Why Every Brand Should Include Influencer Marketing in Their PR
Think back to when you first started working in PR. The tactics and strategies can now be deemed almost archaic. Not only has technology taken us by storm ahead of what any of us would like to admit, but digital marketing is forcing PR reps and agencies to get back to the “classroom” to pick up some new techniques and habits. These may not consonant with our style but an absolute necessity to have if you want your agency to thrive and beat the competition.
One of the biggest trends that has emerged out of digital marketing is influencer marketing and unless you’re reactionary oblivious of the pace the 21st century is making, this term shouldn’t be alien. The bigger question arises in the “who,” “what,” “how” and “why” of navigating the uncharted and infinite world of this discipline.
In every sense of the word, engaging influencers as part of the PR process IS ADVERTISING but… did we say how times are changing? Yup…get your advertising skills sharpened people, this is the new wave of PR!
Influencer Marketing or Celebrity Endorsement? What’s what?
Brands are always searching for ways to situate themselves at the forefront of consumers’ minds and until a few years ago, they relied on the power of celebrity endorsements which are usually hard to come by and – will be sure to cost the earth – although some will attempt to find the budget. Then came our new favorite buzz words – “influencers” and “influencer marketing” – an advertising model which takes a page out of the celebrity endorsement playbook, using popular online and social media personalities to promote commodities and messages for businesses. However, instead of “household names,” influencer marketing leverages the power and reach of online stars more generally referred to as social media influencers. Rather than celebrity endorsements, brands are increasingly choosing to publish sponsored content in partnership with leading influencers in their target markets as a new form of strategy, driven partly by affordability and a quest for greater authenticity in partnerships.
Why incorporate this tactic into your PR planning? Digital content reaches more people faster than any other medium. If you want word on your clients’ product or service, check into the influencer marketing school and start shifting your paradigm. This important aspect of your PR planning is here to stay!
Micro-influencers or Macro-influencers? – How Does It Work?
Firstly, identify what market you are targeting. Whether millennials, Gen Z or any other demographic – who is your core audience? Secondly, once you have established that, you must find influencers that are popular within that demographic. For example, there might certain bloggers that millennial females follow, or certain Youtube channels that Gen Z men follow. Whose content are they engaging with?
The third step is reaching out to your identified influencers and working with them to create sponsored content. Each influencer had different charges, requirements, and packages so it may take time to develop a partnership. Once you have identified what kind of content you would like to present, you and the influencer will work together to present that to their brands.
Why Do I Need It?
The main reason it is such a coveted form of marketing is that it is highly specific in terms of audience and engagement. Influencers are seen as trustworthy, authentic, and genuine, and they allow brands a lot more exposure.
Moreover, it is a great way to get in front of demographics that might be harder to capture, especially attention-wise. Its power is hard to deny. For example, studies have shown that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions. And it is not just millennials either, as studies have also found that demographics aged 45 and above follow a variety of influencers and prefer household names.
The main reason why influencer marketing has become the new PR is that it has an unparalleled ability to reach demographic groups, boost engagement and increase purchase intent – all in one fell swoop. And those kinds of results are difficult to achieve otherwise, which is why it such an attractive option.
To learn more about influencer marketing and how it can drive success for your overall PR strategy, connect with us.