The Rip-Off | PR & Influencer Marketing
There is a growing trend for PR companies to wander into the influencer marketing arena, but there’s a few things you need to be aware of! Is this biting your company in the butt and wallet? Let’s take a look at a lesson learned from failure.
PR & Influencer Marketing | Crossing of the Streams is the Problem
Yes, PR companies have traversed into the influencer marketing arena. It’s natural and well fitted for a PR company to do this, however there is a substantial difference between influencer marketing, PR and social media marketing. The situation presents itself as the PR company provides two services for “Company A”. Company A is sold on a $10,000 dollars per month PR spend and later sold on a social media marketing spend of $8,000 dollars per month. Inside of the social media marketing, Company A’s Digital Marketing Director delegates them to conduct influencer marketing. However, the PR side relegates itself to conducting the “influencer marketing” that the Digital Marketing Director relegated to the social media side. This is costing the company thousands of extra dollars as the lines between PR and Social Media Marketing have become skewed. If you are unfamiliar with some of these terms, we’ll define them for you below:
If you are a VP of Marketing or CMO, you need to know what to expect when working in the social media and influencer marketing realms, so let’s start here.
Marketing Definitions per Wikipedia:
Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, professional advisers, and so on).
Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to market a product or service. Most of these social platforms have their own built-in analytics, where companies can track the progress, success, and engagement of ad campaigns. Companies address several stakeholders through social media marketing including (potential) customers, (potential) employees, journalists, bloggers, and the general public. On a strategic level, social media marketing includes the management of the implementation, governance, scope (e.g. more active or passive use) and the establishment of a firm’s desired social media culture. This requires marketers to incorporate user-generated content (earned media rather than paid media) into their strategic approach
Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public. Public relations may include an organization or individual gaining exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment. This differentiates it from advertising as a form of marketing communications. Public relations is the idea of creating coverage for clients for free, rather than marketing or advertising.
Influencer Marketing | Go Back to Where You Belong!
So, there you have it. Social media marketing, as defined by Wikipedia, incorporates influencer marketing, which is inverse to PR, and mainly involves the spread of information between the company and public organizations that DO NOT REQUIRE PAYMENT. This “differentiates it from advertising!
In the case of “Company A”, they are being ripped off by the PR / Social Media agency as they have allowed their work load in PR to drift into social media. And lets face it, I can hire any person with a 5th grade education (my kids are looking for digital marketing jobs) to find influencers for a company and contact them. My kids can name more Youtube Influencers than any PR Agency, that’s for sure. So, I expect a PR company to be paid for their inside contacts with celebrities, celebrity agents, magazine editors etc… (my children have no PR contacts).
So, please, don’t let a sneaky PR agency fool you into thinking that influencer marketing is PR. It just is not, and never will be! If this is the case with you and your company, YOU ARE BEING RIPPED OFF!
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