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The 2024 State of the Media Report

Get actionable insight from 3,000+ journalists on what they truly want and need from PR teams.

Which Influencers Are the Most Effective? The Answer Varies

Do celebrities still hold the power of persuasion? They’ve long been viewed as the ultimate influencer, but must PR and communications professionals rely on the likes of Taylor Swift and Timothée Chalamet to win hearts and minds?

According to the 2024 Global Comms Report, the dial has shifted, and the influencers communications leaders now find most valuable are, in fact, people like you and me. When asked to rank the type of influencers that provided the most value for their brand, 57% of comms leaders put “everyday consumers” in their top three. That indicates there’s more trust put into the opinions of the people who leave Amazon product reviews or the Facebook friends you’ll turn to for recommendations than sponsored endorsements from celebrities.

Here’s the full list of influencers from the 2024 Global Comms Report, in order of effectiveness:

  1. Everyday consumers (57%)
  2. Corporate executives (44%)
  3. Employees (44%)
  4. Niche or micro-influencers (42%)
  5. Journalists (39%)
  6. Social media influencers (37%)
  7. Celebrities (36%)

“Everyday consumers” even rule the roost when we split the results by region... for the most part. They sit in first place in both Europe and APAC. The U.S. is the outlier, where “niche or micro-influencers” topped the table (though “everyday consumers” are still in the top three).

Industry Influencer Variations

There are even more variation in influencer impact when looking at different industries.

For example, in arts/entertainment/media “everyday consumers” still hold the most sway, with 68% of respondents naming them in their top three; however, “celebrities” hold more cache, with 45% of survey participants placing them in their top three. In financial services, though, celebrities – perhaps not surprisingly – are considered the least valuable influencers (only 26% put them in the top three).

The technology/internet industry provides some notable differences, with “corporate executives” (56%), “niche or micro influencers” (53%), “everyday consumers” (53%), and “journalists” (50%) taking the top four spots. The healthcare/pharma industry offers another anomaly: Social media influencers hold the top spot (67%), while journalists are seen as the least impactful (22%).

See the chart below for the full influencer breakdown by industry.


2024 Global Coms Report Influencer Data


4 Ways to Target Effective Influencers

Understanding which influencer groups make the biggest impact in your sector is just the beginning. The next challenge is engaging with the ones that matter the most to further your brand story. Here are four tactics to help you partner with effective influencers.

  • Identify influencers specific to your sector: As the above chart shows, influencer preference changes significantly by industry. Get to know your specific sector and conduct your own research if necessary. Quick surveys and customer outreach can help you pinpoint both the type of influencer you should be targeting, and specific people – be they journalists, prominent experts or social media personalities – who could be worth partnering with.
  • Work with a trusted media database provider: While every PR pro has their own list of journalists, bloggers and industry influencers to reach out to, these will be constantly evolving and require manual upkeep. A third-party media database can take that manual work away, helping you build a comprehensive list of relevant media contacts in a fraction of the time. CisionOne Outreach is a feature that quickly discovers journalists and influencers, with functionality to send pitches in just a few clicks. Plus, our CisionOne database is validated by a team of experts to ensure your contacts are always up to date.
  • Make social listening part of your strategy: The Global Comms Report has underlined the effectiveness of “everyday consumers,” and the best way to find people talking about (and endorsing) your brand is through social listening. Not only does social media monitoring (as it’s also known) enable you to dive into metrics like follower count, likes and comments, but social listening can also bring deeper insight around the context of that behavior. It can help understand what's being said about your brand, the sentiment behind those words, and guide your messaging approach.
  • Partner with your internal communications and HR teams: Creating brand advocates among your employees is a good way to showcase positive company culture and simultaneously spread the word about your products and services. Partnering with your organization’s internal HR and corporate communication teams can help establish common goals and identify groups of employees who are passionate about their work and keen to share their knowledge and experiences. Arm them with the right resources, and they can be effective, authentic brand storytellers.

The Bottom Line

Any brand that works with influencers will have different objectives and thus a need for different types of influencers. Whether it’s to increase awareness, boost sales or deliver on other critical business targets, collaborating with the right people can help reach these goals.

The Global Comms Report survey data suggests that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for working with influencers; much is dependent on the sector you operate in and where consumer trust lies for each. Brands should ensure they measure the impact of various types of influencer campaigns as part of their overall messaging strategy – and not be afraid to refine their approach and experiment with different personas along the way.

Explore more findings from the full 2024 Global Comms Report here.

Find out how CisionOne can help you identify and connect with the right influencers. Schedule time now to speak to one of our experts.

About Simon Reynolds
About Simon Reynolds

Simon is the Content Marketing Manager at Cision UK. He worked as a journalist for more than a decade, writing on staff and freelance for Hearst, Dennis, Future and Autovia titles before joining Cision in 2022.