Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll have noticed the rise of influencers. For the past couple of seasons, Strictly has included YouTubers as part of their line-up. This wasn’t just because influencers are becoming a recognised part of business nowadays, but the show would be waltzed into the lives of much younger viewers thanks to the popularity of these online stars. It’s no wonder that businesses, in all sectors, are turning to using influencers as part of their ongoing PR strategy.

In fact, a recent survey revealed that some marketers are setting aside in excess of £800,000 a year for influencer campaigns. Of course, you don’t have to dedicate that much money to influencer campaigns, but it does show you how much importance some brands place on the power of brand ambassadors in the social media environment. It might be unfamiliar territory for some, so TeamRev are here to explain why you might want to consider working with influencers for your brand.

Why work with influencers?

Like Henry Ford once said, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Sure, he wasn’t speaking about you working with influencers, but it makes sense. If you don’t consider new tactics or strategies to deliver results, then you won’t know what the rewards could be.

So, if your strategy is to place your service or product in front of an entirely different audience then using influencers as part of your PR campaigns is one option. Taking into account that you’ll need to have done thorough research into the new audience you want to target, using an influencer could do wonders for your business. Think about this… 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media endorsement.

If your strategy is to continue with targeting your usual demographic, then influencers give you the ability to reach them on a different platform. We know, on average, people have seven social media accounts. There are so many variations of the concoction of platforms they might prefer, so think about how you can maintain a consistent strategy across them all to reach your true audience potential.

What makes a “quality” influencer?

The content produced by influencers depends on their preferred platform. It might be long-form content on a blog, photos on Instagram or videos on YouTube. You can direct this by providing parameters in an influencer brief but picking your influencers wisely is just as important when it comes to ensuring great content. What are we saying here? The effort that goes in to choosing your influencers for a PR campaign should be as involved as any other new marketing strategy – test, measure and refine before assigning your full budget.

So, when it comes to choosing your “perfect” influencer, you should consider:

  • target audience – does the type of person who follows them match up well with who you want to reach?
  • quality of content – does the quality of content fit with the look and feel of your brand?
  • authenticity – do they come across as genuine? An influencer with an account made up almost entirely of sponsored posts might not influence, just annoy.
  • engagement rate – don’t base your opinion on likes alone, look at comments/shares to see whether people are really
  • relevance to your brand – compare their imagery to your company’s stock photography, do they marry up and look similar?

…and that’s all before you’ve even got to discussing how much they charge.

Whilst many influencers are happy to receive your products or service as payment, some may ask for a fee. Draw up a list of ideal influencers, just as you would put together an ideal media list, to ensure they’re the perfect match.

Here’s a couple of extra things to think about:

  • What’s your influencer outreach strategy going to look like going forward? Will it be a one-off or an ongoing influencer programme? Will the influencers become brand ambassadors, meaning you’ll work with them many more times in the future?
  • How can you tie the influencer outreach in with your traditional media? It brings an entirely different perspective to your everyday PR strategy, but it doesn’t have to be one dimensional. Is it possible to take advantage of the influencers’ content to bolster your normal activity?

And now for our golden nugget of advice: create a relationship with your influencers. Just like you would with any traditional media contacts, you’ll see better results. Not only will they feel valued and appreciated, but they will also want to deliver their best for you.

Examples:

#1 B2B: Peter Jones, a well-respected entrepreneur and star of Dragon’s Den, became an ambassador with Sage, a world-leader in cloud business management solutions, to highlight the benefits of Making Tax Digital. Investing in the perfect big-name can help elevate the exposure of a campaign.

B2B influencer PR example

#2 Consumer: Influencers don’t have to go for the hard sell. In this Audible campaign, the influencer reflects on how the service integrates into her lifestyle for a realistic representation.

Consumer influencer PR example

Influencers are a great addition to your PR strategy. People still rely on what traditional media says when choosing a new product or service to engage with but building authentic story-telling content with influencers is becoming equally important. Their followers see them as a peer, or even a friend, so if they recommend a product, they’re far more likely to try it. Don’t disregard influencers from your PR strategy before first discovering how they could really boost your efforts.

If you’re thinking about introducing influencers to your PR strategy, contact us at TeamRev. Follow us on social media for more PR Tips: LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram