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Before they feel that they can make an informed decision, they consult people they trust like friends, family and colleagues. They also contact well-respected people within the industry, including bloggers, reporters and well-respected social media personalities.
Though influencers may not have personal ties with buyers, their opinions can help sway your target audience’s perceptions about which brands are the best to follow and buy from.
What is influencer relations?
Influencer relations involves more than building and maintaining relationships with people who use their standing to alter a particular audience’s perceptions. It also requires identifying the people who already engage with your brand and can serve as influencers as well.
The key to a good influencer is not celebrity or renown. The best influencers speak the same language as your audience and often have the same needs. This enables them to change how your prospects think and act.
Consider the #IceBucketChallenge. Although celebrities took part in the fundraiser and awareness campaign, it started with everyday people “influencing” friends and family.
When it comes to purchasing decisions, buyers look for advice from trustworthy sources, not necessarily celebrities. Shoppers won’t buy something, especially if it’s a large purchase, because of peer pressure. They want valuable insights and will consult people they trust.
Sure “influence” can make something a viral sensation, but the ultimate goal is to build credibility and change the behaviors and thoughts of a specific audience.
What’s the benefit of influencer relations?
What’s in it for you? That’s a great question and one that has more than one answer. Influencer relations provides a number of brand benefits:
1. With influencer relations, you can engage with consumers without using branded messaging. Since your influencers talk on your behalf, it becomes more likely that your target audience will listen, enabling you to take your foot off the accelerator when it comes to making the hard sell.
2. Influencers will deliver your brand to new audiences. That’s because an influencer’s following will not perfectly match your target audience. Think of it as a Venn diagram: part of their influence includes your target audience, but they also influence others outside your typical buyers.
Having a credible, trustworthy person tout your brand, product or service will likely attract buyers from outside your target audience to your offerings.
3. Influencers can help you earn publicity in the best outlets for your brand. Because influencers will see you as a valued resource, they will likely share and promote the content you share with them.
Occasionally, they will create their own content as a spinoff of the resources you provide them and pitch it to traditional media outlets.
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