In the current digital age, the use of influencer marketing is vital in maintaining an effective public relations strategy. For the first time in communications’ history, a strong presence on social media may be worth more than traditional, expensive advertising space. Coupled with public relations’ goal of implementing integrated, widespread marketing tactics across a variety of platforms, influencers help to provide an easy way to gain an audience’s attention and trust.
What is an influencer?
Influencers are assets in online media, having gained recognition and respect from their large amounts of followers. They can be found in many popular internet niches, including social media, YouTube, blogs, and other online communities. As branding and curating an “image” takes dedication and hard work, influencers are valuable in that they have already reached and captured the attention of the specific audience you’re trying to reach.
Why do they matter?
Influencers are automatically considered extremely credible to their audiences. While it’s easier to block out the sheer amounts of advertising on the internet, the expertise of influencers gives that same advertised product more credibility and real-world interest.
Another important aspect of utilizing influencers is the access to a large, qualified audience. Partnerships are a unique way to secure an influencer’s promotion of your brand or service while simultaneously gaining traffic to your website or online platform. Word-of-mouth messages from an influencer may help to further increase the awareness and reach of your message.
Producing high-quality content to bolster engagement of your product, person, or brand is a critical part of providing public relations. Since influencers are already aware of their niche audience, they are experts at creating interesting, educational content that their viewership is already invested in. By collaborating with an influencer, they can point out key ways in which to most effectively market yourself and your client, and how to deliver it with the most impact.
Given the enormous quantity of topics on social media, influencers are a resourceful way to hone in and target specific topic groups. Bloggers and influencers can provide guidance on how to best access audiences in skincare, travel, fashion, cuisine, and more. This can be through the influencer’s promotion of your topic or service on their preferred social media medium or by linking the product, service or brand to their story or profile. This also gives the blogger a chance to sample and review your product in real-life, ensuring the audience’s engagement and trust.
How to interact with influencers!
An easy to interact with both influencers and their audiences is to host a partnership for a giveaway. In this scenario, your public relations team would provide a specific reward or experience to be featured on an influencer’s feed, story, blog, or web page. In turn, the influencer would supply a list of guidelines to be eligible for the promotional, typically including the stipulation of following your client’s account and potentially other influencers. This inspires the audience to have a hands-on interaction with the influencer and your product, as well as engaging a larger group of influencers and their audiences. The more eyes you’re able to get on your product or service, the more marketable your firm is to the larger community. The audience also feels like they have a personal stake in your service, which increases trust of your public relations’ brand.
Events are also a wonderful way to gain the attraction of influencers and their audiences. Popular bloggers and influencers can increase attendance, interest or post-event press coverage when they attend exclusive parties, grand openings and ribbon cuttings, awards dinners, and other events. This also helps your client’s business be seen by a wide number of viewers in a positive, exciting way. The audience feels more apt to want to have the same experience as their trusted influencers, further encouraging them to visit the hotel, restaurant, boutique, or other space in question.
How do influencers help?
Finally, working with influencers can increase your brand’s value by introducing your work to thousands of people. As more people interact and engage with your message, either through clicks, likes, shares, or other modes of digital communication, the chances for other customers engaging and becoming knowledgeable of your product greatly increase over time.