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Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Incorporate Influencers Into Your PR Strategy

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After weathering a fairly stormy couple of years riddled with heightened regulation, ASA pressure and mounting controversy around fake followers and authenticity, there has never been a better time to be an online influencer.

In today’s uncertain climate that has forced us to adjust to new work environments, there are millions of childcare-less, time-poor (AKA desperate) parents around the globe. This captive audience of bored kids and housebound adults have caused online entertainment, education, culture and fitness to reach an all-time high.

Those who have been quick to jump on this need are already seeing success. Joe ‘The Body Coach’ Wicks became an overnight sensation with a flurry of chatter on social media and WhatsApp chat groups, after announcing the timely launch of his ‘P.E. with Joe’ daily YouTube sessions for kids.

Since going live this week, his channel drew in nearly a million household viewers by day two. Multiply that by the number of kids (and parents) in each household, and that’s a big reach. Reports are that Joe has already been approached by the BBC and Channel 4 to take his class to mainstream TV.

Similarly, tech-savvy parents are leaning on educational experts such as STEM challenge creator Innovation Ben, to give them intermittent hours of guilt-free work time, appeased by the knowledge their children are learning while they try to catch up on emails.

Those brands with partnerships already in place must be achieving reach and awareness beyond their wildest expectations. I would expect to see a rapid turnaround of opinions for those who have previously been cynical, now seeing untapped opportunities to get their product into millions of households.

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B2B Influencer Marketing is Changing Too

In the B2B space, marketers now have a more captive audience for sharing content on LinkedIn and other platforms. Before, we were battling for attention – but in the current marketing landscape, professionals and businesses are thirsty for inspiration, learning and development in the absence of in-person support.

Here there are opportunities for industry experts to share best practices and keep conversations going at a time when physical meetings and event attendance have ground to a halt.

FinTech and financial expert Jasmine Birtles has been pushing out relevant advice, with special features on employment, guidance for freelancers and campaigning (successfully) for delays to the roll out of IR35 to the private sector.

I recently joined with some of our global leadership team to host a web discussion on how to communicate during a crisis, such as the unprecedented situation businesses are currently facing.

Elsewhere, B2B experts in their field are taking to content platforms such as the B2B Marketing Podcast and using video technology to share their views.

Authenticity is Key in Influencer Marketing

The key, as it always has been, is ensuring any brand partnerships or content campaigns are authentic, relatable and useful, as outlined in one of our previous articles. This is not a time to be jumping on the bandwagon in a bid for some fast PR.

Influencer marketing programs should be purposeful, and potential Influencer candidates still need to be well-researched, including background checks into demographics and follower numbers, and built into the overall brand strategy. ASA Guidelines must still be carefully adhered to.

I would advise sourcing influencers through your marketing agency or a reputable influencer talent agency, where you have more assurances and protection.

To find out how PAN can help you leverage strategic influencer partnerships, download our eBook “The Power of Voice: The Art & Science of Influencer Marketing.”

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