Public relations is all about building relationships with both your community and with local press. But in this day and age, a new aspect of PR has taken the world by storm—influencer marketing! But very few know how to use influencer marketing properly.
Influencers are all over the place and in your target market’s everyday social media experience. But what exactly is influencer marketing and how can you use influencer marketing as your secret public relations weapon?
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Let’s say there’s a big name social media persona and they have a lot of influence over a certain market. Tons of followers and likes on their social media platform with a great community that is constantly engaging the influencer and one another. If you view this market as your ideal target, you’ll want to get your brand in front of them.
Influencer marketing taps into that. By working alongside the influencer, they, in turn, help attract the audience you wish to…influence.
To use influencer marketing, you must build a special relationship with those influencers, just as you would with traditional media. Regardless of the influencer’s size of audience, working with influencers can greatly expand your brand’s reach by partnering up with them.
How to Use Influencer Marketing
Now that you know what an influencer can do, let’s discuss how to use influencers in your digital marketing plan.
Finding influencer marketing that works
Identifying the topics or concepts that really speak to your target audience is the first step. Then, look at the context your influencer is making. Determine which influencers make quality content and which ones really fit your brand’s content marketing strategies. Does their type of influence share content that will put your brand in a positive light?
Here are some key points to help guide you through the process of finding the influencer to ‘spread the word’:
- Is the potential influencer’s audience a part of your demographic? This is a great first place to look. If they aren’t appealing to your intended audience, it may not be advantageous for your brand.
- Social media marketing is about reach! Is your influencer able to engage your audience and do it regularly? Have they shown signs of being able to excel at it?
- Proficiency is critical. Does this influencer know their stuff? Finding someone your target audience knows is one thing, but if they don’t have ideas to add, that’s another. If they don’t know your industry, that can stop a brand and influencer’s relationship dead in its tracks.
- Are they a relevant influencer? How prominent are they in the social sphere? Don’t be afraid of the micro influencers; known for their small following, but highly active communities. However, finding a celebrity endorsement that includes large numbers and an active community is also not a bad plan.
Building relationships with influencers
Once you’ve found the influencer of your dreams, don’t contact them personally right away. Follow them on socials and like and comment on the influencer’s content. These actions speak louder than words to an influencer. Plus, it will boost their ego, which can help you win them over.
Then you can contact them through email or social media. When you contact them, relate to them the best you can and be open about the partnership you are looking to establish. These relationships have the chance to become mutually beneficial as they can benefit both your company and the influencers brand.
How to hone the power of an influencer
Communication – It’s important to keep the relationship strong and build trust while you measure all the earned media you each garnered from this partnership. Whatever could be strong (in terms of content, communication, etc.), discuss it and keep going. Communication is the key to keeping the power of influencers going.
Monitoring – With communication on your new partnership’s side, keeping a close eye on what kind of conversations their content pieces spark. You can learn a ton from your target audience by seeing how they interact with your influencer. Their discussions are useful for marketing and that can help you come up with new marketing strategies.
Participate – Getting involved in your influencer’s community can show your customers that you care and are wanting to know what they are up too. Audiences love to know they are heard. Also, this gives you the opportunity to help your customers out in a more personal and empathetic way. However, we recommend not letting it get too personal or engaging directly too often. Make it a fun treat, not an everyday thing.
Learn – Not only can you learn about your audience, but you can also learn about marketing from your influencer. Chances are, they have years of experience in grabbing an audience if they are an influencer. Watch how they interact and attract your audience and see what steps you can take to captivate your target audience in the future.
Learn All about Marketing with PR Plus
Just like with any kind of marketing, it may take time for your reputation to really build—but influencer marketing is one of the quickest ways to do so. Our PR Plus team are thought leaders with expertise in influencer marketing and public relations. Contact us today to learn more about finding your perfect influencers!