Let’s see what PR & Marketing predictions Nicola Snell, MD of Press Loft, foresees for the next 12 months in the Homes & Gifts space.
2017 started with a bang with a cracking Top Drawer show in the UK. Many of the Press Loft clients who attended reported the best Top Drawer yet as it signals a return in strength to the economy despite Brexit fears.
Influencer Marketing reaches new heights
As brands moved heavily in to Online PR in 2016, engaging with bloggers was vital in a PR strategy. This is now morphing into influencer marketing as Pinterest super-stars and Youtube celebrities reach a highly engaged audience of millions.
There is now a huge economy in this industry with the top influencers earning thousands per post. PRs now need to start working on paid placements which have, historically, proved at odds with the free editorial placements they secured.
Google has some strict views on paid placements which are polarizing some people’s perceptions on how effective, as well as ethical, paid placement is as a form of PR. I think there are some interesting arguments, however, I think you have to embrace influencer outreach as a valid form of PR but insist the blogger or social influencer has full transparency that either they have been paid or given products to review.
We may be forging ahead with trying to work with social celebs but 2017 will look at the small-fry too and Micro-Influencers are leading the way. Derek, head of UX at Press Loft, talks about Micro-Influencers (pretty much every day). We think he’s right, it isn’t just about those massive accounts, but it’s about relevance – who is right for your company on a micro level.
What is a micro-influencer? It has been defined as someone who has less than 1000 followers, but their niche is precise, their audience engages with every tweet and, most importantly, buys based on their recommendations.
I would really recommend focusing PR efforts on identifying these this year.
With the rise in sponsored posts, we will see a huge increase in the number of people claiming they are insta-famous but who have attracted fake followers and use auto-follow tools like Instagress. The trick is to find reliable measures of an influencer’s authenticity. Tracking engagement levels are a good start, this is the number of likes, shares and comments per post.
I also wonder if the social channels will crack down on auto-follower tools otherwise it is going to kill their network’s authenticity.
Dead or A-Live Live Live
So Youtube was big and remains so with over 1 billlion yes BILLION views per week
Anyone and everyone is (or should be) creating video content for Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The thing to try this year is Live video, whether it’s Instagram stories, Facebook live, Snapchat or Periscope. Why? The videos disappear within 24 hours so “What’s the point?” you might ask. Well, these videos seem to create a sense of urgency so the engagement levels can be higher than regular videos and posts and they give an authenticity to your brand which is appealing to followers.
SEO PR & Measurement
Throughout 2017 PRs will sit even more closely to the SEO teams. PR Agencies will work with the client’s keyword goals and push content across online channels whilst naturally incorporating a range of keywords.
Print PR measurement is also having an interesting time as PRs learn Google Analytics PR tricks to measure the impact of their work. Attribution modelling is key here and I think we will see this become increasingly detailed – and maybe we will see some technology launch around this soon.
Online mag platforms
Traditional print circulations may be on the decline but print publishers are looking to grow via Newsstand platforms with subscription models like Readly and Magzster. Magszter’s digital magazine app has 30,000 downloads per day and over 25 million users. These platforms mean it is easier to attract readers on a global scale as well as measure page views for advertisers and editorial features. I would suggest we keep an eye on this in 2017 as this way of digesting magazines becomes more popular. Maybe in 2018 we will finally see a resurgence in readerships of traditional print titles digested online … watch this space!