Note from conference chairperson: This is a guest blog post by Shane Baker.

By now you are quite familiar with the value of using influencer marketing to grow and develop your business. Working hand in hand with the right influencer can boost your brand’s marketing efforts by driving sales, reaching new audiences, improving the trustworthiness of your brand.

In a research conducted by Twitter, they found that purchase intent reached a 2.7x increase in respondents exposed to an advertiser Tweet. What’s more interesting, is that the figures more than doubled to 5.2x when people saw a combination of brand and influencer Tweets. A great example of getting those sales to multiply.

So how should you begin locating the right influencer for your brand? You may feel lost at first, but you can’t go wrong by asking yourself who exactly you are looking for.  There are generally 10 types of influencers. According to Traackr’s The Many Faces of Influence, each kind of influencer has specific talents based on how they command the 3 R’s. These 3 R’s stand for Reach (their audience population), Resonance (their engagement strength), and Relevance (how their content fits with your brand).

If your business sells organic food for example, and your immediate goal is to promote eating healthy, it would be much more beneficial to work with an “activist” influencer than a “personal brand” influencer. The activist may not reach a wide audience, but since eating healthy is a lifestyle choice, this influencer can build a sturdier foundation by consistently mentioning the benefits of eating healthy. These are some things that need to be considered when selecting which influencer or combination of influencers you should add to your marketing campaign roster.

Now you have identified the type of influencers you want to work with, and we’ve partially answered the problem of selecting one in your industry. To really pinpoint, and further single-out the cream of the crop of influencers that will fit your specific field, here are a few tools that can help:

1. BuzzSumo

Founded in 2014, with the purpose of uncovering the kind of content being passed around on the social web, BuzzSumo is a tool that can aid in identifying the best influencers for your niche.

What’s hugely useful is that they specialize in monitoring Twitter to locate the finest influencers in your targeted industries. This tool is a mix of gaining quick access to content in your field of interest, crossed with accessibility to the authors of these compositions. Being user friendly and uncomplicated, this is perfect for people who want to get straight to business without having to spend a lot of time studying how to use the service.

The only drawback according to some long-term users is that BuzzSumo is not as comprehensive as they’d like it to be in terms of using it as a “sole” source.

2. Traackr

Perhaps the tool which provides the easiest means to finding influencers, Traackr is a premium site that adds value through excellent customer service, and sharing of best practices in locating the influencers that best suit your needs.

Using their influencer search engine, it becomes a walk in the park when creating a list of dream team influencers to choose from.  Another feature that Traackr is equipped with is the ability to track the results of a campaign. For businesses whose focus is to make a successful brand, this feature is essential. Traackr does the work for you by measuring and recording the effectiveness and impact of influencers in your campaign.

3. Klout

If exposure is one of your main goals when seeking influencers, then Klout is the way to go. As one of the better known services, an attractive feature offered is being able to compute an influencer’s Klout score. The higher the Klout score, the higher the influence a person has.

With this in mind, it’s easy to identify which influencers you should consider working with. Suppose you were in the sports business, Klout becomes an invaluable ally because it is able to tell you which athletes in your industry has the most “klout.”

An evident weakness though is that mainly “prominent” influencers are promoted because of their Klout score. However, there are also self-made influencers who do not have as much exposure but possess a strong community following. The previously mentioned influencer would not be as visible on the site, especially if he only specialized in using just one social media platform.

4. Little Bird

Having been recently acquired by Sprinklr!, the new focus of Little Bird is learning. They place emphasis on being educated about their customers, and more importantly, how their customers interact with influencers.

One of the highlights of the revamped Little Bird is that they prize the importance of building a solid relationship with influencers. Using Twitter as their primary medium for analysis, this application singles out conversations and understands how they affect a group. From there, with their contextual segmentation approach they are able to target specific audiences.

If you are in the travel industry, this tool can prove highly useful. Conversations about destinations, and which places to eat or sleep can give insight on the travel trends of certain groups of people. An influencer who is thoroughly engaged in these topics can drop suggestions that could more effectively lead people to your doorsteps.

5. Kred

Initially, Kred started with a similar model as Klout. The main difference is that they valued and placed high regard in providing transparency. Meaning, they wanted to bring out into the open how they calculated and came up with their, “influence scores.”

As time passed and the program diversified, they chose to stick with making transparency their top feature. By doing this, users can easily gauge where they stand, as Kred does not have any reservations in telling you directly how people are reacting to your comments, what they see in you and how influential you are.

If you would like to boost your business’ credibility, this is the application that you can use.  It’s much easier to distinguish how an influencer interacts with his audience because everything is laid out on the table, making it a cinch for you to hand-pick the most trustworthy. With so much information being offered though, some users feel that it’s too cluttered and a bit disorganized.

Conclusion

The conclusion we can draw here is that using one tool is great, but being able to use a combinations of tools can give you fantastic results in finding the influencer that will do well for your industry. Also, keep asking yourself questions like:

  • What is the influencer’s audience like?
  • Who are the people he engages with?
  • How engaged is the audience with the influencer?
  • Does his audience value the same things that I do?
  • What value can an influencer provide to my clients?

 

By asking these questions, you can remain on track. Lastly, you shouldn’t disregard the importance of building a fruitful and meaningful relationships with the influencers you’ve bagged. 

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