When I grow up I want to be an Influencer…
How to get the best from an Influencer programme
Public relations is differentiated from advertising because we depend on third parties to spread our messages. Historically these third parties are normally journalists who are considered to be credible, influential professionals in society. However, now thanks to social networks, there is a much broader range of individuals who can influence others by talking positively or negatively about a brand. The so called Influencers…
But what is an Influencer? Marketing expert Gerardo A. Dada explains in his article the three requirements to be met:
- Scope: ability to reach many people
- Credibility: ability to build trust
- Persuasion: ability to move to action
Being popular is not the same as being influential: some people have thousands of followers on social networks (range) but lack credibility and persuasiveness. And the influence is linked to the context: An Influencer in travel and tourism will not serve as a brand ambassador for an IT brand.
There are many types of Influencers: celebrities, experts, professionals, thinkers, professors, writers, social networks stars, bloggers and even anonymous people who have gained relevance in social media. And of course, journalists who remain influential despite all the “competition”.
So the trick is how best to identify the Influencers that are going to achieve the maximum reach for your client.
5 Steps for creation an Influencers’ programme
At Canela PR, we follow a five-step procedure to develop our Influencers’ programmes:
- Establish the objective that we want to achieve for our client.
- Develop an Influencer map based on the axis of scope, credibility and persuasion
- Prioritise the Influencers that can achieve the maximum reach for us.
- Address Influencers with a personalized message
- Measure, Test, Try again.
Once we know the Influencers we want to address, we need to consider carefully what we offer them.
Here are some options:
- The possibility to test our clients’ products.
- Invitations to attend exclusive events.
- Materials that can help them spread our client´s message (videos, Vines, infographics, comparative analysis, opinions, etc.).
- Information to publish sponsored posts (unpaid).
- An invitation to join a cause they support or that can benefit their image.
The question of payment is a tricky one and more and more Influencers are asking to be paid. However it can backfire, such as the scandal of the British NGO that paid a celebrity to support their cause “altruistically” on Instagram. Additionally, it also foments the commercialization of Influencers that can damage their authenticity. Increasingly we are receiving offers from Influencer’s agent here at Canela.
How to measure an Influencer campaign
It is necessary to define a specific measurement system for Influencers since those used in other areas of communication (for example the Advertising Value Equivalent) are not suitable. In our agency we measure interactions in social networks profiles of our clients to evaluate whether the actions with influencers work. For example, we analyse:
- Growth of fans and followers.
- Increase in the shared content.
- Users’ comments and messages.
- Others: compensation in contests, apps download, subscribers’ registration or other action we request through Influencers.
In conclusion, Influencers are here to stay, so we must learn to create Influencers programmes which will allow us to leverage their reach, credibility and persuasiveness. This means we need to be creative and also be discriminating about how to distinguish true Influencers from those who are not. And how do we know that? By analysing their profile and measuring the results.
Do you think that Influencers lose credibility if they charge for mentioning a brand?