In a recent article, we discussed the importance of including social influencer marketing in your PR strategy. It is clear PR professionals can no longer ignore the power of social influencers and the impact they can have on brands. So, if you’re ready to embrace social influencer marketing, how do you get started?
Here are some quick tips to get cracking using social influencer marketing in your PR strategy.
1. Set realistic expectations and goals.
You can’t measure success if you don’t define it. Before you invest time and effort into social influencer marketing, you need to identify what success will look like and what metrics you will use to measure that success. Whether you measure by brand exposure, an increase in engagements, or an increase in sales – or any combination of these – it’s important to understand that you have to pay to play these days, even in public relations. This doesn’t mean your results will all be paid. It’s just that you have to pay influencers to get the ball rolling by posting on their blogs and social media accounts so that you can earn tons of social media engagements and attention from their followers.
2. Truly understand your target audience and where they are online.
You want your efforts to be effective, so you need to truly understand your target audience. You would be surprised on how disconnected some PR and marketing teams can get from their audiences. In order to get reconnected, take the time to identify what your audience wants to know and what type of content is best suited to relay that information.
Not only are you going to want to find out what your audience wants to know, you’re going to want to find out how to get it in front of them. Before jumpstarting any campaign, it’s important to identify where your audience is online. Are they mainly on Facebook? Tumblr? Pinterest? Twitter? Review sites? Once you’ve identified these places, it will be easier to find different types of social influencers in that community.
Keep in mind that as you strengthen your social influencer marketing programs, you will start to gain more valuable insight into your target audience demographics.
3. Create compelling content influencers will want to share and with which your audience will want to engage.
If you take away nothing else from this list, remember this: compelling content is a must. One great option for PR campaigns is to use sponsored editorial content to seed your social influencer marketing initiatives. Sponsored editorial content is high quality content with editorial integrity. This type of content is a great way for PR professionals to leverage the expertise of a brand, while presenting it as journalistic “news readers can use.”
And to top it off, sponsored editorial content is a great way to generate thousands of earned and paid media placements for your brand in print and online, in newspapers, and on TV and radio station websites.
4. Research bloggers.
Your great content will do you no good if your audience never has the chance to see it. Finding the right bloggers can make or break your influencer marketing program. Unfortunately, this can be challenging. In fact, 75% of professionals said that identifying the right influencers was their biggest challenge when implementing a social influencer strategy.
Before you start your research, first establish criteria for your bloggers. Develop a profile of what your perfect candidate would be. Make sure to include criteria like high social clout, credibility, a certain number of followers – you get the picture. You want to find people who can actually influence others.
Once you have this profile filled out, you can combine it with the information you gathered from item #2 on the list and search for relevant bloggers and influencers. Or, if budget permits, take advantage of a tool or social influencer marketing platform to reach bloggers more efficiently.
5. Establish a communication and content promotion plan.
If you’re no stranger to the PR industry, the last item on this list will feel like second nature. Once you know what content you want to use, you will need to find the best way to get it to your list of influencers. A good way to go about this is with a strong pitch. Bloggers are the new journalists, so you will need to establish a relationship with them – even when you are paying them to write a blog post or add social media posts to their accounts.
Developing and sending a PR pitch can get time consuming. The good news is, there are a lot of great tools to help make the process easier. Consider taking advantage of an influencer marketing platform that has already researched, vetted, and established relationships with top influencers.
At StatePoint, we’ve created a unique sponsored editorial content platform that allows brands to earn local press coverage on a national scale. We’ve spent years developing relationships with newspapers, TV stations and radio stations to help our clients earn great coverage. And not only do we have relationships with journalists, we have a large network of high quality consumer bloggers with large followings, who focus on just about every topic imaginable.
Using our Social Amplification service, you can take your editorial placements and have them shared by top bloggers who focus on covering your industry – reaching millions of additional consumers in a cost efficient way. On average, the “cost per engagement” within one of our social influencer marketing campaigns is 50 cents. That’s a number that can fit any PR budget.
The nature of social influencer marketing fits perfectly with the purpose of public relations. To be successful in this industry, you need to be willing to keep your PR strategy fresh — and adding social influencer marketing into your programs is a great way to do this.
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