Power of influencers and social media in newer industriesInfluencer marketing is fairly new territory for the public health, government and family services sectors. These industries have often been seen as limited regarding outreach tactics, which is exactly where influencers come in. Influencers have the power to utilise their platforms and can engage in a more personal way with their followers, something these entities typically lack. When it comes to spreading messages quickly and efficiently, social media platforms do the trick. Now more than ever, industries are recognising the importance of driving a message in a relatable yet timely way. Influencers are not only being seen as a method to sell products but their relatable “everyday” persona can evoke action and emotion. Back in March, government entities across the world were strategising to find effective ways to spread awareness in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, Finland turned to social media influencers to disseminate accurate information, in hopes of flattening the curve. The UK’s Department for International Development also utilised influencers on YouTube to squash inaccurate information related to the virus. While some of these industries have been focused on the pandemic, there has also been an increase in community initiatives on evergreen topics surrounding mental health and safety, particularly targeting teens and young adults. Recently, we’ve seen an increase in anti-vaping campaigns on TikTok. When it comes to state and local family services, a primary goal has been to spotlight online discussion boards or general information pages to raise awareness. In these situations, influencers have the ability to shed light on important resources and encourage conversation surrounding topics relevant to their communities. In addition, many other industries could emerge effectively following similar models, one being pharmaceuticals, where educational messaging and calls to action are delivered natively on social platforms by influencers who are representative of the organisation’s target audience.
Tips for executing these educational campaignsIn these campaigns, it’s important to be diligent about messaging and to share it in the most effective and authentic way possible through influencer marketing. A few key tips include:
- Ensure you’re selecting the best influencer for a specific campaign. It’s not all about popularity – especially when your goal is to raise awareness – rather than sell products. In fact, to get the best value for an awareness campaign, prioritise the quality of the influencer’s followers, rather than quantity.
An influencer who is friendly and engaged with their group of local followers will likely draw more interest in an awareness campaign compared to a high-profile influencer with millions of followers with no clear tie-in to the campaign’s messaging or the community it’s targeting.
- Adaptability is key when it comes to messaging. Often times, big companies and bureaucratic entities are associated with rigid messaging. The goal of a PSA is to evoke an emotional response which sparks action, so try to be as dynamic as possible with messaging to avoid coming off as impersonal. It’s an influencer’s job to be creative and they know their audience best, so let them add their voice to the message wherever possible.
- Don’t neglect the power of micro-influencers. With a range of 1,000-10,000 followers, micro-influencers can shed light on topics in a relatable way rather than coming off as forced. Micro-influencers often have a strong, targeted following and unlike the largely popular celebrity influencers, micro-influencers have shown to have higher engagement rates.
- Always keep the target audience in mind. It’s all about customising the content to the platform and audience. When comparing and contrasting platforms, always think of how the audience will best receive the message. For example, if the subject matter is heavy and targeted towards teenagers, TikTok is a great platform that will generate organic engagement.