Fine-Tuning Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

March 4, 2016

In July 2015, AdWeek offered 10 reasons why influencer marketing is “the next big thing,” citing, among other things, the power of word-of-mouth to persuade and the massive supply of influencers compared to marketers who are actually adopting influencer campaigns. The author concluded that there are strong reasons to employ an influencer marketing strategy. All of which raises the question: Just how does one go about finding and attracting social influencers?

We suggest that the first place to look for influencers is in your proverbial “backyard.” That is, look at those folks who already follow you, for these are people who are already attracted to your brand. Simply Measured has a number of free tools, including a Twitter follower analysis tool that includes user’s Klout scores and the topics that they tweet about.

There are a number of tools for finding social influencers. A popular one for small- to mid-sized businesses is BlogDash; one that is geared more toward large- or enterprise-sized businesses is BuzzSumo. With these tools, you can enter your keywords to find people who blog about them.

You’ll certainly want to look for influencers who have reach, but don’t exclude a potential influencer because they don’t have half a million followers. This infographic about “the Power Middle” shows that influencers with between 2,500 and 25,000 followers can be quite powerful for your marketing strategy.

So what do you do when you find social influencers who may be amenable to writing about your brand? How can you connect with them in a way that rings authentic?

The ideal way to reach out is via email, as this shows that you’ve done your homework to really find out about the person. If you can’t find an email address, though, you can still reach out initially via their social media channels. Your first attempt to connect should be simple and straightforward. Give them a brief description of your brand and why you’re interested in working with them and, most importantly, outline your mutual value proposition, i.e., what are they going to get out of the exchange. And then follow up with them, as research shows that influencers are often recruited on the second contact.

According to Jay Baer, “True influence drives action, not just awareness.” You want to work with influencers that can propel their followers to take action. So your marketing strategy should be to align yourself with those with an ability to move their followers.