InsightsPOSTED July 13, 2018

The measure of an influencer

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Woman presenting

Rohini and I were recently invited to Mark LaVigne’s Public Relations class to present on measurement; its importance and the various approaches within the areas of public relations and social media. Simply put, measurement is essential to evaluating the success of a campaign. It is important to assign key performance indicators (KPIs) to any marketing activity, based on the overall business goals, to showcase a valuable return on the program investment. These goals can be brand awareness, sales, recommendations and/or loyalty.

As we were presenting to a class made up of digital natives, it wasn’t surprising that the topic of influencers kicked the group into high gear. Our work with influencers for clients such as Walmart, New Balance and Levi’s piqued their interest and questions started to roll in quickly!

Most of the questions we fielded were about how we find influencers for client campaigns, and best practices in partnering with these influencers to showcase the client’s product offering.

Three takeaways we left the class with:

  1. What matters most: When asked the criteria we use to find and assess an influencer’s fit for a client campaign, the options are many – reach, fit, relationships and geography, among other factors -the simple answer is: it’s a combination of all of those things and, of course, the quality of work they produce.
  2. Becoming an influencer: Interestingly, we received a few questions about how one goes about becoming an influencer. It’s a great idea to cultivate your personal brand early. It will likely evolve with time, but get a head start on thinking about where your passion lies, and how it translates into the type of content you produce.
  3. Just be real: Influencers…they’re just like us. No matter how large your network may be, it’s important to be real in the content you post. Followers are smart and can sense disingenuity immediately. Be selective about the brands you partner with, and just be you in your posts. Your honesty will go a long way with winning trust.

Influencer marketing is growing in importance to the overall agency spend, that all current and future marketers and PR professionals should be embracing in order to attain their business goals. These social media-savvy bloggers and personalities can’t make or break a brand per se, but they can certainly put their mark on it and bring it to their followers’ attention in a certain light, by unboxing a product, testing it out and providing an honest review.

Laura Zechel is an account consultant at APEX PR. You can follow her on Twitter. Does your organization need help using influencers? Drop us a line.