Influencing Careers

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At the risk of showing my age one of the career options that was never discussed at school when I was studying was that of becoming an social influencer, You Tuber or Vlogger. According to a study just published by Awin a career as an influencer is now a serious career option, at least according to the children taking part. The research showed that of the 2000 11 to 16 year olds that took part in the survey becoming a social media influencer (17%) and You Tuber (14%) were only narrowly beaten by the most popular (and more traditional) career choice, becoming a doctor (18%). The aspiration for a career as a vet or a teacher is now less popular than making a living as either a social media influencer or a You Tuber.

If this number of influencers really comes to fruition surely it means that they are going to have to work harder to differentiate themselves? For brands this could be good news as there will be a far greater choice of who to work with, which in theory could drive down costs. What I suspect will happen is that the influencer market will split into groups, with ‘successful’ influencers continuing to be celebrities and/or those with a niche subject, and then a growing group of those who struggle to differentiate themselves. Of course all this could change if legislation is introduced which starts making social media platforms take more responsibility for content placed onto these platforms, something starting to look more likely. Starting out in any career is tough, let alone when you are starting from scratch and your career relies on being open to the public where you can be judged be anyone not just your work mates.

After spending several days reviewing influencer videos for a client campaign there are few thoughts on working with influencers

Match your influencers to your customers

This might sound obvious but making sure your influencers are going to work for your brand and add value/interest/engagement/entertainment for your customers is key. Working with influencers can be expensive so ensuring you are working with the right person for your brand is important to ensure you get value for money.

Be authentic

The whole point of working with influencers is that they have authentic tone and content which their followers love – so don’t try and change this but be aware and judge if this will work for your brand and your customers.

Work on relationships

Building relationships with customers and influencers is important – this is Public Relations in digital age. Building a community through relationships with both customers and influencers is time consuming and resource heavy but can pay off in the long term, especially for brands who have or want to have high customer engagement and service.

Be aware of the regulations

There are guidelines in place for influencers and brands alike thanks to the ASA and CAP code, for example, you don’t necessarily have to be paying an influencer to be seen as running advertising. You can read the guidelines here, swot up.

Set up guidelines

A set of guidelines which has been through your legal team and shared with stakeholders that outlines how your brand interacts with influencers is a good idea as it means teams are aligned, especially important in larger organisations where several teams, from PR to online marketing could be involved.

Measure success

Be clear on your KPI’s and ensure you can measure them, engagement is fine if that is what your objectives are, or do you want to measure conversion and sales? Set this out at the start and ensure your objectives and targets are signed off as part of the overall marketing plan.

For social media & communications advice please contact me on Rachel.Kerr@rksocialcomms.co.uk

Photo by leonardo silva on Unsplash