At its core, influencer marketing is a type of marketing where select brand custodians drive the brand’s messages by developing relationships with the target audience. These individuals hold relevant topical reach and resonance amongst a community that aligns with the brand’s philosophy.
Influence can hail from any celebrated figure. In simpler words, an influencer can be any person, group, brand, or a place, and can range from famous authors, keynote speakers to niche industry experts.
Influencer marketing for a brand is often correlated with social media marketing and content marketing. As a part of the social media component, influencers are expected to highlight the brand’s messaging through their personal social media channels/profiles.
For an effective impact, influencer marketing campaigns can include a distinct content element in which brands create specific content to be used by influencers. Engaging and inspiring content is key to increasing the return on investment for brands. So, when a brand partners with credible influencers to co-create content, it can enjoy the advantages of the authority and credibility associated with influencers. These collaborations can include activities focusing on public relations, public affairs, analyst relations, customer service, talent acquisition, and corporate communications.
Who are these influencers that we are talking about? Influencers are people that are well known within their communities and are perceived as credible sources of information. They can be bloggers, opinion leaders, trend setters, or even celebrities.
In the world of brands, influencers are passionate and competent in their fields of interest. In fact, they are often the first ones to inform and/or launch trends, and bring the latest news to their fans’ attention, inspiring and offering their personal views. Followers tend to go by the word of influencers and frequently share their content on various platforms.
Influencers, or opinion leaders, also help brands and companies to engage with their target audience, get a better understanding of consumer needs and preferences, and gain credibility among audience. In several situations, they play the role of brand advocates and inform their followers about the latest brand messages and content, which followers lap up instantly. That’s the power of word of mouth!
How do you engage influencers? That’s our job!
With information overload becoming a common phenomenon, consumers are increasingly becoming less receptive to formal marketing spiels and advertising. They are more willing to trust in the information from peers, social network connections and industry experts. This makes it challenging for brands to take the traditional advertising route, and makes them reconsider solely relying on paid media for amplification.
Collaborating with influencers makes it easier for brands to achieve multiple business objectives like:
Within the public relations landscape, the impact of influencers is determined by the authority they hold in the field and the loyal following that values their opinions. These followers frequently visit the social media pages, blogs, websites, etc. of the influencers they admire to stay updated on the products and services they endorse and recommend.
At PRmention, we initiate conversations with influencers to build positive relationships on behalf of our client. These efforts can drive awareness for the brand by associating itself with individuals who can act as spokespeople for the brand, and help build a network of highly influential connections.
With our expertise, we aim to engage with influencers, and introduce our clients’ products and services to them. Our focus is on cultivating healthy relationships with influencers right from the start. Identifying the right individuals and striking a relevant conversation with them helps us build mutually beneficial relationships.
When collaborating with influencers, first know your audience and which social media platforms they visit frequently. Some of these key platforms include:
Once you’ve identified the platform(s) that fits your brand’s influencer marketing campaign, identify your influencers and evaluate their credibility. Analyze if the influencer you plan to partner with has the right set of followers, who are either your current customers or are a part of your potential customer base.
When you have identified appropriate influencers, be sure to check whether or not their followers are engaged with the content they share by checking the number of likes, comments, or shares received on their individual posts.
Before signing the deal with an influencer, start building a relationship with them before you pitch your idea. Learn more about what the influencer does and the kind of content they share. Initiate a dialogue with an industry influencer to know how the collaboration will benefit the influencer as well as your brand.
Start out by sending the influencer a message on any of the social media platforms, and follow it up with an official e-mail. In your initial communication, you should provide the following key information upfront:
Who you are?
What your brand does?
Why is the collaboration meaningful for the influencer?
How do you plan to work together?
Try to incorporate incentives like brand ambassadorship, opportunities to review products, and memberships to make the partnership seem more than mere business. Your focus should be on investing your time and resources on building long-term associations with specific influencers with the right following than reaching out to a large number of generic influencers.
Once you’ve got the influencer on board, you need to continue keeping them engaged and make sure you both meet your needs. It can get easier if the expectations and goals are defined upfront. Influencers can often be associated with various aspects of your brand’s PR campaign, so you’ll want to know what makes the most sense before proposing the opportunity to them.
Bear in mind the influencer is not employed by you or your client. Treat them as individual entities, who have their own brand identity and know that they will want to abide by their own ideologies. Be collaborative and open-minded as this will help build a mutually beneficial partnership.
Build a lasting relationship with your influencer by showing keenness to know about the influencer’s work, irrespective of relevance of their information to your client. Make genuine efforts to engage with them on social media, share their articles and industry-related news as this will show you are interested in their work.
In the digital age, it’s easy to replace face-to-face communication with e-mails and chats. Schedule regular meetings with them, even if it is just meeting for coffee. You never know, some extremely valuable insight and collaboration can come out of an in-person conversation.
The Internet has enabled domain experts to share their views and opinions on any topic with the public. This technology advancement has led to the mushrooming of platforms that can be used by these experts or influencers to advise friends, followers, and subscribers. In fact, influencers are now becoming the primary sources of information for consumers. This is because they are perceived as relatable custodians of brands and their views seem less biased than advertisements.
At PRmention, we strive to develop influencer marketing programs that help you identify, communicate and create lasting relationships with experts in your industry. These programs will definitely enhance engagement between your brand and your target market.
Influencer Marketing is an integral aspect of a brand’s marketing strategy because it’s based on personal views, and authentic and credible content. These aspects also form the basis of any brand-influencer relationship. Companies need to establish trust and mutual understanding with their influencers to expect positive results from these affiliations.
At PRmention, we develop influencer relations programs either within integrated communication projects or as stand-alone activities.
We are proud of the fact that we use some of the most effective digital tools to identify influencers who share similar philosophies as your brand. At the same time, we analyze the identified influencers’ profiles by monitoring their social media profiles, followers, and the quality of the content shared. This is done to observe their interactions with the public. During this analysis, we look for answers to questions like:
After shortlisting relevant influencers, we engage with them and seek their opinions on the client’s products/services. Special attention is given to their interests and passions. Nothing should seem like a forced tie-up. Both, the brand and the influencer need to be credible in the eyes of their audience.
Evidently, word-of-mouth through influencer marketing is mainly an online process. Yet, nurturing the relationship between influencers and brands is more of an offline activity. We ensure that all influencers are happy with their relationships with the clients. With the help of experiential events, we establish strong profitable relationships with influencers that often bring tangible results in the form of social media shares or blog posts, which work to the clients’ advantage.
Find out all about our Web services, Digital PR, Social Media, and Content Marketing Solutions that we employ to manage your owned channels, websites, blogs, and more.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our Influencer Relations Programs. We are ready to find new custodians for your brand.