By TAMSIN OXFORD
There is a new royal in the media kingdom, the offspring of content and the internet and an essential tool for the building of relationships and brands – the influencer. The influencer is focused, targeted and respected. Their opinion valued and their level of user engagement a sweet scent to the organisation seeking new ways of attracting loyal customers. However, media is as mercurial as technology, constantly changing and re-establishing new boundaries, markets and messages. An influencer today is often not the same one tomorrow.
This, of course, begs the question – how can the organisation speak through the influencer when they are not even sure how to find them? How can the business determine the value of specific publications when they are not clear as to who is reading them? A person who sat in relative obscurity one day is an influencer the next.
How can the business determine the value of specific publications when they are not clear as to who is reading them?
The target market is no longer focused around news feeds or loyal to one or two publications. They listen to the influencer, but they also listen to more than one. There is so much information from many different sources that it’s hard to pin down which are the perfect mouthpieces for the organisation and which the target market happens to be interested in right now.
Apollo Research has found that this is one of the most challenging issues facing their clients in the media arena today. Businesses are looking for reliable and brand-relevant platforms and people with whom to partner and develop their market. The problem is that the internet has redefined these relationships and the noise is staggering. However as many decision makers now have an online profile or footprint the internet also allows us to build a candid picture of which influencers are most popular among particular groups of decision makers.
Big data analytics allows us to assess which influencers have the highest reach among specific audiences, which publications are gaining the greatest traction, what trends in people and personalities are on the rise and which influencers have slipped out of favour. The Apollo Target research project is uncovering which influencers are the most popular and is able to show the percentages of your target audience reached by each influencer. It’s a rich resource for planning strategy, structuring communication plans and focusing PR and advertising more precisely. It is also capable of monitoring the fluctuations in influencer popularity so as to help fine tune your communications.
Technology may be igniting the media landscape and driving its constant change, as swift as the dunes in the desert, but it can be used to harness this change and deliver impressive results to any organisation. The next few years are going to see a rise in mobility and influencer marketing and it is likely that the latter will be more open to engaging with brands. Working with influencers also provides the organisation with improved brand awareness, greater trust and, most importantly, sales. So why wait?