The Role of Influencer PR in Technology – May 2018

While it might appear like the term “influencer PR” is the latest trend right now, it is actually one of the oldest forms of PR in the world.

In fact, you can even trace the origin of this powerful PR tactic all the way back to the 18th century when vendors and businesses would proudly display the endorsements of famous and prominent clientele.

While, on the surface, influencer PR has evolved in the past few years at its core, it still works on the same premise:

People are more likely to trust a business if it’s recommended to them by someone they trust and respect.

A recent report by Nielsen found that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals, even if they don’t know them, over brands. Influencer PR is still all about partnering with individuals who have built an audience around themselves and using their reach and influence to attract new clients.

By involving an influencer in your PR campaign, what your brand is doing is piggybacking off the goodwill and trust that influencer has already built up with their following. It’s an effective shortcut for any brand looking to strengthen their reputation, gain more exposure, and improve sales.

But before you dive into your next influencer PR campaign, you must understand that the core problems of influencer marketing have remained the same since the 18th century:

It’s all about finding the right influencer.

Partnering with an influencer is making the choice that not only are they someone who can represent your brand’s vision and ideals. But you’re also looking for someone who is more than just a celebrity. A perfect influencer is someone who has rightfully earned the trust and respect from their audience.

Just because someone has a large audience doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the right influencer for your brand. There are countless stories out there of brands who have spent thousands of dollars to get a shout-outs from high-profile celebrities only to have their investment ultimately go nowhere.

When Oprah plugged her new Microsoft Surface Pro from her iPad – it created a bit of a stink in the Twittersphere and a few laughs were had by her 14.8 million followers at the time who merely saw it as paid comment.

To really nail your next influencer PR campaign, you must find someone with an authentic relationship with their audience.

The major advantage that modern marketers have over their 18th century counterparts is that brands now have the power of modern technology at their side. Even a mere ten years ago, finding the right influencer was a time-intensive process and you still couldn’t be sure that you would gain a satisfactory return on their investment.

Technology like AI now allows marketers to crunch the numbers faster than ever before. There are now programs on the market that utilise machine learning to help marketers and PR agencies find the right influencer for any brand.

By analysing the influencer’s content, what the makeup of their audience is and how much engagement that influence has with their audience; these programs can predict with startling accuracy the results of any influencer marketing campaign. Brands now possess the ability to be safe in knowing that they’re picking the right influencer to partner up with, but they can also drastically scale the size of their operation.

Beyond just picking the right influencer, modern tech also now allows brands to effectively track and measure the results of their influencer marketing campaigns.

While it’s easy to point at a spike in awareness and sales as the result of a successful marketing campaign, it’s always been difficult to truly pinpoint the exact return on investment. How can a brand tell that their recent spike in sales can be attributed to their latest marketing tactic and even then, how do they know the exact number of sales achieved because of this specific tactic?

Using technology tools, marketers can now uncover reliable insights, where there were none before. Using a variety of apps, brands can now track and measure which influencers and messages are working best for them by analysing data such as the number of clicks a certain link has, how many downloads a lead magnet receives, or the amount of sales generated from a certain code.

Even though the basics of influencer PR hasn’t changed in the past few centuries, with modern technology it is now easier than ever for any brand to take advantage of this age-old tactic.

Speak to Sphere PR today about the best approach to your influencer marketing – give us a call on 02 9958 0498 or email info@spherepr.com.au

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