How the Use of Influencers and Media Relations Can Help Strengthen Your Brand
In today’s social-media-centric world, brands are utilizing various techniques to increase their market share – and Influencer Marketing is one of the hottest new trends. Not to be confused with celebrity endorsements, it is an incredibly powerful marketing tool that utilizes real people who have developed their own digital following to give honest feedback to their audience about brands that they love.
It’s no secret that consumers can be easily persuaded to buy products and try services based on who supports specific companies. In fact, more than 35% of Twitter users have made a direct purchase after seeing an influencer tweet about certain products – and that percentage is even higher for Youtube users, according to Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
Influencers work hard to build their following and aim to uphold certain standards within their own brand, including only partnering with and promoting companies they like and trust rather than any brand who will pay them. This in turn fosters a strong sense of trust between them and their follower network.
Influencer marketing helps you to leverage this trust to increase your company’s customer base. What’s more, influencers have also been shown to bring in more interactive clientele. Customers obtained through influencer marketing efforts are more likely to leave product and service reviews than the average customer.
If you’re not leveraging influencer marketing already, it could be the missing piece you need to take your brand to the next level – helping you to reach a larger audience and stand out among competitors.
Who are influencers?
Influencers can either be individuals or groups that have a large following or connection with the public. Unlike a celebrity, however, an influencer can be anyone who builds a large social or web-based following through platforms such as social media, a successful blog, YouTube channel, or they could also be accredited news reporters or popular reviewers.
You can find influencers in any arena of business or service. They’re often associated with consumer products, such as the myriad of fashion influencers on social media utilizing tools like Instagram and the liketoknow.it app to build their following and feature clothing and accessories. (My own overflowing closet is proof that this type of influencer marketing works!)
Yet while promoting consumer products may be an obvious use of influencers, influencer marketing goes far beyond that. There are tech influencers with millions of followers on YouTube explaining, reviewing and ultimately advertising new tech gadgets. Business and marketing influencers are using social outlets such as Twitter and LinkedIn to establish themselves as thought leaders among a large follower base.
There are influencers in any industry, on nearly every digital platform. To find the best fit for your brand, simply search the platforms that your target audience use and see who’s buzzing.
Are influencers really worth it?
Getting the word out about your brand is at the forefront of every marketing campaign. Utilizing an influencer outreach program can help spread awareness, while also building your credibility by having other brands / influencers talking about you.
Similar to content and social marketing, influencer marketing isn’t a quick payout. It is slow and steady, helping to establish a credible brand that consumers and influencers can trust.
An overwhelming 90 percent of consumers are trusting the recommendations from peers or influencers over that of the brand itself, even if they have no personal connection with the influencer.
By partnering with an influencer, your brand has the ability to break through that barrier and connect customers with your brand, even if they block your ads.
And many consumers are doing so. An article published by Entrepreneur says that traditional ads are becoming less effective and pushes more reliance on influencer marketing. They also reported that 26 percent of desktop users and 15 percent of mobile users have blocked ads on web and social sites.
The bottom line?
Traditional marketing practices simply aren’t as effective in today’s market. If you’re still relying on them over inbound strategies such as influencer marketing, you’re missing out on critical opportunities to connect with your target base.
So – do influencers make sense for your brand?
When determining if teaming up with an influencer is the right choice for you or your brand, you should ask yourself these questions:
1. Is your product, event or service open to the public?
Influencers want to share their experience with their audiences. In order to do so, they need to be able to visit or attend the event/place of service, purchase a product, or utilize the services being offered.
Yes, getting the name of your brand out there is good, but if potential customers can’t receive your service or if your brand is not easily accessible, influencers may not be the right marketing tool for you.
2. Do you have room in your budget for potential compensation?
If you are thinking about utilizing influencers, you’ll want to consider offering free tickets, swag bags and other complimentary items to attract and compensate them. Some may also ask for fiscal compensation on top of these items, depending on what you are requiring of them.
Never expect an influencer to talk about your brand for free.
3. Does your event, service or product align with the influencers topic of interest?
You don’t want to pitch your New York restaurant grand opening to a fashion blogger in Los Angeles. Every influencer has a voice that adheres to a specific niche that fits their target demographic.
Keep in mind who their audience is and why they would want to attend or hear about your event/brand. There needs to be a direct correlation between your influencer’s audience and your intended target market.
Did we get your attention yet?
If you think influencer marketing could be a good fit for your brand, it’s time to talk!
Jennasis’ expert team can create a list of influencers based on location, content topics, and level of influence to connect you with the right influencers for your space. We can also assist with outreach efforts, and track to see how influencers feel about the content you’re putting out using our internal systems to monitor outreach performance.
Once influencers start publishing content, Jennasis can then compile a social listening report on your brand and let you know what people are saying about you.
Connect with Jennasis & Associates to learn more about the power of influencers – and how influencer marketing can help boost your brand’s awareness and positively impact your event, service or business! To get started, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rizpah is a marketing and public relations expert from Baldwin Wallace University. She has numerous experience running social media campaign for various organizations on campus. Fun Facts: She has two loves in life; her 9 year old pup and traveling. She has been to 45 of the 50 United States and 4 countries. She also loves finding new coffee shops to fill her coffee addiction while she's exploring new cities.