Why use influencers in PR?

These days a word that’s much in vogue is ‘influencers’.  Who are these influencers?

To put this simply, they are people who have the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of their real/perceived authority, knowledge, position, or relationship. For instance, fashion bloggers have greater influence over buyers than even A-list celebrities. We talk about the relationship they have built that we could leverage.

Social media has increased the power of these influencers and leveraging them for PR is a smart strategy. They are subject experts and so every word they speak counts. A simple tweet on how good a product is can get the twitterati excited and transform this into sales. A blog mention, a FB update, all this can make the product sell like hot cakes.

How to identify the right influencer?

Influencers in a particular segment are not necessarily celebrities. They may be well-known only within that sector and this makes it all the more tougher to identify who they really are.  The best way to find out is to ask a few people from your TG who they follow. You can run a Twitter or Hashtag search on the topic to identify who is really trending there.

Build an influencer strategy!

This is a strategy that’s built over time through creating a relationship. Make a list of the top influencers in a particular category. Send them regular updates. Sweeten this with exclusive new product variant previews invites before it hits the market for instance. Pamper them with a few freebies and exclusive tip-offs. When you prepare to send out the news, make sure that this hits the targeted influencers first.

Why are influencers able to make an impact?

Unlike the mass media and marketing promotions, influencers enjoy a greater level of trust and credibility. Since they are from within the industry or industry experts, they are trusted better. When they provide product reviews, these are product-centric rather than promotion-centric. They have many different ways of expressing themselves, they can share an opinion, share an experience, get into the small details of the product and entertain the audience too. These influencers can be paid or unpaid.

For certain brands, youtube videos by influencers can work really well. For instance if a famous chef has a Youtube recipe channel, using a particular brand of masala will push it.

Paid influencers

The major paid influencers are brand ambassadors who are usually movie stars or celebrities. The product can piggyback off the news that appears surrounding their activities.

How to achieve success with influencers

A successful influencer campaign will not happen overnight. It involves working closely with influencers to consciously create content that will seamlessly integrate the brand message to appeal to the TG without appearing obvious. Since they understand their audience and have built them from scratch, they would never do something that will alienate their audience.  Align with influencers and watch your PR activities achieve maximum impact.

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