How to Use influencers to Supercharge your PR campaign
According to a June 2016 report by Ericsson, there will be 28 billion+ internet connected devices by the year 2021. That’s a whole lot of technology. As a result, content is evolving, and so are the ways in which we consume it. Everything and everyone is online, and media (in the traditional sense) are no longer the primary conveyors of information.
The explosion of information, media and new technology means we’re overwhelmed with buying choices. While this is great for us as consumers, it’s a dilemma for business owners. You want to sell your product or service, but so do millions of other companies. In a world that’s saturated by advertising, consumers are sceptical of the claims made by brands. In fact, today, only 10% of people trust what brands say.
So if consumers no longer trust brands, who do they trust? Influencers.
Who is an influencer?
Either way, influencers can be powerful allies. And harnessing the trust people have in them can supercharge your PR campaign.
A great example of influencers in action is British Airways UnGrounded Innovation Lab.
Three years ago, a flight took off from Silicon Valley with 100 thought leaders, influencers, and prominent thinkers on board. They were put together to use their super thinking powers for good, and to show how many amazing ideas people can come up with when they join forces. On one flight, 22 concepts were developed in under 5 hours, geared towards helping STEM-driven (science, technology, engineering, maths) individuals find opportunities to utilise their skills.
The PR campaign worked on several levels. BA secured big and notable names for the experiment, which automatically grabbed the attention of the media, and helped ensure the experiment would be a success. And British Airways got its name in the news and plenty of credit, all in an authentic and positive way.
How can you use influencers to supercharge your next PR campaign?
BA demonstrated just how powerful it can be to get influencers involved in your PR and marketing campaigns.
Here are a couple of tips to help you entice them into doing the same for your brand
Ever bought something based on a recommendation from a friend? Of course you have. In fact 92% of us trust peer recommendations more than ads. Why? Because it’s much easier to trust someone’s opinion about a product when they aren’t getting paid to sell it.
Lancôme and L’Oreal excel at this. They work with makeup artist and social media influencer Michelle Phan, who has over 8.5 million subscribers on YouTube, to sell and endorse their products. In her videos, she shows her followers how to replicate celebrity makeup looks using their products.
Her reviews are great because they’re product-centric without being salesy. Influencers can share their own experiences, go into detail about using the product, and entertain their audience, while still promoting the product directly
Aligning with influencers is a fantastic way of attracting publicity and piggybacking off their brand recognition.
There are generally two ways influencers can help promote a brand: paid and unpaid.
Paid brand ambassadors tend to be celebrities or high profile figures, who receive a fee to attend or speak at an event. While unpaid ambassadors will promote your brand through word of mouth, on social media, or wherever they have influence. They tend to act as more of an advocate or cheerleader than a spokesperson.
Skype’s Passion Project is a great example of this. The brand sought out unpaid ambassadors from across the globe to connect and share their passions (music, food, fashion, etc.).
The campaign prompted more than 100,000 website visits and over 5,000 campaign shares. What’s more, Skype found that 10% of their new visitors downloaded the Skype mobile app.