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 By: Ashley MamulaSession: Experience the Power of Influencers

Presenters: John P. Foley Jr. & Samantha Lake of Grow Socially

John and Samantha are clearly a powerhouse team at their strategic marketing agency, Grow Socially. This session focused not only the importance of using influencers, but how to choose the right influencer for your brand or organization.

Digital influencers come in the form of bloggers, vloggers, online celebs or simply those with a large following in their respective industry. Data shows that 92% of consumers trust the opinions of their friends, family and network. It shows that someone else has invested the time to try the product and can vouch for the quality of the product.

Here are my 3 biggest takeaways from their session:

Determine your target audience:
Before choosing your influencer, you must first define you target audience. By doing this first, you can successfully pick an influencer who’s audience fits the description of the audience you are trying to reach.  They graciously shared a tool with us called follower wonk.

Determining ROI:
When determining return on investment, you must first determine the cost of investment. For example, researching influencers, setup of an influencer program, content creation and other things such as free samples. Return on investment with digital influencers should include an increase in earned media, improved perception as well as an increase in site traffic. Make sure you are able to convey the benefits to your executive team in terms of deliverables.

How to choose your influencer: 
When choosing an influencer, make sure their audience aligns with your target audience. You will also want to consider their social reach. John recommended more than 5,000 followers/subscribers, but to also to keep in mind what number is realistic for your goals. Additionally, make sure the content your influencer is posting is also relevant to your brand.

Ashley is Grand Valley PRSSA’s Chapter President as well as an Account Associate for GrandPR. She has a passion for thrifting, making her the perfect fit to be working as a Marketing Generalist at Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids. As an advertising and public relations major, she loves learning about the latest PR trends.