12 Ways PR Can Skyrocket Your Influencer Career
As an influencer, you’re familiar with branded content deals. You partner with a particular brand you like or respect to promote their products or services. In turn, the content you create for them often results in more awareness, sales, and even some positive PR for the brand’s image.
But what about your PR needs?
Unfortunately, your career as an influencer often means you’re too busy to consider implementing a PR strategy for your own brand. You may not have even thought about the benefits of PR or what it could do for your business’s image long-term. And fortunately for you, if your PR is conducted well, the benefits are plenty.
Here are 12 ways PR will help you grow your brand and career:
1. You create awareness of your brand.
Despite how active your fan base is or how quickly it might be growing, your influencer status may not be known to people and companies outside of your chosen platform (whether that’s Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, or another content outlet). An effective PR strategy changes that., and gets your name and brand position in front of new eyeballs, convinces them to check out what you’re doing, and creates more exposure for your career. In fact, a 2014 study by Nielsen discovered PR was about 90% more effective than traditional advertising methods.
2. You can spread your message.
More often than not, you use your influence as a digital star to spread messages you believe in or think are important for others to know. With PR, you’re able to promote these messages to a broader audience, and you’re also able to tell your story and shape the view of your brand’s purpose and character. To get the maximum impact from your PR, work to convince journalists your story will be shared on social media, because 76% of journalists say they feel pressured to think about how their stories will succeed on social media; the more you can speak to and offset that concern, the better.
3. You build credibility and trust.
PR can help you earn respect and trust from the wider public by providing a clear, honest picture of your brand and how it benefits your audience. When your name shows up in a publication or outlet outside of your own social media and owned platforms, you’re more likely to look reputable and credible to others; in fact, 70% of consumers say they prefer to get familiar with a brand through articles instead of advertisements.
4. You become a thought leader.
A solid PR strategy should provide ways for you to take a stand on issues important to you and your brand, and also contribute to conversations within your industry. By speaking up and making your voice heard (especially if what you’re saying is different from others), you set yourself up as an authority figure and thought leader. This strategy has been named one of the top marketing and PR trends to focus on for 2017.
5. You stay relevant.
One of the greatest benefits of an ongoing PR strategy is that it keeps you relevant over the course of months and years. PR helps you stay in front of your target audience and keep showing them why you’re worth following. In this sense, PR provides some of the best value for the money you invest in it, because it sustains your image even after an interview in a magazine or an advertisement on Facebook is no longer something your audience remembers.
6. You can better handle a crisis.
Communications agency ODM Group found only 54% of brands have a crisis management plan in place — don’t let this be you. If a situation arises where your brand receives negative attention, PR can help you mitigate some of that bad press and respond in a professional manner. The more effort you put into planning your crisis management strategy, the more likely your prepared responses will help calm upset consumers and help them see your brand in a positive light.
7. You build relationships.
Many PR professionals insist the ultimate value of PR is the relationships it builds with key people in your industry. For example, PR helps you build a stronger connection with your current audience as you shape the way they view you and interact with you. You’ll also get to know journalists in the media and learn the kinds of stories they want to tell, so you’ll have a better chance of giving them exactly that.
8. You control your public image.
Speaking of shaping the way people view you, one of the primary functions and benefits of PR is how it allows you to establish and maintain a public image. According to branding agency Landor, 45% of your brand image can be attributed to what you say and how you say it. So with a well-executed PR strategy, you can change the perception of your brand from negative to positive, and keep that good view sustained through targeted campaigns and press releases.
9. You help your other marketing strategies.
PR is, of course, not the only way to market your brand. However, it’s often closely linked to other marketing strategies and therefore should work in tandem with them. For example, while social media marketing might be a big focus in your influencer career, you can also use social media to respond to your fans publicly, handle criticism professionally, and build your overall reputation online.
10. You grow your following.
When you get interviewed by a top publication or run a PR campaign that gets picked up by a TV station, the new awareness of your brand will drive more traffic to your site and/or your social media platforms. Some of those interested people will even stick around, which means your online following will grow even larger, giving you more sway as an influencer in the long run.
11. You get backlinks.
There’s much debate in the PR and link building industries about whether or not PR is a valuable method of getting other sites and people to link back to your site or social media accounts. But the truth is that PR does tend to generate some valuable backlinks. And if your online profiles get backlinks from high-quality sources and publications, you’re more likely to rank in Google when when people search for your name.
12. You build your business.
As mentioned in point #5 above, PR is a stellar investment in that it consistently provides returns of great value. Because PR drives continued interest in your brand, your business is more likely to grow and scale in the long-term. And for all the reasons discussed above, PR is crucial to building your business overall.
By now, you can see the importance of PR to your career as an influencer. Its benefits outweigh the cost and any other drawbacks you might encounter, including the patience, focus, and dedication to pull off an effective campaign. But when done right, PR will improve your career unlike any other method, and you’ll be sitting pretty for many years to come as a well-respected and important influencer.