COVID-19 PR Series: How to work with digital influencers
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COVID-19 PR Series: How to work with digital influencers

Have you ever bought a product or service because you saw someone you follow or connect to on social media recommending it?

(Go on, really think about it).

If the answer is no, you’re in the minority.

The last decade has seen the rise and rise of the “digital influencer”; essentially somebody with a blog and social media accounts that shares their life online and gathers followers along the way. What started with “mummy bloggers” like Mia Freedman of Mamamia fame, has now become a multi-million-dollar industry. In fact, for many digital influencers it is their sole source of income, such is the power they wield over the point of view and purchases of those that hang off their every post and hashtag.

Is bigger, better?

Well, no – not when it comes to this element of the PR mix. While it can be tempting to go for the digital influencer with 100k+ followers, there is a catch: you’ll pay a fee to access their audience built up over time with blood, sweat and tears (and a hashtag or two). Plus, a big following doesn’t mean strong engagement; we’d always recommend a digital influencer with 5k followers that has strong engagement (likes, comments, shares) with our client’s target audience, over someone with 500k followers who barely gets a like or a comment. The “micro” influencer is slowly gaining attention too – they’re the ones that have under 5k followers but are happy with an in-kind arrangement which sees them post in return for free products or services. Quality over quantity is the key.

Are you on board or overboard?

As we all rapidly adapt to our new ‘normal’ which sees a world where, outside of our own homes, we interact entirely online, social media use provides brands, businesses and even governments with a huge opportunity for growth. Those who get it are already forming mutually-beneficial partnerships with digital influencers to gain a competitive advantage and promote their products through what’s being referred to as e-word of mouth (eWOM) – see our own campaign example coming up.

Take Finland for example – the Finnish Government has joined efforts with digital influencers to share reliable information about the Coronavirus and reach a large part of the population who are difficult to reach through traditional media.  “As far as we know, Finland is the only country in the world to have defined social media as ‘critical operators’,” commented Finland Government Communications Director, Päivi Anttikoski. Smart? Yes. Efficient? Absolutely. We love it!

Risk versus reward

At LBPR, we carefully consider which digital influencers are most effective in appealing to our clients’ particular target market. A scattergun approach will never succeed; we do our utmost to identify and select those who elicit trust, share our client’s brand values, and are a genuine product or service user. We have built up a database of trusted influencers we work with over four years, but for you, it can be as simple as seeing who’s posting a # you want to be a part of, or it may even be someone you already follow as their online brand aligns to yours.

Is there a risk? There’s generally a risk in everything worth something, and if you go it alone and don’t seek professional advice the pitfalls can be many.

Activating a Digital Influencer Campaign… in one hour

In our most recent collaboration, we teamed up with a leading Sydney nursery to promote a unique initiative. LBPR’s MD Lisa was briefed at 8:30am on a Saturday morning by phone to get on board as many Sydney-based, appropriate digital influencers as possible to the initiative, with the primary goal of driving visitation via social media posts.

Lisa was in the car and from her phone, immediately reached our trusted digital influencer database; within ONE hour, 15 appropriate digital influencers were on-board and actively posting with the agreed key messages and images. Guinness World Records here we come! 😉 As a result, hundreds of thousands of people in our client’s desired target audience were reached via this campaign – all within one hour of it being briefed.

One digital influencer actually visited the nursery and spent up big!

The speed with which this digital influencer campaign was professionally executed and with strong results shows the value of digital influencer campaigns in driving product sales and brand awareness.

Get in touch

If this has whetted your appetite and you’d like to find out more about how you can harness the power of digital influencers for your business, get in touch at contact@lbpr.com.au

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