Public Relations

Influencer Marketing: The Way Forward

As the world changes and moves to digital formats, one of the greatest pivots that we have witnessed in these times is the rise and rise of ‘Influencer Marketing’. As we witness the shrinking of traditional media options, there is a growing trend of ‘Influencer Marketing and Outreach’. In this new fragmented universe, where media and individuals are vying for eyeballs, what is the future of Influencer Marketing? Will it be the new way brands communicate with consumers? How will the Public Relations Industry navigate through this?

These were some of the questions raised in the PRPOI Live discussion on the subject of Influencer Marketing. With panelists Pankhuri Harikrishnan, Founder Fetch Consulting, Jia Singh, Founder of the Blog, ‘Wandering for Wellness’ and Sumedh Chapekar, Founder NoFiltr, this was a no holds barred conversation on what makes Influencer Marketing tick. In an engaging discussion, there were many interesting points raised by the panelists. Here are some key takeaways from the same.

Influencer Marketing is here to Stay: Influencer Marketing is here to stay as we all look for peer to peer recommendations and interesting content that we all can connect with on a very human level. It is a growing field, which will slowly have its own definitive parameters, but with the increasing dominance of social and digital media, it is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years.

It’s a great way to tell your story: In today’s world, people look for engagement and authenticity as well as a brand story they can relate to. Relatable content is what makes Influencer marketing so popular for all consumers. It’s storytelling, told by our peers in the best possible way.

It needs to stay Authentic: In many ways, brands are still learning the difference between pure play advertising and Influencer Marketing. Each Influencer comes with a point of view that makes their content engaging for their followers. Attempting to force fit content by brands with the way the Influencer creates content can compromise authenticity and thus the point of view that would be the USP of that Influencer. The best way to make content relevant is to stay authentic and within the Influencer’s universe.

Influencers cannot keep doing barter posts: We often forget that Influencers actually work very hard on their content. They hire professionals to help them with video shoots, as well as spend hours working on written or visual content. The labor needs to be compensated in some way by brands and thus it is difficult for Influencers to do free posts and recommendations every time. Let’s be mindful about this.

Mindfulness goes a long way: Like the media, even Influencers are living in a real-time world and reflecting content that is in real-time. They are human content creators and there is always going to be a tiny margin for error, personal emergencies, as well as sensitivity to what they currently may or may not want to post. In this scenario, it is important for PR professionals to be the buffer between brands and Influencers and help both sides tell a great story.

– Sonali Sokhal

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