“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” — Seth Godin
Influencer marketing – What is it? How can it be incorporated in a marketing & public relations (PR) program? For what types of products or services is it best suited?
What is Influencer Marketing?
According to the media monitoring company, Meltwater, influencer marketing has been central in PR for the past several years, and this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. So, what is influencer marketing? According to 5WPR, influencer marketing is finding influencers, whether they be of the social media or content marketing variety, who are popular with your product and target audience and having them spread your message for a fee. The word that these influencers spread can either be of their own making or from something you create for them. But what does this look like in practical terms? The most common form of this type of marketing is paying a celebrity to either mention and/or use your product or service on platforms such as Instagram. However, there are many ways to apply influencer marketing.
How Can You Incorporate Influencer Marketing into Your Model?
As the article by Meltwater further explains, building and maintaining relationships with influencers can be less than straightforward, as they are not usually represented by agents and don’t often have an established means of brand partnership. Therefore, having a PR team or taking the time to understand an influencer’s audience, niche, and content is crucial. From there you or your PR team can begin crafting a campaign that is specific to that influencer’s brand while also getting your name out there.
What kind of influencers should you be looking for? This article by Tribe argues the case for micro-influencers, those who have a larger following than the average person but less than that of a celebrity. In gist, because these smaller influencers are often people who are already familiar with your brand or type of product and give reviews via articles or posts rather than through ads or celebrity testimonials, they tend to be more authentic in their support and genuine in their evaluations.
For What Types of Services is Influencer Marketing Best Suited?
Just about any product or service can benefit from influencer marketing. To give an idea of how versatile this marketing strategy is, this article by Influencer Marketing Hub has 15 examples of successful influencer marketing campaigns.
An especially intriguing case that is not necessarily a product or service was the Anthem of Us campaign, where Bedrock Real Estate produced a film that shed light on the city of Detroit, that showed how it is not the broken-down city that it is often perceived to be. They hired local influencers and celebrities to communicate their message. the Influencer Marketing Hub article also goes into detail on more common campaigns such as how Dunkin’ Donuts had influencers take over their SnapChat channel on National Donut Day to produce content across three time zones for a period of over 24 hours and gave these influencers special geofilters for people to use in stores. The campaign was very successful, as it reached 3 million people with 40,000 cases of engagement.
PR Puts Relations in Influencer Marketing
Whether it be redeeming the reputation of a city or taking advantage of a national day, implementing a tailored campaign with the help of influencers can be a crucial part of PR. Due to their niche audiences, familiarity with your brand or product type and authentic reviews, micro-influencers can be especially effective in increasing exposure. With such versatility and possibilities, influencer marketing offers yet another opportunity for PR and marketing success.
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