Bloggers, influencers, vloggers, trendsetters… nowadays there are so many different new players in the media market that it’s hard to get your bearings, especially when it comes to public relations.
The discipline has changed drastically over the past ten years. If originally PR was mostly about targeting journalists, the evolution of the media landscape has changed the rules. The rise of social media, blogs and apps has enhanced the self-production of content, meaning that traditional media are now not the only ones to influence people’s opinions.
As a business, relying only on journalists to build your brand profile is a mistake. The problem is, with the increasing number of players in the market and the development of new technologies, how do you know who to engage with according to your objectives?
The first thing to do is to understand the differences between all of them.
Let’s start with the easiest ones, the bloggers. The first thing to say about them is that they generally have their own blog, write for one, or combine the two. There are different types of bloggers though. Sometimes amateurs, sometimes professionals, they write about various different topics, meaning that you will find blogs related to your industry sector.
Every single business should include bloggers in its marketing/PR strategy as they are now very influential online, sometimes even more than journalists.
By getting in touch with bloggers writing about industry-related topics, you’ll have a chance to get in front of thousand of readers, meaning that you’ve got an opportunity to increase your notoriety, your brand recognition but also your own traffic.
The interesting thing with bloggers is that people choose to read them and to trust them, which is not necessarily true for a traditional media website. People read their articles because they recognise the media as a relatively good source of information, but not always because of a specific journalist. So if a blogger decides to write about your company, it sounds like a genuine personal recommendation, meaning that there is a good chance that readers will check you out. Credibility: +++++
Trendsetters are not necessary content producers. We designate a ‘trendsetter’ as a person that has a big enough influence to create new trends instead of following them. A good example is celebrities. They are chased by journalists and paparazzi, appear regularly in magazines, and are the idols of thousands and thousands of people. If David Beckham decides tomorrow to wear pink shorts in public, the day after, it’s a new trend. That’s a trendsetter.
They are not always celebrities, they can also be important scientists, politicians or any person, or company, with an established reputation in a specific area. For instance, Hubspot could be considered as one as they have a solid reputation in the marketing industry. If they mention a specific software or platform in one of their blogs, it is odds on that it will become a very popular product.
For obvious reasons, getting one trendsetter talking about your brand is gold, even if it can be hard as they are very solicited.
Influencers are the category just ‘below’ the trendsetters. They don’t create the trends but they can spread them because they’ve got a large and attentive audience. Typically, an instagrammer with an important number of followers is what we call an influencer. They don’t necessarily write or give their opinion, but they post pictures that thousands of people see and like.
It can be very interesting to approach an influencer if you’re running a fashion brand or if you are in the travel industry, sporting industry or even food/hospitality industry, as they are common topics on instagram.
Influencers can also be people with many followers on Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter of course, the term is not reserved for Instagrammers.
Video content has increased significantly lately, with the rise in popularity of new video apps such as Snapchat. Naturally, vloggers have emerged, following the trend. The term is a contraction of ‘blogger’ and ‘video’.They are basically influencers that use videos to share their opinion, lifestyle and life.
More and more popular, they can be very interesting to approach for a travel or hospitality business for instance.
More and more people create their own podcast to talk about a variety of topics. It’s a good opportunity once again for a business to be spoken about, by being a guest for instance. As the video median is not suitable for every kind of businesses, a podcast can be about everything- it’s not visual, so make sure to explore this option as well.
Understanding the differences between bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, influencers and trendsetters should help you to set up a strong PR plan and to consider new approaches to spread the word about your company. Creativity is the key!
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Written by: Julie Cocquerelle, Marketing Executive
Julie has a degree in Marketing and PR, and has worked in marketing for a number of startup businesses, both in France and the UK. She now runs JournoLink’s marketing efforts, and works closely with our partners. When not in the office Julie enjoys travelling and soaking up European culture.