Why do you think brands spend millions to get celebrities and famous personalities on board to promote and sell their products or services? Surely, with their fat fee, these personalities only add to the cost of promotion and marketing! So how are they adding value to the brand? They are the influencers, as we call them. The term refers to people who have the power and ability to influence the opinion of others. With a superstar actor endorsing a brand of cola, the legions of fans will flock to buy it from the local stores. Sales jump up for the brand.
In the online context, the influencers are those who are experts in a particular field or domain. They can be writers, bloggers, reviewers or simply technical persons who are suited to comment authoritatively on a matter that they have expertise in. For example, an activist of PETA who also writes a blog on animal rights is supposed to have a sizeable number of animal lovers tuning in to the blog and latching on to every word written on it. If such a personality speaks well of a brand of animal food, pet keepers will feel that this endorsement is a studied one and not a gimmick. The brand will receive a boost because the influencer, in this case the activist, will bring a number of people on board with your brand of animal food.
How to Track them Down
You don’t find an influencer worth your time and effort simply by logging into the internet and taking the first pick available! Make use of the analytics provided by Twitalyzer. It will give you the information you need, like the number of retweets or mentions that this influencer has received on the microblogging site. It is not enough to check the extent of the influencer’s influence on the online community. You have to check how the influencer became a mover and shaker. It is because of some brilliant ideas or unparalleled experience in the field of your interest? This is will be crucial to you because when you approach these influencers with your content for a favorable nod, you will know what their expectations might be. Dishing out the wrong content to an influencer will prove dangerous!
What you Share is Important
For the influencer to put in a good word for your content, you need to figure out what you want to share through your website or blog and who the intended audience is. You must know the target audience because that will help you incorporate their tastes and preferences into your content pages. That, in turn, will help you to get influencers on your side because they will be keen to share your content as well. They will also appreciate your work. When an influencer introduces your blog or website to a circle of netizens it is not just your work that is on the line here. The influencer is taking a bet, too! Your work must respect both.
Tracking down Influencers
The time is now ripe to pick the influencers who, you feel, can make a difference to the sales graph and add leverage to your brand. There are different types of influencers online. You need tools that will get you what you want.
For example, ClearVoice is an excellent tool to find out writers with a considerable chunk of online readers. ClearVoice gives you an idea of their work, their areas of interest and what they bring to the table. You can then approach a writer who specializes in your area of work.
Another example would be Buzzsumo. The influencers you find here are ideal for content amplification or taking your blog or website to a larger group of online users. The influencers here can make your content the next buzzword on the internet and make it quite share-worthy.
You can also use tools like Followewonk which allows you to browse and sift through Twitter biographies to find the influencer that you are looking for.
The Hardcore Strategy
Roll out the influencer model of your content marketing in three phases:
Enlist: Draft the list of influencers that you have on your side of the table and what each of them can potentially contribute to your brand value
Execute: Include the influencer in the execution of your content marketing plan. That will mean allowing the influencer to make suggestions and offer opinions. If handled properly, you will learn about your field as well in the process
Evaluate: Now is the time to figure out how the influencer has helped your content marketing drive. Evaluate the contribution of each influencer that you have enlisted
If you can pull it off, the influencer will stop being a third party in the whole scheme of things and contribute organically for the benefit and development of your brand value. It has worked well for many brands, including ours!
Why don’t you give it a try?