During this week’s episode of the PR Talk Podcast, Amy is joined with Jason Falls, a digital marketing thought leader, author of Winfluence, and host of two podcasts: Winfluence and Digging Deeper. Following are highlights of their chat about the many aspects of influence marketing and how a PR professional can leverage influencer media relations.
How to Measure Influence
Amy began the podcast by asking Jason the difference between using an influencer and actually influencing. He explained that influencers are used to make the audience take action. However, he cautioned, influencers with a lot of followers don’t necessarily influence. Rather, he added, the engagement rate is more important than the number of followers. You should look at how the influencer engages with their audience, that is are they responsive to followers that are commenting and liking. When you see that, it is a good sign they have built trust.
Jason responded to Amy’s question about how to use offline influencers by saying, “You should marry online and offline influencing strategies.” He clarified noting classic online influencers are great, but if you can get into the community you are influencing and find people like elected officials, doctors, teachers and others well known to act as influencers, you can gain more thoughtful engagement.
Associating a Brand with an Influencer
As they talked about Jason’s book, Winfluence, Amy asked what he meant by the term “influencer association.” Jason responded, “Association is what I use as the correlation for aligning the brand directly with the influencer so that you are a relevant voice.” He continued saying, “Instead of telling an influencer to persuade people to buy the product, you should find an influencer that can be associated with your brand and create a more trusted relationship.” Amy pointed out that influencers associated with the brand could also work when thinking in terms of owning the conversation. She referred to a past podcast where she and Robert Johnson talked about encouraging clients to become their own publisher/newsroom. (To learn more about that, listen to Brand Journalism with Robert Johnson.)
Next, Amy asked Jason if he believes B2B influencing is harder. He said since thought leaders, conferences, white papers, etc., are all influencing factors in B2B, together they make influencing much easier because they have typically been doing it longer than those working in B2C categories.
A Tip for Those looking to Spice Up Their Traditional PR with Influencer Marketing
Jason offered a tip to PR practitioners looking to get into influencer marketing. “Look at influencers online and offline as media channels.” He added that right now a lot of people are losing trust in the media, so having influencers that are trustworthy can be very beneficial. He said just connecting with these influencers and opening the conversation is a great first step.
Amy asked about the cost to work with an influencer. Jason responded there has to be an exchange of value, whether it is with money or an equal incentive. He added, there are three things that are happening during an influencer’s service and that need to be considered when reaching out to collaborate:
- They are using their own time.
- They are curating content specifically for you.
- And they are giving you access to their audience.
Jason and Amy talked more about different examples of using influencers in the day-to-day business and how they can truly impact a brand. Listen now to hear more about Jason’s personal experiences with influencing to gain insights for your own work.
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About the guest: Jason Falls
Jason Falls is an award-winning strategist, author, speaker, and thinker in the digital and social media marketing industry. As a widely read industry pundit, Falls has been noted as a top influencer in the social technology and marketing space by Forbes, Entrepreneur, Advertising Age, and others.
In 2021, he founded and continues to serve as executive producer of the Marketing Podcast Network. He is the author of three books: Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand (Entrepreneur Press, 2021); No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Que, 2011 – co-authored with Erik Deckers); and The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing (Que, 2012 – co-authored with DJ Waldow).
Connect and follow Jason on social media:
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