Influence marketing is one of the “next big things” for driving blog and website traffic, and increasing your own brand’s influence with a target audience. Done the right way, it’s a fantastic tool for improving your brand’s reach, and for inspiring trust amongst your customer base.
The trick is finding those key people who can help you do that. Here are three simple ways to find the influencers in your industry.
One way to get a rough idea of who key influencers are is to do what everyone does when they have a question: Google it. Or alternatively, use a blog search engine such as Technorati, where your search results are limited to blog posts only.
Depending on the industry you’re in, searching in this way can actually be more useful than other methods. In some very specific niche industries or topics, influencers may not have strong social media presences, and in these cases Google is the best way to find them.
Heading straight to social media sites to find and follow major influencers can be particularly useful, because it’s also the simplest way to quickly get a handle on what influencers are talking about. The 140-character limit on Twitter lends itself well to this, because it’s easy to read pages of tweets from a single user very quickly, as well as see how they engage with their audiences.
Most social media platforms have simple search tools to find topics, people, and groups of interest, and metrics that can provide useful for analysis. For example, Twitter users can explore analytics of their own and other accounts, and Facebook’s “talking about” numbers are a good reflection of audience engagement.
The most comprehensive way of finding influencers and examining their social media metrics is with tools such as Klout and Kred. These are sites that have been designed to collect information from a range of social media sites, analyse users and their interactions, and then rank users according to their level of influence.
Klout measures literally hundreds of metrics from ten sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and WordPress. This makes it a particularly useful tool for finding influential bloggers for outreach efforts.
Kred operates in a similar fashion, but unlike Klout it measures outreach, which means you can easily locate influencers with high audience engagement levels, who are more likely to engage with you and your content.