Our role as public relations professionals has shifted dramatically over the past few years as we navigate a radically changing media landscape, client budget constraints and the ever-changing rules of communication engagement
Brands remain under pressure to sell, sell, sell. To stay relevant and ahead of the game, their agencies cannot afford to be on the back foot and must suggest different types of media and content producers, including influencer marketing, to get their clients’ messaging across to their consumers.
From obscurity to a form of marketing
Over the past decade, influencer marketing has grown from obscurity to a form of marketing where today even the biggest brands understand its value. It is also one of the fastest growing marketing channels with millions of the marketing budget provisioned to this channel on an annual basis now.
From a PR perspective, influencers who have a dedicated social following and/or are seen as subject matter experts, have helped fill a role traditionally covered by certain media, giving us a new channel to endorse our clients’ products or services.
Influencer endorsements are a powerful form of social proof that can be used to raise brand awareness and reach new customers.
The campaigns we run with these creators through their platforms offer effective and measurable results and provide engaging content that consumers respond positively to – all attributes’ brands seek.
They offer product or service endorsements in the form of branded content and sponsored posts, usually in exchange for payment.
Part of a sustainability strategy
Expanding our clients’ focus from traditional public relations, where earned media was front and centre, to adding data-driven influencer marketing campaigns to our service offering is a direction we believe every PR agency should consider as part of their sustainability strategy.
As with everything we do, the influencer campaigns we manage are thoughtfully strategised, creatively designed, and effectively executed to achieve measurable results for our clients.
Understanding each influencers audience, profile, engagement, segmentation and the type of content they prefer to receive and share is key to ensuring you reach your client’s target market successfully.
Critical role of data
This is where data analysis and insights become critical.
With the help of data, you can also avoid accounts with fake followers. Platforms such as Humanz and Webfluential provide this type of customised data.
It’s also important to understand what levels of engagement an influencer’s content receives, its true reach, because measuring campaign success by counting click-throughs alone is not enough.
According to a survey run by Influencer Marketing Hub, 38.5% of brands view the success of influencer marketing on conversions and sales, while other brands measure success based on engagement or clicks (32.5%), views, reach, and impressions (29%).
A successful campaign starts with clearly defined business objectives and KPIs and defining whether the campaign is for brand awareness or sales driven.
Post campaign analytics will show whether organic traffic has increased, or if paid search advertising spend has yielded results.
Brands can also use brand surveys to measure if brand awareness, perception, and purchase intention have been affected by the campaign.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with so much information from hundreds of brands vying for their attention. For brands to stand out, they need to do something attention grabbing and different.
A strategically planned, well-executed, measurable influencer campaign can be the game-changer a brand needs to boost engagement, increase sales, and be a market leader.