Influencer marketing has been a buzzword for a while now, though for many businesses, it still feels like an impossible feat – like trying to catch lightning in a bottle. But with the right approach, it can be one of the most powerful tools to gain exposure, reach your target audiences and get results from your campaign.
Social media is a beast. It’s huge. It’s wild. And it’s integrated into how we live our lives both online and offline – persuading our wants, desires and purchases. The influencer marketing industry is projected to reach $16.4 billion this year (double what it was 2 years ago) and according to Influencer Marketing Hub, it will reach $84+ billion by 2028!
In our industry, the term “influencer” is a broad one – it’s used to describe bloggers, YouTube stars, TikTokers, Instagram models, stylists, photographers, or even just regular people with large followings on social platforms. Whilst influencers have always been a key part of the PR world, there’s still some confusion around what influencer marketing is and why it works so well.
Here are 8 reasons why your PR strategy needs influencers:
It’s all about trust and authenticity
Influencers are the new gatekeepers of information. They’re not just personalities on our screens anymore; they’re the ones who tell us what’s worth our time, attention, and money.
These content creators have built a lot of trust and credibility when it comes to their followers. They’re seen as experts in their niche. So when they recommend a product, people listen. They can help you reach new customers and generate sales by sharing your brand with their followers. If you engage them in your PR strategy, they can become your best and most effective weapons.
Audiences love them, they don’t love ads
The days of being able to buy your way into people’s hearts are over. Consumers are becoming increasingly wary of ads, especially on social media. According to Content Marketing Institute, 70% of consumers would rather get to know a brand or learn about a product through content over an ad. This is why influencers are so valuable. They can provide the human connection that consumers crave, while also helping your brand reach its target audience.
Content is king. Influencers are queen
It’s a common saying in the marketing world: “Content is king.” But when it comes to influencers, we think we need to amend that a little bit. Because while we’re huge fans of content and all its power, we believe that influencers are some of the best content creators. They create engaging, memorable and shareable content that is often more personal than traditional advertising; it’s not about selling a product, it’s about selling a lifestyle. That’s what consumers want!
Bigger isn’t always better
Brands and PR pros are turning to nano and micro-influencers because their authenticity, relatability and credibility is appealing in a world where people value genuine connections. While they may have fewer followers (around 1,000 – 10,000 on Instagram) compared to mega and macro-influencers, their audiences tend to be more engaged (7% on average) and more likely to take action on the brands that these microfame users endorse.
More popular than a celeb
Influencers are like a publicist’s dream come true. Unlike celebrities, who are famous because they live their lives in front of the public eye, social media influencers are well-known because of their personalities and daily interactions with other people. They build relationships with their audiences, speak to them as friends, and use their voices and platform to talk about things they care about.
A new way of doing business
In the past, influencers were known for posting content on their social channels that their followers would love and share with their friends. Now they’re taking it one step further by tapping into one of the biggest trends in e-commerce: live-streaming shopping experiences. In fact, influencer-created live streaming content has increased 52% over the past year (Traackr). Consumers are more engaged than ever with this type of content, especially when it comes from an influencer they trust. As a result, brands are investing more time and money into working with these influencers to create engaging content that drives sales.
Data rules. Track and measure performance
PR is all about getting results – increased exposure, more awareness of your brand’s products, placements in the media and increased sales. Unlike traditional PR strategies, you can correctly measure the success of your influencer campaign and its impact by looking at how much revenue was generated, reach, engagement, brand mentions, and how many new customers were acquired.
Do it for the positive ROI – return on influence
Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing digital channel for customer acquisition. Not only are brands seeing fantastic ROI on campaigns – making $6.50-$20 or more for every $1 spent on influencer marketing – 51% believe they acquire better customers through this channel (Tomson) .
While ROI is typically not the most important metric for PRs (that would be generating brand awareness), we can’t deny this kind of return-on-influence serves as a strong argument for including influencers in your brand strategy.
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Image via @ivanishviligvantsa