PR in the age of Instagram influencers
It’s the age of the Instagram influencer. They’re on the BBC, in your magazines and probably all over your Instagram feed. Many brands are successfully capitalising on influencer relationships and more are primed to jump on the bandwagon. With the rise of fast media, click bait and cries from some that traditional media is dying (tip: it’s not), you could be forgiven for questioning whether you’re spending your PR bucks wisely. But are influencers as influential as their name suggests? And could influencer marketing work for your organisation?
As with most ‘big things’ – it depends on who you are and what you want to achieve.
Define your goals
Fundamentally, the question of whether influencer marketing will work for you boils down to your organisational goals and your target audience. Deciding who you want to impress is the first step in deciding how best to attract their attention. If you’re a make-up brand, for example, looking appeal to millennials and Generation Z-ers through a B2C campaign, then the influencer approach could just work for you.
READ MORE: The Rise of Influencer Marketing
But if your target audience is decision-makers in healthcare, logistics, finance or retail, a thought-leadership placement in a national or target trade publication might pack more of a punch – it will boost the reputation of your brand and be seen by the people who count. Think about which strategy will work for you. Having a clear idea of who you are (as an organisation) and what you want to achieve is the first step in the route to success (as well as being a great life lesson).
Long or short game
Once you’ve defined your goals, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether you can play the long game or are looking for quick wins. PR is a long-term game – raising the reputation of an organisation takes solid positioning over time. Traditional PR might not as trendy as Influencer advertising, but the rewards are proven. The debate between proponents of traditional and new media will rage on. In the meantime, ignore the naysayers; traditional PR is still the best way to establish and enhance the reputation of your brand.
Can I do both?
The short answer is, yes. So long as it aligns with your strategy and overall organisational aims, you could bring influencers and traditional PR into the mix. After all, most organisations use a combination of PR and Marketing to raise their profile and bolster their reputation. The trick is to know what will work for you and develop a PR strategy that’s closely aligned to your marketing goals. If in doubt, ask the experts for help.