Wikipedia defines influence marketing as one that targets a specific segment of people who are characterized by a great power of conviction within a given market, which makes their opinions favor the degree of popularity and sales expectations of those brands that are the subject of such opinions (if they are positive, of course).
We will see below how we can identify online “influencers” that will help us to spread our brand and indirectly promote link building.
Following the concepts explained in Wikipedia, your mission will be divided into these four steps:
“- Identifying influencers, and ranking them in order of importance.
– Marketing to influencers, to increase awareness of the firm within the influencer community.
– Marketing through influencers, using influencers to increase market awareness of the firm amongst target markets.
– Marketing with influencers, turning influencers into advocates of the firm.”
Nevertheless, we will concentrate on explaining the identification of “influencers”, the subsequent steps depend on many variables (industry type, network type …), which make it very difficult to generalize.
Unlike other link building techniques that have been discussed previously, in this case, besides trying to get a link from the websites of these influencers, your goal is also to try to get influencers to talk about you on social networks. Thus, you become known among the followers of the influencers, and it indirectly helps you get links.
When measuring the power of influence of these people, you should not only consider the total number of followers or fans they have, but you should have in mind other factors such as the prestige of their opinions and the “engagement” of their social followers.
Search for “influencers” on a particular social network will depend on the peculiarities of your industry, so for example in a sector X it will be more appropriate to look on Twitter, while in another sector it could be more convenient to use LinkedIn…
Depending on where you want to find the influencers, you can use various tools. Let’s see some of them.
If your influencers are mostly on Twitter, the most appropriate tool is Followerwonk.
You should be especially interested in its search function. Not only does it allow you to search by keyword, but you can narrow the results using useful parameters, e.g. geographic location.
An alternative to the previous tool is Peerreach, which offers similar information.
And if this is not enough, you can also use Wefollow.
In case you choose Google+ network to find contacts, there is a very appropriate tool called CircleCount which gives you the details about the pages, profiles, communities … with more presence on this network.
Speaking of LinkedIn, apart from the classic profile search, we can use a tool provided by social network itself. It is the “Discover” option, where you receive suggestions about the most relevant people associated with your profile.
There are other sites that allow us to identify the influencers in a general way, without being focused on a particular network. We should mention several examples:
Websites and blogs
If we leave the social networks aside, a good idea to identify influencers is to find the most influential blogs within your sector. There are several tools that can be used for this purpose, such as Blogmetrics.
When selecting a theme, this tool will show you the list of the most influential blogs on this subject, with various metrics that will be very useful.
A complementary tool to the one above is Buzzsumo, which will show the websites that have the most shared content on social networks related to a particular subject.
This infographic visually represents some of the concepts discussed previously.
This video by Moz shows an interesting view of Influence Marketing.
In this hangout they talk about techniques and instruments of Influence Marketing.