Subscribe to our industry digest newsletter: the latest authoritative marketing news, trends, and stats on social media stars
In eMarketer’s recent 2015 report, 3 out of 4 marketing and communications professionals saw influencer marketing as an effective advertising channel for driving sales and generating leads. Additionally, 9 out of 10 surveyed found influencer marketing to be effective at raising brand awareness. As PR agencies seek to provide media exposure, drive brand awareness, and highlight clients’ success stories, marketing with social media influencers is quickly becoming a viable channel for many PR campaigns.
With the advertising landscape quickly changing and marketing budgets shifting from traditional to digital, see why PR agencies are increasingly getting into influencer marketing and partnering with social media influencers:
Amongst a brand or company’s different agencies (namely creative, media, PR, social), PR agencies traditionally leverage media and press relations to showcase and promote clients with relevant stories and innovative campaigns. With influencer marketing, PR agencies are best positioned to capture the attention of today’s audiences by working alongside top YouTubers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, and other key digital influencers to build a much bigger, comprehensive, and relevant storyline.
Though marketing with social media and digital stars has recently become one of the most effective and high-reach marketing channels for top companies, the influencer marketing space and discipline is oftentimes too small or unscalable for most major media and creative agencies. While this may be case for most major media buying agencies, marketing with social media influencers integrates well with PR’s core goals: positively impacting public opinion and social sentiment.
As time spend on mobile and social media apps continues to rise and surpass all other forms of media (TV, print, radio), YouTubers, Instagrammers, and other digital stars all with millions of channel subscribers across multiple networks are PR’s top opportunity for industry innovation, social media relations, and crafting impactful stories passionately shared by engaged audiences.
For more statistics and trends regarding the quick growth and efficacy of influencer marketing, see our post here.
Top YouTubers The Slow Mo Guys featuring BMW’s 2 Series convertible.
In a recent Ad Age article, author Lindsey Stein notes how PR agencies are becoming increasingly more important and relevant with the rise of ad blocking and the need for well-integrated digital and social media marketing campaigns. 2015 perhaps marked the first year where many brands and advertisers looked to top social media influencers (many with audiences, fans, and followers in the millions) as effective publishers, marketing channels, and a viable conduit for PR initiatives and campaigns.
At CES 2016, Coldwell Banker’s CMO shares how his company is now looking to PR agencies to “move us beyond traditional public relations, and into the digital age and strategic partnerships — there is no better discipline than this in today’s transformative and interactive marketing landscape.” As audiences continue to shift quickly from traditional advertising channels (TV, print) to digital and social channels, PR agencies are progressively coming out as key players in influencer marketing campaigns.
Additionally, advertising agency network McCann Worldgroup’s chairman and CEO notes that “clients increasingly understand that marketing is multi-channel, and that the digital and experiential spaces lend themselves to magnification by PR.” As such, PR agencies are now pioneering and executing influencer marketing strategies and campaigns to enable engagement, branding, and awareness across multiple channels, touchpoints, and top social media networks.
With the growing need to drive brand awareness in increasingly digital and social environments, PR agencies are now realizing the importance of social media influencers for both direct-response and branding campaign initiatives (to see how social media influencer campaigns are measured and which metrics are important, see our post here).
PR agencies are now executing influencer marketing campaigns in a variety of ways: by developing social influencer relations of their own and/or working alongside established influencer marketing agencies. Here are a few high-profile examples of how PR agencies are working with digital stars and content creators.