Partnering with industry leaders has long been a successful marketing strategy – big brands have been marketing with sports figures and celebrities for decades. Think about brands like Gatorade or Nike. Now in the age of social media marketing, partnering with people of influence has not only become a necessity but a way to propel new brands into the spotlight.
The cool thing about Influence Marketing is that any business can participate in it and a strong partnership helps both parties.
In this article I’ll tell you how to do influence marketing and the top 3 ways to the right influencers for your brand.
Related reading: 6 Growth Strategies to Maximize Your Influencer Marketing Efforts
Why use Influence Marketing?
Influence Marketing can drive tons of hits to your blog, and increase your own social influence.
Search engines, like Google, are now factoring social influence into pagerank – which means the more social influence you have, the better your SEO and SERP.
Connecting with your industry influencers raises both your influence and your trust. Yes, the true influencer you have is your customer. Top industry influencers can amplify your reach to more of your targeted consumers. They can give your brand trust by association to new markets too.
90% of consumers, and readers, trust the recommendation of peers. Tap into influential peers to gain trust for your blog, and you can have a rush of new readers and customers to your business bottom line.
Danny Brown is on the forefront of Influence Marketing. Check him out for more reasons why you need to using it.
How to find Industry Influencers
The key to start using Influence Marketing is to find your industry leaders. But, how do you do this?
Three main strategies to find your industry influencers are:
- Social influence metric tools
- Social media platforms
- Search engines
1. Social Influence Metrics
Social Influence Metrics are gaining massive importance in social media marketing. These metric tools essentially crawl through social media sites, collate and analyze interactions, and then rank each person and business online for their social influence.
There’s dozens of social influence metric tools you can use to find and measure social media authority. Use them to find and leverage the most influential bloggers in your industry.
The big three social influence metric sites are Klout , PeerIndex , and Kred.
Klout is the go-to source for most social media influence measurements. It was one of the first such sites, starting in 2008. It measures over 400 metrics from activity on ten social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress (i.e. your blog), and even the Klout site itself.
It collates the data through their algorithms, and gives people and businesses a score of 1-100 (with 100 being the best – and impossible – to get). You can use the site to strategically find the influencers who best suit your business needs.
Aside from the being the most comprehensive influence metric site, the bonus about Klout is that it specifically includes blog influence. When you’re driving traffic to your blog, you want to connect with the top bloggers in your industry.
Search “social media” on Klout to get the top social media influencers:
PeerIndex is similar to Klout. It measures social media influence based on users engagement levels and influence on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Like Klout, PeerIndex has its own algorithms to measure who is influential in what sectors.
This site breaks down influence levels more granularly in each sector, and it shows who the influencers are influencing. If you’re targeting a specific market, use this data to strategically connect with top influencers who have sway with your niche readership.
PeerIndex show who your influencers are influencing:
Kred is a comprehensive site that enables you to find key influencers, gain actionable insights, and find intelligence about your competitors. It measures industry influencers on a number of social sites, and uses their own algorithms to give you – and everyone else – an influence score.
The bonus about Kred is that it measures outreach activity, and gives you this data in an easy to read format. The outreach feature is hugely beneficial, as this tells you how often the influencers retweet, reply, share and mention other people (like you). Find influencers who frequently engage with others, and they are more likely to share your blog articles too.
Mari Smithis highly influential, and has a high outreach level score for bloggers:
A note about Twitter metric sites: Twitter changed its relationships with API’s earlier this year, causing some Twitter metric sites to close down, or to make major changes to their business products. Anyone can now get access to Twitter analytics directly, not just paid advertisers.
2. Social Media Platforms
Use social sites directly to find your industry influencers. You won’t get the comprehensive data as you would be using social influence metric sites, but you can use the following hands-on tactics to find your influencers, too.
- Use the search function on Twitter to directly find new influencers.
- Follow hashtags to determine what industry influencers are using and engaging on your niche keyword topics.
- Use Twitter analytics direct from the source.
- Also, see 12 Formulas: How to Use Twitter to Drive Traffic to Your Blog for more tips on using this site for your blog traffic.
Find top results of people writing about your subjects by searching on Twitter:
- Use Facebook search to check out people in your industry, or use tools like EdgeRank checker.
- Like influencers who have both high a Fan base and a high engagement rate (check their “talking about” numbers).
- Check out and join industry specific Facebook groups.
- Also, see 12 Effective Ways to Use Facebook to Drive Traffic to Your Blog for more tips on using this site for your blog traffic.
Find blogger groups on Facebook:
- Find industry leaders by searching for their G+ page, and joining relevant groups.
- Check people’s Google+ ripples.
- Follow the flow on Google+ ripples to discover new industry leaders.
- Also, See How not to use Google+ for more tips on using this site.
Use Google+ ripples to measure leadership reach on the site:
- Search your industry for LinkedIn Influencers.
- Follow Influencers on LinkedIn and their other social sites.
- Join groups and watch for group influencers.
- Also, see 10 Tips: How to Use LinkedIn to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
Find and follow LinkedIn Influencers in your sector:
- Search for your keywords directly on Pinterest.
- Find and follow people who frequently engage with your niche keywords.
- Check out broad Pinterest categories to find influencers with tons of repins.
- Also, see 9 Ways to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
Search for influencers who get the most repins on Pinterest:
3. Search Engines
Use search engines to find who’s writing about your industry, and who’s using your keywords. Again, you won’t get the same detail and data as you do from social influence metric sites, but you can get quick at-a-glance sites, and you’ll expand your options for finding more niche industry leaders.
A very simple way to find bloggers in your industry is to simply do a Google search. This is particularly helpful when you’re in a very niche market, or looking for influencers for a very specific blog topic. (Your industry influencers may not even show significantly in tools like Klout, PeerIndex or Kred.)
Let’s say you have a whale watching business, for example. You want to find the top influencers on tourism, ecotourism, your geographic area, your demographic market, and so on. Get some ideas of who your top bloggers are by simply doing a Google search:
Take your search results and analyze the top blogs using social influence metrics and social media sites.
Technorati is the top blog search engine. Use it to search for bloggers in your industry, and blog posts about your subject matter.
Check out the results. Then, click through to the sites, check the bloggers out on metric sites, and check out their social media sites directly, too.
Other blog search engines include: Blog Search Engine, Blog Digger and Ice Rocket.
(Tip: For most blog search engines, you need to add your site. Make sure you do this, to get your blog found!)
Connecting with industry influencers has long been a successful marketing strategy. Finding your industry leaders online will increase your own social influence, and get your business seen by your key influencers – your customer.
In my next article, I will give you actionable tips on how to network with your influencers to increase their engagement with you.
- 10 Tips: How to Use LinkedIn to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
- 12 Effective Ways to Use Facebook to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
- 12 Formulas: How to Use Twitter to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
- How to use Google+ to Promote your Blog (9 tips)
- 9 Ways to Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog
- The Ultimate Small Business Guide to Social Bookmarking: Driving Traffic to Your Blog
- Blog Traffic: How to Use Q&A Sites and Niche Forums to Increase Blog Visitors
What do you think? Do you use Influence Marketing? How do you find your market leaders? Tell your tips in the comments below.