October 19, 2021

Under the Influence: Why PR is Heading Towards Influencer Marketing

By Camryn Miyahira

As the focus on online connection becomes more apparent, businesses are starting to take notice of how to build relationships with their desired audiences. For a while, brands have been relying on advertisements and celebrities to endorse products and boost sales. However, as we get more into the digital era, businesses need to have a deeper understanding of the importance to implement influencer marketing in PR campaigns.

Unlike celebrities, influencers can be anyone. What makes them so influential is their following on social media. The followers tend to consider the influencer as an expert in their niche market and regard their recommendations highly. The influencers have the ability to create genuine connections with their followers which helps raise brand awareness and marketing efforts. Brands have come to realize that influencer-created content is faster and more cost-effective than traditional marketing content. Influencer marketing offers a more effective outreach than email marketing and brings in a higher ROI. Additionally, influencer marketing is more measurable than traditional media because brands can measure the success of a particular PR campaign in real-time. This can be seen in a variety of metrics such as likes, comments, brand mentions, click-through rates, and referral traffic.

From promoting beauty, fashion, food, or fitness products, influencers have captured the attention of their followers just based on their creative and relatable content. Various social media influencers have even created their own line of affordable products with major brands that the average consumer can purchase. In fact, social media influencers are gaining more traction than celebrities and TV personalities, particularly among millennials and Gen Z. 

In a recent survey, 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger than a mainstream celebrity. The same survey showed that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions. Unlike paid traditional advertising strategies, influencer marketing can reach a large audience at a faster rate than a typical marketing advertisement would while also adding credibility and value to the brand’s overall messaging. This strategy makes consumers more welcoming towards the idea of purchasing a product from that specific brand.

Overall, influencer marketing is becoming a more effective marketing tool for brands to utilize. Collaborations with influencers can generate engagement in the media while also establishing credibility and reaching new and larger audiences. If brands haven’t already employed influencer marketing, now is the time to effectively implement a campaign.

5 thoughts on “Under the Influence: Why PR is Heading Towards Influencer Marketing

  1. Its so interesting to me how quickly somebody becomes an influencer. In recent example, Victoria Paris went from 0 followers to over 900K is just a few months. Seeing how many “PR” packages she receives from brands is astounding. I agree with how efficient it is becoming to partner with influencers. It seems that individuals are able to seem themselves in more “normal” people vs. celebrities.

  2. It’s crazy to see how much brands are leaning towards influencer marketing these days, but it makes sense! With COVID-19 and more traditional ads being harder to produce in-house or with agencies and talent, having influencers create their own content is definitely helpful. It will be interesting to see how things evolve post-COVID!

  3. I think this was a great topic to cover because it truly is a marketing technique that is taking over the PR world. I have had multiple guest speakers talk to different classes and clubs I’m in about different public relations topics and every single one of them has brought up influencer marketing. When I think about it, it makes sense and seems more practical than celebrity marketing. To me, celebrity’s lives seem very foreign and unlike mine. They can afford things I can’t and they have the means to buy different products than I can. Influencers seem more “normal” to me and more like me, creating this sense of relatability that would probably push me to buy a product more than if a celebrity was advertising it.

  4. It’s alarming that almost anyone can become and influencer. It is also scary that some buy their followers which make them less credible but that fact is unknown to the public. I like when you said, “In a recent survey, 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger than a mainstream celebrity.” I think when people view their idol with a product, they’re more likely to want to purchase it.

  5. I think this was great way of breaking down the power of influencer marketing in public relations campaigns today. The idea that anyone can be promoting your brand is fresh and opens the door to new audiences previously unattainable. It’s proven that people trust their peers rather than these celebrity spokespeople, I think this post clearly outlined this mentality.

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