Simply stated, an influencer is someone who, through their expertise, thought leadership or track record within a sector, has sway among a wide network of one or more audience groups. While “influencer” is the popular term, there are actually several different types of influencers to consider.
‘Brandividuals’ (aka, professional influencers): They have successfully created their own personal brands. They could be keynote speakers at industry events, published authors in your business sector or experts with a significant social media following. In all cases, they are subject matter experts who have earned influence over a specific sector by consistently publishing unique, valuable content.
Celebrities: While celebrities are more often considered for B2C marketing campaigns, some B2B brands may also find them to be the right influencer for resonating with their audiences. They could be from a variety of fields, such as the arts, sports or media (just like the old days).
Subject Matter Experts: These are experts in particular topic areas who haven’t necessarily focused their efforts on building personal brands. Academics are a good example. They lend street cred to your brand.
General Influencers: These people aren’t yet published authors or keynote speakers, but have a significant level of influence in specific occupations and niches within their industries. They’re often journalists, bloggers or senior employees at large companies.
And these might be right under your nose:
Micro-Influencers: They have a small social following, but are likely to have a highly engaged audience. Often, an influencer with a smaller, but more engaged following is better than the inverse. To determine engagement, look at their total number of shares per article, site domain authority, retweet ratio and page authority.
Employees: Don’t underestimate the potential of your own employees to become influencers. Those who are active and well connected through social media can form a highly effective employee advocacy program to help promote your brand.
Customers: Your customers can also become your influencers. They, more than almost anyone, are likely to have authority among your target audience. Peer-to-peer communication is often the most effective. Look for customers whose voices will resonate within your sector.
You can find influencers in a wide variety of places. A few of the most common are at industry events and conferences, and by using social media listening tools. Here are four examples of popular ways that companies are using to find ideal influencers for their brands.
BuzzSumo. Along with other marketing functions, this tool includes a variety of features to help discover influencers. For example, using your top keywords, you can easily search for the writers, bloggers and publications in your field. You can also sort top picks by categories, such as influencers, bloggers, companies and regular users.
LinkedIn. Of course, LinkedIn is de rigueur as a B2B connectivity tool. It’s also an excellent way to find and connect with influencers in your industry. For example, enter specific keywords or phrases in search to get a list of everyone who is directly related to your niche. You can then reach out to ideal options directly within the platform to begin conversations.
Twitter. Say what you want about this social media platform, but it still holds sway with many influencers and their audiences. As a result, Twitter is a great place for many brands to find, interact and converse with their industry’s influencers. Plus, Twitter’s advanced search options, such as for trending topics and hashtags, for example, provide ways to reach influencers in your industry.
influence.co. influence.co is world’s first open platform for influencers, brands, marketers, talent managers and agencies to connect. Tools are available for finding and engaging with influencers, including searching, list creation, creating campaigns to recruit influencers, and campaign reporting. Influencers can use the online portfolio to show off their work and find their next opportunity.
For more info on influencers also see these blogs:
With thanks to: Kuno Creative