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Influencer Marketing in K12 Education

Brian Healy
Managing Partner
Education Market Experts

Whether you were able to attend live, or missed our August webinar due to your busy schedule, we want to share the resources with you!  Read on for key insights and information about using influencer marketing to reach educators now.  To download the webinar presentation deck, click here. If you are wanting to watch, re-watch, and share the webinar with others please watch here!

Influencer Marketing Works to Reach K12 EducatorsWhat is influencer marketing in K12 Education?

  • Influencer marketing is a form of collaboration. A business collaborates with an influential person to promote something. It could be a product, service, or campaign.
  • Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing.
  • But in today’s digital world, social content creators with niche audiences can often offer more value to ed brands. These people have dedicated and engaged groups of followers on social media. They are known simply as “social media influencers.

How has the pandemic changed the influencer landscape?

  • Simply put, the pandemic has sped up changes that were already underway, such as the trend toward “unfiltered” or less-scripted content, the rise of TikTok, and the popularity of “everyday influencers.”
  • The shift in the power structure at District – Edtech (Remote Learning) folks are now looked to as key players inside the district decision-making team.   Expertise needed/desired is different now, more real-time, and dynamic.

Why are education brands turning to influencer marketing during the pandemic?

  • Cooped up at home, educators have been spending more time on social media and interacting actively with ed companies. Influencers can also provide ed brands with quick, less-expensive, and easy-to-produce creative at a time when large-scale ad production may be difficult.

What are the best practices for working with K12 influencers during the pandemic?

  • Turning to trusted brand advocates (educator base using your offerings, giving educators sore creative control (to an extent) and focusing on how brands can add value to K12 Districts new realities can help ed companies succeed with their influencer marketing strategies.

Why is this such a great addition to education traditional market marketing programs?

  • Word of mouth is critical, sharing is critical to success

What is unique about influencer marketing using education market influencers?

  • The greater expectations to maintain one’s reputation as teachers in their community

5-Steps to find the right influencers for your K12 offering

  1. Consider the three Rs of influence

Influence is made up of three components:

  • Relevance – A relevant ed industry influencer shares content relevant to your solution. They need to have an audience that aligns with your target market.
  • Reach – Reach is the number of people you could potentially reach through the influencer’s follower base.
  • Resonance – This is the potential level of engagement the influencer can create with an audience relevant to your brand.

**** Bigger isn’t always better. A big following is meaningless if those followers aren’t interested in your offer. And a smaller follower count can be very powerful if it’s a niche area. Niche influencers can have very dedicated and engaged followers.

 

  1. Know who you’re trying to influence

Your influencer campaign can’t be all things to all people. An effective strategy requires you to speak to the right people using the right tools. (And, in this case, the right influencers).

The first step is to define who your audience will be for this specific campaign.

Developing audience personas is a great way to make sure you understand who you’re trying to reach. Once you’ve done that, create a matching set of influencer personas. This will help you understand the qualities you’re looking for in your influencers.

 

  1. Look for engagement and trust with the right audience

The key is trust.

Your audience must trust and respect the opinion of the influencers you partner with. Without the trust component, any results will be superficial. You’ll struggle to see a tangible business impact from your efforts.

How do you tell if your potential influencer is trusted? Engagement. You want to see plenty of views, likes, comments, and shares. Specifically, you want to see these from the precise follower segments you’re trying to reach.

A good engagement rate also means a loyal following, rather than an inflated follower count bolstered by bots and fraud accounts.

  1. Go for a consistent look, feel, tone, and values

You need to find someone who’s using your offerings and producing influencer content with a look and feel that complements your own.

The tone must also be appropriate for the way you want to present your brand to potential customers.

  1. Plan your budget

Influencers with extensive reach rightly expect to be paid for their work. Free product might work with nano-influencers, but a larger influencer campaign requires a budget

Think about what kind of payment structure makes the most sense for your goals. But be willing to consider the influencer’s needs, too. For example, an affiliate or commission structure might be an option instead of a flat fee, or to reduce the flat fee.

Remember that micro-influencers and nano-influencers will have more flexible payment terms.

Be wary of ethical and legal issues for influencers.

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