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FEBRUARY 9, 2018 //     

Are YOU a closet influencer?

By Gina Mossey


2017 was a big year for influencers. More and more brands wised up to the value of working with them, while the influencers themselves widened their brand collaboration horizons.

The focus has very much been on “bloggers and vloggers”. These online influencers are very popular based on their abilities to create videos and written pieces that will engage their audiences, from the product reviews and challenges right through to more personal “letters to my former self”-style content.

But is this surge in popularity clouding what we mean when we’re talking about “influencers”? Here are a few examples of influencers you may not have thought of.

Business leaders

Most companies are now pretty clued up on working with influencers, but it’s often less obvious to them that their own key players can hold influence themselves. We’ve been building C-suite execs’ social profiles and commentaries for years. When you’re running at a million miles an hour making sure your company is being the best it can be, it’s sometimes difficult to see the insight you can offer to develop real clout within your industry. It takes time to build, but once there you’ll reap the ultimate reward; being able to influence the influencers.

Journalists

It seems obvious, but journalists must also be considered as “influencers” in a good integrated PR and marketing campaign. They are specialists in their areas, like to make meaningful connections with brands to do their jobs, and have the power to elevate a company from a sleeping giant into a market leader. While the approach may differ, the strategy for journalists and social media influencers must be aligned for a campaign to succeed.

Local groups and communities

Whoever your audience is, you can guarantee that online and print sources are not the only way to reach them. Think about what else your target customer might do in their spare time and who might be able to connect with them there. It could be a running club in one of your key sales areas, or even a psychologist using your products to demonstrate their theories. Always remember to think outside the box.

Employees

Never underestimate the power of your workforce when it comes to advocacy. These are the people with the ability to sell not only your products and services but your company culture and values. Collectively, what they say holds a lot of sway in the wider world. You can harness this in a number of ways, whether it’s profiling someone with a Q&A on social media, or running a full employee advocacy programme, using their insights to improve your business.

The influencer landscape is changing fast, and so is its definition. Thinking strategically about your objectives, as opposed to tactically about the latest “it” influencer, will keep you ahead of the curve.

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