Note: This is a guest post from influencer marketing extraordinaire Zoe Linda! This gal is all about helping you create meaningful connections with brands and customers. She loves a good pun (a girl after my own heart) and I’m so excited she’s on the blog sharing her tips on influencer marketing!
You’re ready to get started on a PR strategy for your business! You’ve got your ideal audience avatar, you know what magazines they’re reading, what TV shows they’re watching, what radio stations they listen to – but do you know what blogs they read and which influencers they turn to for recommendations?
PR isn’t just about reaching out to journalists and getting yourself on a podcast. It’s also about connecting with bloggers + tastemakers within your niche to build more brand awareness and reach a targeted audience ready to buy your products and invest in your services! Keep reading to learn four key reasons influencer marketing should play a part in your PR strategy.
Before I get started, let’s make sure we’re both on the same page! Here’s the scoop:
Influencers are authorities within your niche that have a measurable* influence over your ideal audience. These could be bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, people with a large Twitter following, etc.
Influencer marketing is all about forming relationships with said influencers and collaborating with them to get your brand in front of their audience.
*Don’t just take their word for it! You should be able to measure their influence by looking at their engagement rates, asking for past campaign experience, and monitoring their comments to see if your ideal audience are influenced by them.
My influencer marketing mantra is all about engagement – ‘Count the impressed, not the impressions.’
Well, the two are very closely linked. I would say that PR often encompasses influencer marketing but not the other way around.
Let’s say you’re starting a new organic skincare range. Your PR strategy would likely focus on building brand awareness – so you might be appearing on beauty + wellness podcasts, emailing out press releases around your launch, and sending products to journalists for review – often focusing on the story behind your brand and products. You usually have little to no creative control over how the journalist or platform features your brand.
Your influencer marketing strategy would be about forming meaningful relationships with influencers within the beauty + wellness niche to get your brand in front of a targeted audience and sell more products. You would likely collaborate with bloggers + Instagrammers to feature your brand in return for a fee or gifted products. You will have agreed beforehand if you are giving the influencer free reign to write about your brand or if you have any elements the influencer would need to include in their content (i.e. link to your website, unique discount code, etc)
There can be quite a bit of crossover here, though. For example, some influencers within your niche may have a blog or podcast they’d like you to appear on, which crosses into the realm of PR.
1) Individual recommendation vs. branded feature
As part of your PR strategy, you’ll likely be pitching to online + printed magazines, local TV stations, and podcasts, which is great! However, consumers are much more likely to trust an individual who recommends your product over a magazine feature.
Let’s look at the stats:
By working influencers into your strategy, you’re dramatically increasing the chance that a potential customer will actually trust the source’s recommendation of your brand.
2) Increasing contact with your audience
You’ve heard that, on average, a consumer has to see a brand or product 7 times before they decide to invest. By incorporating influencer marketing into your PR strategy, you’re increasing the probability that they will see your brand more and more times.
For example, an ideal customer could first see your new skincare products in your Cosmopolitan feature but they don’t take much notice. Then they hear their favourite beauty YouTuber mention the same brand – they recognise the product from Cosmo but now someone they know, like, and trust is recommending them? Time to learn more!
Sometimes a consumer could have seen your brand around a fair few times but they just need that one recommendation from someone they trust to take the leap!
3) Reaching a dedicated community
Sure, you’ve got your own social media following and mailing list subscribers but what about expanding your reach beyond your current tribe?
Forming relationships with influencers in your niche means that you will be exposing your brand to their dedicated and loyal communities. If you collaborate with the RIGHT influencers, your ideal audience and their actual audience should align, which makes for a perfect fit.
I don’t mean that you’ll necessarily be reaching 100k Instagram followers – quality over quantity, folks! Sometimes micro-influencers with around 10k followers provide much better results (and are less likely to have fake followings)!
If your business is especially niche, influencer marketing will work even better for you. Working with bloggers within a small niche means you’re directly targeting your ideal customers + clients through someone they already know, like, and trust!
4) Become a trusted brand
Because they’re learning about you through someone they already trust, your ideal audience will see your brand as trusted and recommended instead of ‘just another product placement’.
It’s important to note that influencer marketing is, what I like to call, ‘welcomed advertising’. Audiences are actively seeking new content from their favourite audiences and, organic or sponsored, they are usually happy to read/watch/view any new content from them. This makes influencer marketing already more engaging than a regular ol’ news article that many consumers may be likely to scroll past.
Next time to sit down and have a strategy session for your business, take a moment to think about how influencer marketing can work for you!
Zoe Linda helps mindfulpreneurs make meaningful connections online. Zoe wants to change the way influencers and brands work together and is ALL about creating authentic + long-term relationships. As well as being an influencer marketing wizard, Zoe is a coffee drinking, lasagne-loving, Netflix binging, film buff who loves quoting Harry Potter in everyday conversation. To keep up with Zoe, follow her blog and social media profiles below!