to endorse their products or services.

Sometimes an influencer gone wild is a last-ditch effort to get views, likes, and engagement. The problem is, this tactic gets old fast. There is a reason why brands choose influencers over an ad, take YouTube as an example. People hit the SKIP AD button all the time, and those who can afford it, they’re even willing to pay for ad-free experiences since they loathe ads on their apps.

Viewers want to learn about products through people they know and trust. Enter the social media influencer. First impressions last, so if they wish to make an impact, they need to make sure they are making a great one the first time around. They need to realize that the influencers gone wild tactic won’t serve them in good stead for the long haul. So exactly what should brands look into when connecting with influencers?

In this post, we are going to discuss the types of influencers for your brand, the various niches to sift through, and how to pick the best one that will suit your brand or product. And after all, is said and done, hopefully, shed light on the fact that being among influencers gone wild is unnecessary.

Vlogger Injured By Live Octopus

Vlogger sucked by live octopus
Vlogger injured by live octopus

A vlogger learned the hard way that you should never ever play with your food, especially when it’s still alive and kicking. She tried eating it alive but ended up injuring her face when she tried to rip the octopus free.

Silicone Replica of Ingham Baby

Silicone replica of Ingham baby
Ingham family sells baby doll replica of their four-month-old baby

The Ingham Family decided to leverage their 1.2 million YouTube subscribers by having a silicone replica doll of their four-month-old baby Jace, which included a birth certificate and some diapers. While others found it cute, others were completely horrified and thought it was “unbelievably weird,” “irresponsible,” and “creepy.”

Pretty, Sexy Streamer Turns Out to be a 58-Year-Old Woman On Filter

Pretending young, sexy influencer is a 58-year-old woman
Young, pretty, and sexy influencer turns out to be a 58-year-old woman

A vlogger known as “Her Royal Highness Quiao Biluo” lost many of her male fans when a technical glitch revealed she wasn’t the young, sexy, and pretty girl she was pretending to be. Instead, she was a 58-year-old woman who was a far cry from the “cute goddess” her fans thought she was.

Tiffany Mitchell Accused of Faking Motorcycle Accident for Views and Likes

Tiffany Mitchell accused of faking motorcycle accident for views
Tiffany Mitchell allegedly faked her motorcycle accident for views and likes

People were enraged when Tiffany Mitchell shared photos of her motorcycle accident, claiming she was glamorizing accidents, even accusing her of faking it and being sponsored by SmartWater. Viewers were aghast that she was still taking photos right after the accident.

Influencer On Fake Weight Loss Drink With Hydrogen Cyanide

Lauren Goodger agrees to promote fake weight loss drink with cyanide
Lauren Goodger agrees to promote fake weight loss drink containing hydrogen cyanide

British influencer Lauren Goodger, along with Mike Hassini and Zara Holland was heavily criticized after the secret footage of them agreeing to promote a fake weight loss drink that contained hydrogen cyanide, which is known to be a lethal chemical, was leaked. Holland claimed she didn’t know what cyanide meant at that time and a large sum was offered to them to lure them to the meeting.

TikTokers Pretended to Be In a Violent Relationship

Influencer couple faked being in an abusive relationship
TikTokers found out the hard way that pretending to be in an abusive relationship is far from funny

TikTokers Sebastian Bails and Lauren Godwin got into the trend of pranking their friends into thinking they were entangled in an abusive relationship. A video of them seen shouting at each other while using fake blood to insinuate violence. If they thought some people found it funny, the majority of the viewers believed it was totally horrifying, especially for genuine victims of domestic abuse.

Lisa Li’s Double Life: Glamorous VS Filthy

Lisa Li's filthy apartment
Lisa Li’s landlady exposed how her apartment truly looks like—filthy, messy, and full of dog poop

Chinese influencer Lisa Li shocked her 1.1 million followers after her landlady exposed her and her filthy flat on social media. Not only was it filthy, disgusting, and filled with dog poop, but the glamorous influencer also left a $500 utility debt when she left, unresponsive to her landlady’s phone calls and messages. Shortly after her landlady posted the video, Li suddenly resurfaced, apologized, and was filmed cleaning the flat herself.

Influencer Couple Asked Fans for $11,000 for their Vacation

Influencer Couple asks fans for $11,000 for vacation
Influencer couple Catalin Onc and Elena Engelhardt asked fans for $11,000 for their vacation

Catalin Onc and Elena Engelhardt asked their fans for $11,0000 so they could vacation in Africa. Going to beautiful and exotic places for good content is one thing, but asking your viewers for money is just plain and simple audacity. This angered people on social media, calling them, “egotistical brats” and “shameful, self-indulgent bludgers”.

Discussing Mass Suicide While Chomping On Cheese

Food blogger discusses mass suicide while reviewing cheese
Mukbang YouTuber discusses suicide while eating cheese

A lot of people were not happy when Mukbang YouTuber Chantel uploaded a video of her talking about mass suicide while eating cheese. One commenter wrote, “She is literally sitting there talking about a mass suicide and mid-sentence stops to give a review on how the cheese tastes. I am in f—ing awe.”

