Influence always has been at the heart of public relations. Whether earning a story, shaping a message or creating a visual we’ve always sought to influence an action or influence those who inspire action on our behalf.
Today’s media landscape has opened so many more opportunities, and nothing has created more buzz than influencer marketing, which is expected to be a $5-$10 billion industry by 2022. Which is why we’ve added not one, but two Influencer Relations Campaign categories for this year’s Bell Ringer Awards. Bells categories should be relevant to, and reflective, of your current work, and we’ve heard from so many of you who are leveraging influencers in big and small ways.
And it’s those smaller influencers that are the focus of the “Micro Influencer Campaign” category. Working with influencers who have 75,000 or fewer followers across channels, these programs should “target a specific demographic or audience.”
Celebrities may receive most of the attention on social media, but the concept that an influencer must have a millions of followers to be valuable to a brand is misleading. In fact, data show that, on average, the larger an influencer’s following, the lower their engagement rate. Found in almost any sector – from health and fitness to food and fashion to technology and sports – these influencers have built a following based on trust, expertise and authenticity. They connect around something real, not manufactured.
It’s this ability to target niche audiences and specific topics that has fueled the growth of micro influencers. According to a report from Klear, micro-influencers on Instagram posted 84% of sponsored content worldwide. “The shift towards smaller niche influencers is real, as these more trustworthy, community-connected users are able to drive direct purchasing behavior – worth noting in your planning.”
That ROI will be an important part of your entry. What did you spend to secure these trusted voices (whether cash, trade or otherwise). What was the ROI? And how did you benchmark success (whether engagements, reach, traffic, sales, sentiment, conversions, etc.)
Good luck with your entries. Hope you’re as successful influencing our judges as you were at influencing your target audiences.