Influencer marketing has become a popular form of digital marketing for different companies and brands of all sizes. It involves tapping the audience and social influence of notable individuals and organizations to promote products or deliver information related to a particular product or brand. Apple is one of the several high-profile companies that have benefitted from digital influencers. It specifically factors in influencer marketing as part of its promotion strategy and public relation strategy to promote its products, reach its target market and loyal customers, and inform its relevant stakeholders.
How Apple Uses Influencer Marketing to Promote Its Products, Sustain Ongoing Marketing Campaigns, and Reach Its Target Market
1. Approach to Influencer Marketing
The company approaches influencer marketing in two manners. The first involves building and maintaining relationships with prominent media organizations and their reporters and independent content creators like vloggers and tech reviewers. This involves public relations but some also entails paid endorsements and earned media. The second centers on capitalizing on its established popularity to entice media organizations and content creators into creating content relevant to its branding and product promotions.
It is important to note that the goal of Apple in utilizing influencer marketing is to promote its products or place its products and other relevant market information in various digital media channels. Some of its influencers are known celebrities or personalities who were paid to endorse the brand or a particular Apple product during a marketing campaign while most of them are unpaid media reporters and content creators who benefit from featuring Apple products or providing related news in their respective platforms.
Nevertheless, based on the aforementioned, the purpose of its specific influencer marketing activities center on maximizing media coverage and target market reach. The use of digital influencers is a departure from its stringent and traditional marketing philosophy during the time of Steve Jobs. Apple has acknowledged the importance of social media in influencing public perception. It has loosened its brand voice and has allowed influencers to showcase their products from a more personal and relatable perspective.
Below are key lessons from how Apple approaches influencer marketing:
• Using paid and non-paid media reporters and content creators to create and publish content about its products and other related information
• Building relationships with influential people or influencers through exclusive access to market information and other relevant internal information
• Tapping various personalities with an established audience or following to maximize media coverage and target market reach
• Foregoing rigid brand voice and allowing influencers to showcase Apple products to make the brand more personal and relatable to the audience
2. Influencer Marketing Activities
Understanding further how Apple approaches influencer marketing requires understanding the different activities it rolls out related to this form of digital marketing. It is important to underscore the fact that some of its promotional activities and PR tactics complement or represent its influencer marketing activities. These activities also ensure that Apple and its products or relevant announcements appear in various communication channels like the digital assets of media organizations or various social media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.
Below are the key influencer marketing activities of Apple:
• Product Reactions and Reviews: Apple has partnered with various content creators to create “unboxing” videos or product reactions and reviews. The company sends out review units to these digital influencers before a product launch and gives them a go signal to publish their content after the launch to sustain public interest.
• Company Events and Trade Shows: Prominent media reporters and content creators are also given access to several events like the Apple Special Event and the Worldwide Developers Conference. Inviting these individuals to these events helps in encouraging media coverage and maximizing information reach.
• Buzz and Mystery Marketing: The company has also utilized buzz marketing and mystery marketing to sustain public interest about its upcoming products or drum up interest about existing products post-launch. Reporters and content creators often cover these tactics due to the established prominence of Apple.
• Product Strategy Integration: Some of the elements of the product strategy of Apple entice content creators and average social media users to create content about its products. These include a sleek and straightforward design philosophy and a closed product ecosystem that communicates status and exclusivity.