When it comes to getting information and news about your interests, who do you turn to? Is it their personality that draws you in? Do you often find yourself modeling your opinions after theirs? Just what is it that causes them to have such an affect on you?
Whether you know it or not, your favorite media personality, blogger or even entertainer may be a “One-Percenter” – that is, an influencer in the vast community of content creation. According to W2O Group‘s strategists, who spoke to Newhouse students at many events this week for Social Commerce Days, the influencers make up the top 1% of your interests’ community of content. Influencers are the ones who create the content that becomes shareable with their audience. Their biggest fans, or their advocates, are in the 9% who repackage this content into their own. Meanwhile, the other 90% consists of enthusiasts – average consumers of content who look to influencers and advocates to stay on top of trends. This is the 1:9:90 framework of social content, and it’s important for PR professionals to understand this as they seek out non-traditional methods of getting their message out to target publics.
Influencers have three characteristics that make them appealing to communications professionals:
- Reach – Influencers get to be in the 1% of content creators because of the large audience they attract. They have their fair share of advocates who not only repackage their content to reach more people, but they also defend their influencers from criticism.
- Relevance – If you let the strategists from W2O tell it, relevance is the new reputation. Previously, communications professionals wanted to align themselves with someone with a positive reputation. Now that attention spans are shortening, communicators have to find ways to align their content with influencers who have a stronger grip on their audiences’ attention.
- Resonance – Finally, it’s not just enough for professional communicators to create content – it has to actually be good, if not, exceptional. Audiences flock to influencers because their content has a personal touch or flair to it. Influencers brand themselves to be memorable and not just put out content that their audience won’t find useful; therefore, communicators must be sure their content fits the same criteria when pitching it to the influencers they want to work with.
At the end of the day, being in the 1% isn’t always glamorous. Influencers have spent months, and probably years building their audience and delivering content that matters. It’s this drive that makes influencers unique, enviable and in a position to be gatekeepers of information, similar to journalists. Once PR professionals find and build the relationship with influencers, their clients will reap the benefits of an increased audience and another channel to reach them.