The power of influence
By Jackie Grisdale
Influencers. Who are they? How important are they? And do they really matter?
All too often, when we mention the word influencer, we immediately think parents. Or perhaps careers advisers and teachers. And with 78% of students stating they rely on parents to make career decisions, with 61% stating they have the most influence, according to a recent study from AllAboutSchoolLeavers, it is no wonder that’s our immediate thought.
But, with planning for the 2020 recruitment cycle getting underway, I wanted to take a step back. Look at the whole sphere of influence. And prompt you to look beyond the obvious. To really consider the role of influencers and their importance in a student’s career journey.
Parents, family and education institutions are of course important, but what about friends and peers? With 4 in 10 of Gen Z saying they are easily swayed by others’ opinions according to a recent Global Web Index report, friends and peers can be a real influence on young people.
And I can’t go through a piece about influencing young people without mentioning social media. With opinions of others so readily available (the good and the bad), it certainly plays a role. Marketing Week recently reported that 87% of Instagram users take action after seeing product info on Instagram, such as clicking through to buy or for more information, or going on to research the product information elsewhere.
Then there is influencer marketing – what role can and does this play in career decisions. Would a student really make a career choice as a result of an influencer marketer? Doubtful. But they could certainly open a student’s eyes to the opportunities. How can you really showcase your opportunities to students, in an authentic and real way? Your employees. A real and true account of a company and its culture is a powerful thing. Physical or digital, it gives young people the opportunity to find out what they really want to know.
So, with all of these different influencers to consider, where do you start? Have you really considered how to engage with them? And do you include them as part of your attraction activity already? Over the coming months I’ll be taking a closer look at each element of ecosystem of influence. From the importance of each influencer group, to what messages to use and more importantly how to reach and engage with them.
So, if you have a particular question about influencers, an opinion you want to share or a group you want me to focus on first, then let me know by completing this short feedback survey.
Jackie is youth marketing strategist at SMRS and has been working in student recruitment marketing for over 10 years. Jackie and the team at SMRS will be running masterclasses throughout 2019 on everything from youth marketing to employer brand. So get in touch if you are interested in attending one, or just simply want a chat about what we do and how we can help.