What is the most effective way to boost your PR campaigns, grow an explosive following, gain trust and become the go-to brand in your niche? There can be only one answer 😉 and it is Influencer partnerships.
Influencer marketing as a whole is the most efficient social media strategy for raising brand awareness, gaining trust with users, and increasing conversion rates.
Statistics in recent years show that influencer marketing can turn even the most skeptical users into devoted and loyal followers and customers.
In fact, 90% of surveyed marketers say they believe influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing, and 89% say they think it even works better than other marketing channels.
In addition, 49% of consumers are shown to look for guidance from social media influencers before making a purchase. And another 29% are more likely to buy on the same day of using social media.
With influencer marketing expected to grow even more in the coming years, let’s look at what makes it so important.
Why is Influencer Marketing So Effective?
Influencer marketing is an effective digital tool because it steps on the foundation of word-of-mouth marketing and uses social proof to invoke trust and reliability.
People still trust their peers most and rely on their family, friends. Social media personalities with authority that users follow and admire also help them make a more informed and confident purchasing decision.
Besides, 40% of consumers today are GenZ– a digital natives generation that has grown up online. This demographic group- aged 16-26, spends roughly 3 hours a day on social media consuming or creating content, and their decisions are heavily influenced by social media personas.
No matter your target audience, influencer marketing can bring positive outcomes for your PR campaigns. Intelligently investing in the right content creators will help you get closer to your marketing goals.
Social media influencers can help you to:
- Increase Brand Awareness
- Build an Authentic Relationship with Customers
- Reach a Wider Audience
Now let’s look at how your business can get started.
How To Create Compelling Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Launching an influencer campaign requires some planning, starting with knowing what you want, so you’ll need to work out your goals. This is best achieved using the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) methodology.
Define Objectives & KPIs
Clearly define what you wish to accomplish with your campaign and set the metrics in which you’ll measure your success.
Do you want to raise brand awareness, boost conversions, establish your product or service as a leader in your niche?
Set your objective. Then work on the key performance indicators (KPIs).
Define what a successful campaign would look like for you.
For example, do you expect growth in new followers, more people engaging with your content via likes, comments, and shares? Or do you want them to visit your website and purchase?
Once you’ve set your KPIs, you’ll have a better idea of what needs to be done to achieve your goals.
Identify The Right Target Audience
Determining where your online target audience hangs out, what they’re interested in and when they engage with social media will give you directions on building your influencer campaign.
Target the right audience by taking a look at your current customers.
What characterizes your perfect customer?
Create several buyer personas to better narrow down who you need to target.
Find out where your target audience likes to spend their online time. Their age, location, gender, and other demographic and psychographic characteristics like hobbies, passions, and values?
Ask for customer feedback. Create games potential customers can participate in and win a reward in exchange for their information.
Analyze the data you collected
Only after that, you can move to choose the influencers you’ll work with on your PR campaigns.
Find The Right Influencers
The influencers you choose to work with should be relevant to your brand and audience. They should bridge the gap between you and your potential clients, so they should be someone your audience trusts, respects, admires and interacts with.
Example – Illia Beauty
The cosmetics brand Ilia Beauty – they’ve made the right choice by working with nano-influencers like Natalie Mckeough. The beauty influencer is a perfect match for and has an average engagement of 3, 75%, which makes her ideal to deliver the brand’s message in an engaging and impactful way.
Influencer collaboration works great for any market segment and niche- Gillette, Dunkin Donuts, Nike- regularly post content created by nano, macro, fake behaviors, and mega influencers.
When you research for potential influencer partnerships you should keep a few things in mind.
- Relevance – Is the specific influencer someone your target audience engages with?
- Reach – Is the specific influencer someone with a considerable following, and are their followers real and active?
- Engagement – Do users participate when called to action by the influencer?
Answering these questions will give you an idea of whether the influencers you’re looking to collaborate with will help you achieve your PR goals.
From there you can move on to evaluating the type of influencer that will best suit your needs.
Social Media Influencers Best Suited for Your PR Campaign
Influencers are divided into several categories and types.