Jessy Taylor: From 100,000 to Zero Followers

Jessy Taylor's account got taken down
People repeatedly reported her account until it was finally deleted

Imagine having 100,000 followers to zero because your account was taken down. Jessy Taylor learned the hard way that you cannot run your mouth and get away with it. Jessy is no stranger to drama and has been involved in a few online squabbles. She constantly posts videos where she apologizes with titles like “I’m Sorry I Acted Like A Bad Person for Clout.” This is probably why Jessy is so disliked, so much so that she has been reported so many times until her account was finally deleted.

Now that we know what NOT to do to ruin your career as an influencer, here is how influencer marketing should be done—the right way.

Types of Influencers for Your Brand

Here are the different influencers you could pick according to audience size. Bear in mind, however, that an influencer with a large-sized audience does not automatically guarantee a successful brand campaign.

Nano Influencers (1,000-10,000 followers)

These types of influencers have the smallest audience size, between 1,000- 10,000 followers on various social media channels. Their small following allows them to be vocal advocates of the brands and products they are promoting and tend to be very engaged with their target audience.

The reason their followers value their opinions, recommendations, and authentic reviews is that their channels are not oversaturated with obvious campaigns. They also have a closely-knit relationship with their community since they take the time to engage, respond to comments, and nurture these connections.

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Micro-Influencers (10,000- 100,000 followers)

Micro-influencers have a bigger audience than nano-influencers, with around 10K to 100K followers. But even if they have a bigger audience to interact with, they are still able to maintain a high level of engagement. And usually, they already have a targeted audience for their specific niches such as cooking or travel, for instance.

Because of this, brands find it a whole lot easier to connect with them for relevant sponsorships. The more specialized these influencers are, the easier it gets to generate focused leads. Why? Because their audience is already used to getting targeted marketing messages from them. For instance, if you sell non-stick pans, then a micro-influencer who specializes in cooking is an amazing option.

Macro Influencers (100,000- 1 million followers)

Macro influencers have an even bigger reach, with 100K to 1M followers. They have a more extensive appeal since these people are bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, and social media stars. These influencers have an active army of loyal followers.

But it is also due to their massive audience size that they have a lower engagement rate. Therefore, they are more suited to brands wanting to raise awareness of their products and services because they get quick access to a much bigger audience. Big brands are usually the ones who get their services since smaller entrepreneurs cannot afford their going rates.

Mega Influencers (1 million or more followers)

Found on top of the influencer’s chain are the mega influencers who have over 1 million followers. They consist of rising stars, celebrities, and key opinion leaders. For instance, they may include those specializing in TikTok influencer marketing like Charli D’Amelio. They leverage their strong social media status because their opinions and recommendations are given importance.

But because of their massive following, they find it difficult to engage with their followers and are less likely to entertain a specialized industry or niche. They stick to brands with huge marketing budgets since mega influencers are expected to ask for hefty talent fees. Speaking of budget, make marketing campaigns easier while getting a bigger bang for your buck. Read more in our Mobile Monkey review.

Influencers by Niche

There is another way to sift through various types of influencers to get the best one to promote your brand. This can be done by choosing an influencer based on your type of niche or content. Here are some examples.

Travel Influencers

A travel influencer creates social media content about travel, culture, and tourism via their travel experiences. They have the capability to influence their audience’s opinions and perceptions about such places and experiences since they are a trusted source of knowledge. Therefore, they can affect people’s travel decisions (the products they need for that particular travel, the restaurants they eat in, the hotels they stay in, the resorts they check out, etc.).

Oftentimes, airlines, tour companies, travel agencies, and local businesses connect with them to promote their brands, products, or services, and this usually involves free travel. These influencers (depending on their audience size) make money through affiliate links and brand sponsorships.

Beauty Influencers

A beauty influencer is someone who uses his or her social media presence by sharing beauty tips, makeup tutorials, and promoting beauty products and services. They utilize their platform for sharing opinions and experiences with various beauty products. These personalities have amazing makeup skills, and their followers rely on them for the best brand and beauty product recommendations.

Their reach is one of the most important factors for determining your brand’s success. Those with a bigger social media following are able to connect with more people, making their marketing strategies more powerful through partnerships. Thus, more and more brands are teaming up with them and making them brand ambassadors or sponsoring product reviews.

Sports/Fitness Influencers

A fitness influencer is a fitness enthusiast who is known and trusted by their peers in the fitness industry as well as their audience on social media. They are very influential and people heed their opinions and recommendations on online fitness platforms. These influencers promote specific exercises or workout regimens, diets, and an overall healthy lifestyle.

And since they are very knowledgeable about health and fitness, their audience often mimic their exercises, follows their recommended diets, use the same products (e.g. food supplements), and even dresses like them. Their followers look up to them for getting into the best shape and weight possible.

