UPDATED: Brand support from social media celebrities like Zoella “crucial” says L’Oreal PR manager

By Katie Haseldine

Involving famous bloggers and YouTubers is crucial when launching and promoting a brand, according to a PR manager for a global beauty company.

Melanie Green, digital engagement and communications manager for IT Cosmetics, presented an ‘influencer pyramid’ to demonstrate how PR teams target their audiences through public figures to get their brand out there and known.

The basic idea is to build a community which involves both social media influencers, like YouTube vlogger Zoella, and consumers with the brand.

The “grass root” influencers are people with over 4,000 followers on social media, and these people promote products to help gain publicity and get consumers on board.

Influencers with over 20,000 followers fall in to the bronze category.

Speaking at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week, Melanie said: “These are the people that we invite to an event, introduce them to the brand and get a one-to-one relationship with them.”

This is beneficial to the brand as it means the influencers generally become quite passionate about the product that they’re promoting, which is good for publicity as it comes across as genuine to the consumer.

The silver category includes people with 300,000 to one million followers, which Melanie described as “huge”.

She said: “Most influencers now fit into that bracket. They’re definitely the people that you want to have at events.”

Influencers with over one million followers are classed as ‘gold influencers’, and get sponsorship from the company, which is a branch of L’Oreal, and receive exclusive products to promote.

“You might just pick one influencer for the launch, and for the benefits, they talk about it.”

Melanie said influencers with over two million are called the platinum girls. “These are the Zoellas, the people you can’t contact without going through an agency.”

Melanie said that the influencer pyramid is crucial for PR.

“It’s all about getting people to talk about the product. PR in 2017 is not taking someone out and plying someone with champagne and getting one page in Vogue. It’s all about digital and social media. It’s so much more important than just the print press.”

She told the audience she has worked on award-winning product launches and national and international press events, such as as New York Fashion Week, Vogue Festival, London Fashion Week and Glamour Beauty Festival.

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