- Nano influencers – following of between 1,000 & 10, 000; For example entrepreneur Noelle Graham
- Micro influencers – following of between 10,001 & 100, 000; For example lifestyle influencer Tia Kirby
- Macro influencers – following of between 100,001 & 1M; For example Jiawa Liu-contributing editor of Harper’s Bazaar
- Mega or celebrity influencers -following of above 1M; For example fitness instructor and entrepreneur Kayla Itsines
Nano Vs. Mega Influencers: How do you choose?
Nano influencers have a very engaged social media following (average of 4% engagement on Instagram) and can quickly call their followers to action. They have a good reputation, keep close relationships with followers, and are seen as authentic and genuine in their recommendations.
Nano influencers’ following is limited, and it is best to collaborate with them when you’re targeting a particular niche and audience, as your message will reach a small number of viewers.
Mega influencers, on the other hand, are often celebrities that don’t do social media as their primary channel of engaging with followers. Their following is extensive, and your ability to call followers to action might not be as successful. Not to mention mega influencers services are not the most affordable.
Mega influencers are a good fit when you’re looking to reach new, untapped audiences and create brand awareness on a large budget.
Micro Vs Macro Influencers: Which is better?
Micro-influencers have a considerably larger following- between 10 and 100K, but similarly to nano influencers, they have a pretty engaged audience (average of 2% engagement on IG). They are relatable and are seen as authority figures by their followers.
Micro-influencers are usually very niche and specialize in a particular area, making them ideal for targeting super specific audiences. And as opposed to nano, micro-influencers can reach a more significant number of people.
Working with micro-influencers allows you to generate focused leads while taking advantage of your niche’s influencer knowledge and close relationship with the followers.
Macro influencers are similar to mega influencers. They have a considerable following – between 100K–1M users and a broader appeal than micro-influencers.
Macro influencers are usually internet celebrities- bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters. They are social influencers who have established their following over the years, slowly nurturing relationships with their followers.
Due to their large number of followers, macro-influencers don’t have very high engagement rates. Nonetheless, they have built a good reputation and can be helpful for PR campaigns that aim to reach a broader audience on a budget that is more affordable than one for mega influencers.
The Risk of Working with Social Media Influencers
When it comes to PR campaigns, you have to be well informed of the potential risks influencer partnerships can create.
To avoid getting your brand into a PR crisis, there are a few things to keep an eye on when choosing your influencers
Needless to say, involving yourself with influencers with fake followers will not benefit your brand goals in any way. In fact, fake influencers and followers will negatively affect your company.
- Fake followers cause lower engagement, ranking on social feeds, and lower conversion
- Fake followers can be recognized by their odd online behavior
How to tell a fake following?
Most of their following seems to come from inactive users who don’t engage with their content and have no photos in their profiles.
Fake influencers usually have a lot of followers but very little engagement with them. And even if users engage with them, fake followers’ comments are generally very generic or unrelated to the influencer’s posts.
Sudden spikes of followers count can also be an indicator of the influencer’s profile being fake.
To avoid getting your company in the middle of a PR crisis, you must carefully research your chosen influencer’s current and past behaviour.
Look for any controversial comments, politically charged actions, or even scandals that might affect your partnership.
For example, take “Something Navy” influencer and founder Arielle Charnas. She made the news when back in March 2020 was accused of using her connections to get a COVID-19 test when there was a great shortage of tests in the country.
Her behavior was heavily scrutinized after documenting and posting the whole process on her Instagram stories.
Depending on the terms you negotiate with your new influencer, you may not have complete control over the content they create when presenting your brand to their audience. After all, their unique and authentic voice is what you selected when choosing to work with them, and you may want to keep that intact.
And while it’s essential to keep your influencer campaign as genuine as possible, the content the influencer creates might not live up to the quality you expect.
It’s essential to look at your potential social media partners’ previous content and collaborations and evaluate whether their creative approach is what you’re looking for.
In addition, if you are working with an excellent social media marketing agency, they may manage the content direction and control quality on your behalf.
Influencer marketing is a fantastic tool that boosts brand awareness, increases engagement, and builds trust with new audiences.
However, for your influencer partnerships to work well, you have to set your goals, do your research, and carefully choose your brand ambassadors and social influencers.
Your PR campaigns will be positively impacted, and your brand reputation will benefit tremendously. Be diligent in preparing your strategy, and influencer marketing will prove to be the best PR campaign for your online brand.