Influencer marketing is the new buzzword. Everybody writes about it, talks about it and, more importantly, recommends it. But what is it exactly? And why has it become so important in the last few years?
Influencer marketing: definition
An influencer is someone that has an influence on a certain group of people or a community. So influencer marketing is, by definition, the PR discipline aimed at promoting your brand through influencers.
Influencers can be bloggers or Instagrammers and generally they are people who have an engaged community on- or even offline.
Celebrities, for example, are influencers as they have a community of fans and are often very popular on social media. Obviously not every business can afford to pay a celebrity to endorse their product. However, working with an influencer is something definitely affordable for any business. That’s why it is very interesting for a small business or a startup.
In the digital era there are many new players in the media landscape so integrating influencer marketing into your PR strategy requires a bit of research and creativity. You need to ask yourself who your audience is, what they like to read or listen to, what they like to do online and what apps they use the most. Influencers are everywhere so to create a successful plan it’s essential to find out these things.
It’s important to note that influencer marketing is not reserved for fashion or beauty businesses only. Brand endorsement can take different forms. It can be a blog post, a podcast or a social media post for example. So the main challenge with this PR discipline is to identify the right people. Then, just figure out a way to work together.
Why is influencer marketing getting big?
It’s not new- people are less and less receptive to advertising, so naturally they have changed the way they get information about a product or service. Now they simply ask people they trust. According to the Nielsen study, 84% of consumers trust personal recommendations, meaning that brand endorsement is more valuable for businesses than ever.
To get information, consumers turn to:
- Fellow consumers: A lot of them visit forums and product review websites before purchasing
- Acquaintances like family, colleagues or friends
- People they recognise as trustworthy like influencers or journalists
For this reason, influencer marketing makes a lot of sense for a business, alongside traditional PR. Brand endorsement gives credibility to your company and helps build your profile too.
Don’t forget that traditional PR is also very important for growing your business, increasing your brand awareness and building your brand profile. If influencers such as vloggers, bloggers, social media leaders and others can considerably help you spread the world, journalists can too. They are influencers as well!
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.