We live in an age of digital information overload.
With all of the social media updates, ads, and relentless content, it's harder than ever to get journalists and publications to pay attention to your PR campaign or product launch.
It becomes a number game, because you may have to send out more than twenty-something pitches before one gets accepted.
This is because traditional PR can be impersonal and not as efficient as we need it to be.
In order to jump start your campaign, you need to find people who are already talking about you or your industry. The future of getting your target audience to create PR buzz about your brand is in through influencers.
Influencer marketing builds relationships with key individuals that can reach and engage your target audience. When used together with PR, it can provide a significant boost to your social media, marketing and PR campaigns.
Influencer marketing encourages new audiences to trust your brand quickly. Today, people aren't persuaded by advertising or content shared by the brands. Instead, look to people online that they trust for recommendations.
For this reason, word-of-mouth recommendations has a huge influence on people, including journalists.
With the right influencer marketing plan, you can get much better PR results. Now let’s dive into how you can add influencer marketing to your PR campaigns in just five steps.
1. Know who you want to talk to
To get started using influencer marketing for PR, the first thing you need to do is identify your key target audience. Audience attention spans is growing shorter, and the way they consume media is also changing by the day.
This means, you need to know who you're talking to. I mean really know them.
Here's what you need to do find your niche audience:
- Really understand your brand and campaign: Define who your current customers are. What are their interests and values? Why are they engaging with your brand? Depending on your objectives and industry, this will help you find potential niches for your marketing.
- Know what people are saying about your brand: Use a listening tool to track what is being said about your brand, products, and campaigns. Do people generally feel positive or negative about your brand? How did they react to your last PR campaign?
Once you have a good understand of who it is that you want to talk to, it's time to stalk your competitors.
2. Eavesdrop on the competition
You don't have to look very far to find new influencers for your brand. Influencers tend to be experts in an industry or a niche, and if that happens to be yours, chances are you'll find your competitors working with them.
- Research the competition: Every brand has competitors, so who are yours? What market segments do they focus on? What are their online habits? Which influencers are talking about them?
Once you have a list of a few potential influencers from your competition, look at what they've done in past collaborations with them. Perhaps they wrote blog posts about their product launches or worked together on a social media campaign. See what worked for the competition and keep those in mind for inspiration.
3. Create your ideal influencer persona
There is no shortage of social media influencers online who are established and have a large following. However, the challenge here is to choose one who is a good fit for your brand.
To help you choose, keep these 4 rules in mind for finding the right influencer to work with:
- Choose ones with a relatively large and engaged following
- Choose ones that are relevant to your target audience
- Choose ones with a tone and style that aligns with your brand’s personality
- Choose ones that actively posts content related to your industry or competitors.
An easy way to find brand influencers is to search using hashtags. Search using relevant topics or keywords to find influencers who are already posting content relevant to your industry.
4. Establish a relationship with potential influencers
Once you've compiled a list influencers you'd like to work with, you're halfway there. Next, you'll want to reach out to these influencers to ask them to work together.
Contacting influencers directly
There's no need to beat around the bush when asking influencers to work together. They're actually more responsive when businesses ask them directly, so ask!
Do your research
Influencer marketing is supposed to be mutually beneficial. So you'll want to do enough digging on the potential influencer you want to work with to find out their interests, focus, and desires. You'll want to present them an opportunity and a return that is in their interest.
So the more you know about your potential influencer, the more aligned on a project you will be.
5. Turn your customers into brand evangelists
Getting your happy customers to talk about your brand is the most organic way to create PR buzz.
You already know who they are and how they feel about your brand and products when you conducted social listening. Now all you have to do is reach out to them and ask them to share their love for you!
To engage customers with your brand, you need to offer them something unique and something tailored for them so that that they feel privileged and stick to your brand.
- Give them some love: To motivate your fans to share their love for you, give first time shoppers some special discount on the next purchase, or give your biggest spending customers gift coupons or some customized deals. These things will help you build brand loyalty and gives your customers a reason to come back.
- Make them feel special: For those die-hard customers that reshare everything related to your brand with their networks? Include them in exclusive programs or VIP lists, where they can know about your brand campaigns and product launches before they go live.
Enlisting employees and happy customers to spread the first wave of your PR campaign is a great way catch the attention of influencers. Then, use influencers, bloggers and journalists to give your campaign the boost it needs.
Kickstart your influencer marketing for PR
If you are thinking of coming up with a influencer marketing campaign for your PR, the above-listed tips will surely come handy and will give you a good start.
Worried about running your first PR campaign? Check out our case study of 5 awful PR crises to learn from.