Influencer Marketing – Owned or Earned?

Influencer marketing owned media

Influencer marketing  is no longer some edgy new technique..According to an eMarketer study 86 percent of marketers used this strategy in the last year and most marketers are looking to double their investment in 2017. That’s because they see results.

  • 71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference. (Source)
  • On average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing. (Source)

Most brands approach influencer marketing as either earned or paid media.

Earned: The PR department is pitching influencers along with reporters and hoping for coverage on the strength of the content. A recent informal survey in the UK showed that media relations is giving way to influencer relations with practitioners working across earned and paid activity. Half of respondents ranked it as important.

Paid: Many top influencers have realized the power of their reach and will only do paid posts.

But what if you took a completely different approach to influencer marketing and made it owned media?

Instead of the quick hit or campaign mind-set, take the long view. Rather than looking for influencers with the right profile and size of audience, find those who are very passionate about the topic, or who already love your brand and have a highly engaged following.

Use your social media monitoring tool to find them.

Respond to their positive posts and comments.  Interact with them and acknowledge them. Make them part of your team and help them in any way you can.  Turn them into a true Brand Ambassador.

One carpet and flooring company started their influencer marketing program in the traditional way – but once they started working with the list of influencers they saw that a few genuinely loved the brand and had loyal audiences who acted on their content and recommendations. (And that is the definition of influence!)

These folk consistently drove more traffic and ROI than the bigger ‘influencers’ who were  just posting for the campaign content or the money. They worked closely with these effective influencers, fed them content no-one else had and helped them to create unique content their audiences would respond to.  One blogger was given the opportunity to interview her industry idol.  That made her a lifelong fan of the brand.

A fitness brand found a university professor who had been doing research in the area their products handled.  She was very passionate about the topic and they were able to build a great relationship with her,  Her positioning as an expert was very useful in their marketing.

Finding the right influencers and building long-term relationships with them changes the game.  Influencer marketing shouldn’t be a quick hit, it should be viewed as an owned asset you can leverage over and over.

If you would like to explore how this approach can work for your brand call us today 888 243 3470

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