“Influencer marketing” continues to be a top strategy – especially in the consumer world. But when you think about it, it’s been happening informally in education for decades. There may be no other vertical market where word-of-mouth recommendations matter more. But what does “influencer marketing’ really mean in today’s environment and how can your company make the most of its benefits?
With the explosion of social media, education influencers now have much broader reach than in the past where their range may have only gone as far as the confines of their district, state, or the national conferences they were involved with. Now thousands of educators have social media accounts that reach hundreds of thousands of their peers around the country and the world—typically peers with an affinity for the same topics and issues in education that they do. For example, a teacher who is a well-known proponent of the science of reading likely has a lot of followers on social media who agree with them or at least have an interest in following the debate on the topic.
This social reach gives education influencers the power to increase your brand exposure and boost awareness. When an influencer recommends or endorses your brand, their followers are likely to see the recommendations as authentic. Here are four strategies for leveraging the power of influencer marketing for your organization:
- Create a network of brand ambassadors. While most education companies have an informal network of influencers—customers you turn to when you need a quote for a press release or a customer reference—it can also make sense to formalize your relationships with an advisory board of customers. This gives you the opportunity to engage with these individuals in a more formal way and potentially compensate them through an honorarium or gift card for their help and support (if, of course, their district allows it). Also, including your advisory board on your web site gives you a great place to point potential customers when they are looking for references. And visitors who are just casually browsing your site can see the education influencers who are connected to your brand. Not to mention the valuable counsel that this group can provide you to support product development, marketing messaging, and other initiatives.
- Social media takeovers. Takeovers are a great way to get a new and relevant audience of educators to discover your brand and product. Allowing your influential customers or members of your advisory board to manage one or more of your social media channels for a period of time showcases their relationship with your brand, potentially catching the eyeballs of their followers and encouraging them to follow you.
- Amplify through PR. Influencers are also a great resource for your PR program as spokespeople. They are sources for providing quotes for press releases, talking to the media about your products, and even potentially contributing content for your blog or a bylined article placed in a news publication. When other educators see your brand is connected to someone they respect, it bolsters your reputation and they are more likely to look closely at your products.
- Leverage the influence of the WeAreTeachers brand. If you are looking for a way to supersize your influencer marketing strategies, think about WeAreTeachers, an online community that brings together the power of education influencers from around the country. One of the largest social media communities on the web, WeAreTeachers has more than 3.6 million social followers and sees well over 250,000 clicks, likes, shares, and comments every day. Here, teachers find stories that reflect their own experiences, resources they can use right away, and ideas that challenge them to think in new ways. With a network of more than 500 teacher contributors, a WeAreTeachers program can expand your reach with this influential national audience.
Want to learn more about how influencer marketing and WeAreTeachers can help you build your brand with the country’s educators? Reach out to us today.