Food Influencers

A food influencer inspires his or her followers to engage in food consumption, pursuing gourmet explorations, and buying specific products from specific brands. They have the ability to shape a consumer’s preference and food trends, making an impact on their daily food choices (what, where, why, and how you eat). These food influencers also expose you to new types of foods such as home-cooked meals, fruits, and veggies, and prepped meals across all social media platforms. Thus, they can affect your food choices at home and in dining out.

Food influencers can be divided into three categories—chefs, recipe creators, and food bloggers/tasters. They not only have an engaged social media following with whom they have a high influencing power, but they also share premium content and genuine opinions regarding a meal or brand. Their content can range from recipe creations for a brand, how you can use them on different recipes, reviews, and recommendations, product trials, sponsored content, or even live streaming cooking events.

How to Choose the Right Influencer

Now that you know the types of influencers and sample niches so you can narrow your choices comes the most important question: how can you find the right influencer for your brand? Many brands have this instinctive reaction of just looking at the number of followers an influencer has rather than considering other important data. Because of this, they don’t end up with the desired result for their marketing campaign. So, here are the most important considerations when looking for the best influencers for promoting your brand and how you can find them.

Number of Followers

Even if this isn’t the most important aspect of influencer marketing, it is still a data point that must be taken into consideration. Before you make an investment, it is crucial to know the audience you could reach, and generally, the bigger, the better. Then again, this sole data will not give you a comprehensive insight. Yes, it can help you filter out certain candidates, but know that influencers with a larger number of followers are not always your best choice. There are times marketing campaigns using micro-influencers will yield better results.

Audience Engagement Rate

Having an influencer with a large following is pointless if they have a low engagement rate. Thus, you should also consider micro-influencers who are capable of convincing their audience to get involved, give their opinions, share their content, and talk about the product. More importantly, evaluate what kind of content the influencer is sharing so you can find out whether or not it suits your brand. See if their content is of high quality and if their core values align with yours.

Audience Demographics and Preferred Social Network

There is something just as important as taking a deep dive into your influencer search, and that is having a well-defined target audience. This is how you are going to know your audience’s demographics and preferred social network. You must key in these two factors so you can choose the right influencer.

Influencer Acquiring Strategies

The next step is to learn how and where you can find such influencers. Here are some influencer-acquiring strategies to try out.

Through Hashtags

Hashtags reveal the latest trends and viral content. It’s super easy, all you need to do is search trending hashtags related to your product or brand to see which influencers are using them. Next, check out the number of followers, their engagement rate, and whether or not their content resonates with you.

Brand Mentions

Make use of listening tools that notify you whenever someone is talking about your brand. By doing this, you can find influencers that are already talking about your brand and find out if they suit your purposes. There’s also Google Search Alerts, a software that is super useful in letting you set alerts for specific keywords. In this way, it’s easy to find people talking about your specific brand or industry.

Utilizing Influencer Marketing Platforms

More and more brands are making use of software specializing in influencer marketing. Not only do they help you in finding the right influencers, but they also let you have absolute control over your campaigns, analyze, and predict their results prior to launching such campaigns.

Such software allows users to segment and choose influencers based on their published content, via hashtags and keywords. It also lets you detect fake followers, or lets you know which influencers are better suited to your brand by comparing their KPIs (key performance indicators) across various social networks. Moreover, you can analyze influencers’ post results, or study their audience overlap.


What are some common pitfalls of influencer marketing campaigns highlighted in the article?
Common pitfalls include issues such as inappropriate content, ethical lapses, brand misalignment, lack of transparency, and controversies surrounding influencers’ behavior or actions.
How can brands mitigate risks associated with influencer collaborations?
Brands can mitigate risks by thoroughly vetting influencers, ensuring alignment with brand values, setting clear expectations and guidelines, establishing contractual agreements, and implementing monitoring mechanisms to track campaign performance and influencer behavior.
What are the consequences of influencer marketing gone wrong for brands?
Consequences may include damage to brand reputation, loss of credibility, negative publicity, consumer backlash, legal ramifications, and financial losses resulting from failed campaigns or damage control efforts.
What lessons can brands learn from the examples of influencers gone wild discussed in the article?
Brands can learn the importance of due diligence in influencer selection, transparent communication, clear expectations, and maintaining brand integrity when engaging in influencer marketing initiatives.
How can brands build successful influencer partnerships while avoiding potential pitfalls?
Brands can build successful influencer partnerships by prioritizing authenticity, trust, and alignment with brand values, fostering genuine relationships with influencers, and implementing robust monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure campaign success and mitigate risks.

Influencers Gone Wild: Don’t Go for Broke

Yes, it’s a cut-throat competition out there, but using the influencers gone wild tactic is totally out of the question. There are tons of smart tools, strategies, and software that brands can utilize to get ahead of the competition, so it’s absolutely pointless, even downright irresponsible to resort to this. Don’t underestimate your audience because they are smarter than you think, yes they will surely get a laugh or two but are not likely to recommend you. In the end, nothing beats thorough research in getting the best social media influencers to suit your needs and budget. For more tips, tricks, and hacks about influencer marketing, check out our post, “Best Fashion Blogger List In 2023.”

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