As PR professionals, we are constantly striving to communicate our brand’s message in a meaningful and impactful way to engage our audience. So when I received an invitation from CPRS to hear their panel of experts speak about the growing significance of social influencers, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more.
Tackling a number of key considerations when selecting an influencer, the savvy panelists touched on some key points that I think act as a good tactical guide.
Know the Power of Influencers
Influencers are individuals who have tremendous clout on social media and blogs with niche interests and topics. Having said this, the influencer does not necessarily have any expertise in their niche, but rather a passion that resonates with their audience. They establish a large following by communicating through blogs, videos, photos, and posts on social media.
Find the Right Match for Your Brand
The key in driving awareness, and most importantly generating action, is to ensure that your brand is matched with the right influencer. For instance, a food blogger writing about how fantastic a national brand’s sports equipment is, would seem misaligned. The blogger’s audience tunes in because they want to consume content related to food … not sports equipment. The product is not relevant to the influencer’s niche. Selecting an influencer who aligns with your brand’s interests and values are the key to targeting the right audience.
Remember that Authenticity Rules!
It just makes sense! Today’s audience is bombarded with so much content that they’ve developed a discerning eye for artificial information. This is very similar to the latter point of selecting an influencer who fits your brand. A great way to achieve this is by creating a ‘top 10’ list of influencers who create content related to your brand’s focus. In order to determine which of the top 10 is the best fit, dig deeper by observing their tone, messaging and style. Ask whom they have partnered with in the past, and what resulted of the partnership.
Give Your Influencer Creative Freedom
Once you’ve successfully recruited an influencer, how much creative leeway should they have? Well, you selected the influencer for their storytelling and ability to connect with their audience, which in turn is your target audience. Give them creative freedom but ensure that you clearly communicate your brand’s objective, key messages and tone. If you have picked the right fit, the influencer will seamlessly advocate on your behalf with content that is on brand.
The same values that PR professionals should adhere to in every aspect of our profession also apply when collaborating with social influencers: transparency, meaningful storytelling, and authentic content. To ensure best practice, check out disclosure guidelines regarding paid promotions when working with social influencers.
With millions of influencers to choose from, it’s a whole new world to navigate. Remember the golden rule, ‘quality over quantity’, to make the biggest splash.