A big part of public relations is influencing how people perceive your brand. And the explosion of social media has created endless opportunities for PR professionals. Integrating social media into your PR strategy is now a must. And now it’s time for brands to embrace another PR opportunity – social influencer marketing.
What is a Social Influencer
A social influencer is often a typical person who happens to be very active and knowledgeable in a specific niche, such as home & garden, food, fashion, tech, etc. The best influencers develop a unique and credible voice, and are able to garner a large social media following that allows them to become trusted experts for likeminded individuals. True influencers not only generate awareness about your brand, but also drive consumer action. It’s all about the difference between bragging about your brand or having someone who’s earned your audience’s trust do this for you via social media channels that reach your customers directly.
Why You Need Social Influencer Marketing
Social influencer marketing is a great way to harness authentic voices to connect with target customers in valuable ways. So if you’re serious about staying ahead of your competition, developing a social influencer marketing strategy is a must. In fact, 84 percent of marketing and communications professionals expect to launch at least one social influencer campaign in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 81 percent of brands that have already launched an influencer campaign said it was effective.
Here are three reasons why you should add social influencer marketing into your PR strategy.
1. Get Trusted Access to a Large and Loyal Target Audience
While it’s important to build up your own social following, there’s no reason why your brand can’t take advantage of a third party influencer’s following. Especially if that following is a great match with your target audience. We’re bombarded daily with advertisements and marketing messages, causing many consumers to become numb to it all. With the rise of blogs and content marketing, there is now information about practically every topic available at the click of a button. Once consumers find a good source for their desired content, they tend to stick with it. By collaborating with influencers that users seek out and trust, brands have the opportunity to reach people in their target audience and gain trust they may not have been able to obtain on their own.
2. Gain Insight into Valuable Target Audience Demographics
Bloggers and social media super stars represent a niche audience. Whether it’s a blog article about eating a completely grain-free diet or a blog or Facebook page solely dedicated to content about training for marathons, people seek out influencers for their opinions and in-depth knowledge around topics that are important to them. Brands who work with social influencers are able to gain valuable insights into unique target audience demographics.
Once you’ve identified new demographics, audit the content produced by your social influencer to identify what speaks to your target audience. Here are some things to look for:
- Monitor what topics are often discussed on an influencer’s blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and other social channels. This can help you fill out your own content calendar.
- Review comments and questions to help identify common pain points your audience is experiencing. Listen to what they have to say, and create your own content that addresses those needs.
- Evaluate successful types of content. Do their followers love videos? Maybe they like how-to articles or fun graphics. Analyzing your influencer’s following can help you identify content that resonates well with your audience.
3. Earn Credibility and Trust
People put their trust in recommendations from friends. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from personal connections, while only 33 percent trust ads. While they may not be a close personal friend, social influencers are opinion leaders that consumers view as a reliable source. Bloggers and influencers will typically only promote products they believe in, as they have their own reputations to maintain.
Don’t ignore the power of social influencer marketing. Bloggers and influencers can significantly impact how consumers view your brand. Now is the time to embrace this growing opportunity and update your PR strategy sooner rather than later.
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