“But, wait,” you’re saying. “With all of the opportunities available to
marketers to directly target their audiences and markets like never
before, why would anyone need influencers?”
Influencers are necessary because these people are your translators to
their audiences. Despite your ability to target audiences and markets
better than you ever have, these people often speak the language of
their platform better than you do, and they have the time and means to
Why are those skills and time worth it to you? The game isn’t the same
as it once was. Word-of-mouth on the web now includes those who post,
like, share, blog, and pin. All of those people have audiences, some
much bigger than others. The ones who have grown into a large-scale,
respected role that can sway public sentiment for, or against, your
brand with their audiences … those are your influencers.
Influencer marketing: How to find influencers
While your close friends, family, and best customers can and speak
highly of your brand or service, they may not actually be the best
influencers if they aren’t respected voices in the target audiences you
So, the first question is: How do you find influencers relevant to your
brand? There are two easy ways to begin the rooting out process.
The first way is to do a quick online search on social media platforms
to see who is talking about your brand or industry. For example, search
for “auction” or another term of interest. Browse the conversations.
Look for users who: 1) have large audiences; 2) post frequently; and, 3)
post original ideas and conversations that relate to the content and
brand you would like to spread.
As you go, build a list of the folks you identify and capture their
contact information. Then, as you go along, engage with these people.
See how (and when) they respond. If things appear legitimate, you can
add them to your influencer list.
Another way to identify influencers is to use keyword tools that will
seek out influencers for you. A couple of these tools include BuzzSumo
and EpicBeat. These kinds of sites allow you to instantly see who holds
the most influence given a specific current topic, potentially saving
you a ton of time and effort in locating the right influences as they
apply to you.
And finally, search relevant conferences for presenters. You probably
know the best places your peers are going for continuing education, or
for hearing presenters (both live and online). Those presenters should
certainly be on your radar as possible influencers to add to your group.
Is influencer marketing working?
Undeniably, the answer is yes, it works. According to data collected by
SlideShare in its “Augure State of Influencer Engagement,” 93 percent of
respondents said influencer marketing was either effective or very
effective in raising brand awareness. 75 percent said it helped generate
new sales leads; and, 76 percent said it increased customer loyalty.
In terms of being able to measure your own influencer marketing efforts,
that’s where those sites mentioned above are handy. They, and several
others, are built to spit out collective data surrounding those keywords
you indicate. Going farther, once you begin to saturate those same
audiences with your content, you will be able to use the same sites that
brought you influencers to see how well those individuals are doing in
terms of sharing and influencing others to your brand.
At this point, you’re likely ready to start finding your influencers.
Start with your search, build your list, connect with your targets and
begin building your relationships with them. Then, introduce your
content to them, and you will be on your way.