Imagine how boring social media would be without your favourite influencers keeping you engaged with their content. The Covid-19 induced lockdown, with movies & shooting on hold and other people stuck at homes, brands realized that the influencer marketing model is well-suited at this time.
The audience is more prone to consume digital content, searching for inspiration all the time. On the watch hunt for DIY fashion hacks, cooking, specialising in the skin-care segment, etc. This posed an incredible opportunity for brands & influencers to engage with their audiences with impactful messaging & use PR to drive more traction. Brands worked in a direction with a game-plan to cash in the generated opportunity of indulging in hardcore influencer marketing & PR-friendly campaigns.
Himani Karwat, Head of Strategy & PR at The Plug Media is a 25-year-old female based out of Mumbai who has carved a distinct segment within the PR & influencer marketing industry by working with some renowned celebrities & brands from her previous stints as a communication and PR expert. She has been within the field for over 3 years now, using her expertise in these verticals she sheds light on the Top 10 PR and Influencer marketing trends to seem out for.
1. Create & Promote Snackable content: Video content has been on everyone’s list & the spike is notable. And there is a decent for that. People just love watching videos, be it of any age group. With banning Tiktok and introduction to Instagram reels, we’re going to be consuming more video content than Shorter the content, the more the engagement. Catching the eye span of your TG is the main key here.
2. Long-term partnerships v/s one-off deal: Brands will intend to make long-term collaborations rather than one-off sponsored posts. There are multiple reasons for this shift but, ultimately, it comes right down to this: it takes time to generate a potential sale. Even influencers with the foremost engagement will have trouble making any real contribution when they’re brought on for a single sponsored post so long-term collaboration is the only way to achieve the target.
3. “Authenticity” is going to be the Watchword: For the past few years, there’s been a robust pull for “authentic” content. This means influencers must use caution with the content that they create for brands to ensure that the products they advertise are going to connect with their Remember, Your audience’s trust and your integrity will indulge in a power-play here. Stand out but with morals.
4. Micro and nano influencers will steal spend from macro-influencers: At relatively cheaper commercials, micro-and nano-influencers allow brands the chance to own dozens of diverse content studios without breaking the bank. Plus, the brands are now looking for influencers that have limited reach and work on limited budgets but have the right TG following them. Pro tip here: Reach out to influencers strategically to reach the specified audience.
5. Brand Values & Influencer Synergy will be of utmost importance: 2020 was stuffed with big changes. It wasn’t just COVID-19 and also the “new normal”; it had been inequality, mental health, and variety and inclusion. An entire host of long-lived societal issues came to the forefront and audiences expected brands and influencers to accelerate and voice their thoughts for the same. Entering into a hopeful post-pandemic world, brands will make a concerted effort to figure & collaborate with influencers from all walks of life. Be transparent about their supply chain.
According to Industry expert Himani, Influencer marketing & PR go hand-in-hand, A new era of PR will be challenging yet fascinating due to the constantly changing media world, she suggests always be on the lookout for these PR hacks & trends, as they are here to stay.
6. Strong Pitch? Prove it: Gone are the times where you send a typical media note on behalf of your client. So as for the media to listen & consider the pitch, there must be a visible component paired together with your pitch. Whether that’s a photoshoot, a video, or perhaps an endorsement from a social media influencer, there needs to be observable proof of your client displaying their talents. We’re in an era of short attention spans.
7. Create experiences that can connect with the audience stuck at home: The pandemic drastically changed the new normal PR dynamics but gave birth to new opportunities to make customer experiences across a decent range of devices and technology types. PR pros have multiple channels and mediums to rekindle with today’s Test to determine which of them resonate together with your culture and constituents.
8. Collaborate with influencers to widen coverage: The shrinking of organic media opportunities should be intertwined with influencer collaborations.
Influencers are highly trusted voices for brands. It’s time for PR pros to rethink a way to present content collaboratively.
9. Always ask yourself “what would a journalist say?” Whether it’s a story pitch, new product launch, or another initiative, a PR strategist must think how a journalist would think. Start by determining how newsworthy the concept/ pitch is by answering the following:
a) Timing: If it’s the right time to pitch the story, Does the timing work?
b) Connection: Will my story be informative and meaningful to my readers?
c) Human emotions: Does the article evoke or catch my readers’ emotions?
10. PR has to be proactive & not reactive: With a robust understanding of traditional media, one also has to adapt to new age media and strategy to cope with the constantly changing competitor landscape & proactively work on tailored pitches. Reactive PR is temporary & won’t generate enough coverage.
“The previous year was a year full of unexpected marketing & PR problems that required intellection to resolve & power to forecast – as we glance ahead to influencer marketing & PR trends while stepping in the hopeful post-pandemic world, they appear to persist & add the future still. One must perceive trends & hacks in time and work backwards for his or her respective brands for the foremost fruitful results which will uphold the brand’s /influencer’s reputation,” states Himani.