The key to using influencer marketing as a PR strategy is that it’s not just about an individual or group of individuals, but rather about the relationship between you and the individual influencers. Brands need to be genuine in their interactions with influencers, and vice versa. For your brand to succeed through working with influencers, you have to know who they are and what they stand for-not just on social media, but also in real life. Once you’ve established these relationships, you can start looking at ways that the two of you can work together by leveraging each other’s strengths.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on using key individuals, called influencers, to drive the desired message or product endorsement to a larger audience. In contrast to celebrity endorsements, which typically involve well-known figures outside of the target market, influencer marketing centers around using people who are respected and followed by their target market.
The rise of social media has made influencer marketing more prevalent and effective than ever before, as it allows brands to directly target potential customers through the influencers’ channels. Additionally, the trust that followers have in their favorite influencers makes them more likely to trust and act on the recommendations made by those influencers.
There are many different ways that brands can work with influencers, but the most effective influencer marketing campaigns will leverage both sides’ strengths to create compelling content for their target audiences.
Below are some examples of how brands have used influencer marketing as part of their PR strategy:
- Dove profiled 13 influential mothers through video interviews that were posted on their YouTube channels. The resulting campaign received over 100 million views across all videos, which increased brand favorability by 65 percent among this demographic group.
- Activision worked with actors Aisha Tyler and Jon Heder who provided tips for gamers looking to improve their skills on Twitter and Facebook. This resulted in an increase of page views by 173 percent, as well as a 22 percent decrease in bounce rates.
- American Express sponsored 29 fashion influencers to post Instagram photos of their favorite fashion trends using the hashtags #AmexNewYears and #NYE. This increased engagement for AMEX’s Instagram account by 11 times compared to its typical activity level and led to more than 165 million impressions.
When looking for influencers to work with, it’s important to consider a few key factors. First, you’ll want to make sure that the influencers you select are relevant to your target market. Second, you’ll need to ensure that they have a large enough audience to reach your desired number of people. And finally, it’s important to consider the tone and messaging of their content so that it aligns with your brand’s values and voice.
Relevancy & Audience Size
The first thing brands should consider is how relevant the influencer is to their target market. The influencer’s audience must be also the brand’s target audience, as this will increase the chances of the content being seen and shared. Additionally, brands should consider the size of the influencer’s audience. The larger the audience, the more potential reach the brand will have, although working with micro-influencers, those with around 10,000 followers, can have great impact as well based on how engaged their audience is.
The tone and messaging of an influencer’s content should be in line with that of the brand. This will help create a consistent voice and message across all channels.
Brands should make sure they and their influencers are on the same page when it comes to success metrics. What will be considered a successful campaign? Who will measure these metrics? Making sure that both parties agree upon what is considered a successful campaign will ensure that everyone knows what needs to be done to meet those goals.
Once you’ve identified a few potential influencers, reach out and start a conversation. Let them know about your brand and what you’re hoping to accomplish with your influencer marketing campaign. Be clear about what you’re willing and not willing to do (e.g., paid endorsements, specific social channels, etc.). And most importantly, be clear about how you’ll measure the success of your PR strategy.
I’ve helped dozens of clients effectively engage with influencers for successful campaigns that are beneficial to both the brand and the influencer. If you need help with your brand’s influencer strategy, reach out!