It is impossible to envisage social media without them. With authentic and creative videos, posts and audio, the influencers have developed into credible opinion makers, advisors and ultimately into high-reach communicators on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Co. The communicative opportunities that result from working with influencers couldn’t remain a secret for long, and leading marketing experts and PR strategists were fast to take advantage. But what exactly makes them and their channels so valuable and how can the potential of communication via influencers be best used?
BRAND AWARENESS, CONVERSION AND COST EFFICIENCY: WHAT CHARACTERIZES THE POWER OF INFLUENCERS
According to a survey by the data portal Statista, almost 60% of companies in Germany are already using influencers in their communication strategy. Almost a quarter of the rest are considering doing this in the future. Another study by The Influencer Marketing Hub shows that many companies also want to increase their spending on influencer marketing in the next 12 months. This is not simply due to mere experimentation with new media, but can be primarily attributed to convincing results in key performance Trace Back Indicators such as reach, interactions and sales figures. According to the Marketing Hub study, there is an average Return on Investment of $5 for every dollar invested in working with influencers.
For major reasons which justify the shift in the allocation of PR and marketing funds towards more influencer collaborations, look no further than profitability and cost efficiency. This is all the more true when the aim is to address the young target groups between the ages of 14 and 29, who have been socialized with digital media and who, according to study data from the media agency Wavemaker, show a particularly high willingness to buy after an influencer application. While sustainable PR successes in terms of perception and conversion rates of paid advertisements often fail due to the lack of authentic mediation, great margins can be achieved through a stronger brand presence through influencer cooperation.
ACHIEVE IMPACT THROUGH SYSTEMATIC SELECTION AND AUTHENTIC CAMPAIGN IMPLEMENTATION
One of the most vital qualities that an influencer can bring to the PR strategy is their credibility. Advertising messages that are subtly conveyed and closely allied to the perceived opinion of the influencer. Transparency in company partnerships and product placements. All this helps to ensure that credibility is not endangered. The creative content that the influencer devises and publishes, displays its full effect when the brand and product actually match their profile and target group. A strategically intelligent selection of the right collaborators, keyword „brand fit“, together with a campaign integration that allows authenticity for both sides, creates the foundation for building a sustainable basis of trust among the relevant public via a sincere, targeted address.
In addition to the topic-specific focus of the respective influencer, the PR strategy should take into account which category of influencers can be used to achieve the best possible performance in terms of quantitative and qualitative key factors. So-called mega-influencers, with several million followers, offer a large reach but are also associated with high costs. Macro-influencers, whose subscriber levels can range from the upper four-digit zone up to a million, and whose content is created with a high degree of professionalism and is thus designed for a broad campaign effect, strike an attractive balance. For small and medium-sized as well as highly specialized companies, the field of micro and nano influencers in particular should offer interesting cooperation. With content tailored to their smaller, but mostly very interactive community, they reach the target group without major wastage in a much more budget-friendly way – an approach that has proven to be especially promising in the B2B sector.
COMMITTED, RELEVANT AND COOPERATIVE: CORNERSTONES OF A SUCCESSFUL INFLUENCER STRATEGY
The growing trend towards using influencers in PR and marketing should not hide the complex challenges that arise before and during the cooperation. Can the influencer generate discourse, reach and convince people through his commitment? Does the content also create an informative and affirmative relevance in connection with the company’s own communication goals, so that effective cooperation is possible? And finally: Is the influencer ready for an active cooperation? As the first analytical indicator, these three core questions provide the essential insights into whether a collaboration can result in the expected performance.