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Influencer marketing is the process of marketing to individuals as opposed to your target market as a whole.
Brands are using influencer marketing to expand their reach and increase the likelihood of resonating with their target audience. For example, a food brand might target influential food bloggers in a hope that they will write or Tweet about their products and promotions.
An influencer acts like a giant megaphone spreading a brand’s message to potential customers. Typically, these individuals will hold a great deal of authority within certain communities and on certain topics.
An endorsement by an influencer means that prospective buyers are more likely to be receptive to a brand’s message.
We’ve written an in-depth guide on the why and how of influencer marketing. It’s free to download.
Influencer marketing is a tricky landscape to traverse. Finding the right type of social media influencer is key to success, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming.
Thankfully there are lots tools that can help you identify suitable influencers and figure out which individuals will help deliver your message to the right audience. It’s worth noting that the majority of these tools work on a freemium model, however the free features can still be robust enough to cover the basics of influencer research.
BuzzSumo brings together content sharing analytics and influencer identification into one simple dashboard. The first feature allows you to search for the most popular content being shared around a certain topic and then identify who shared it. The second feature helps you find influencers based on keywords and hashtags.
BuzzSumo is particularly useful for content marketers. You can get a quick overview of what content is already working well in your network and then identify the individuals who will be able to amplify your own content marketing.
The search functionality allows you to filter influencers by types such as: bloggers, companies, and journalists. This is very useful if you have a clear idea of the type of influencers you want to engage with.
For example, a PR person might only want to find journalists to pitch stories to, while a content marketer might want to make sure that the influencer has a blog to publish on.
This tool combines its own influencer ranking system with a high level of customisability (although it only works for Twitter).
You can define audiences using a number of filters, including bios, what they’ve tweeted about, who they follow, profession, and others. This means you can create audience that are as broad (like the whole of Twitter) or as small as you like (people who follow a local business and have tweeted the word “coffee”).
Each influencer gets a score based on genuine engagement with their account, so it’s easy to weed out any fake or manipulated accounts. You can then look at influencers of that audience as well to get even deeper results.
As an example, we pulled together an audience of vloggers who tweet about veganism or vegetarianism in less than a minute.
TweetDeck is a general use tool for Twitter that offers a lot of extra functionality. And some of these make it a great influencer marketing tool.
For a start their search function is excellent, letting you use the Twitter search operators, and then save your searches as columns that will update in real-time. Perfect for looking at subjects or events to see who is talking about them.
On top of that, you can build lists of accounts and create updating columns with them too. This excellent when you have a list of influencers and want to keep an eye on what they’re saying. You can also start segmenting your list out, meaning you get a collection of carefully curated timelines.
TweetDeck is perfect for bringing some order to your influencer marketing.
Klear is great for finding influencers who are already engaging with you and those within your network. One of the most useful features is the ability to filter influencers by Celebrities, Power Users, Casual and Novice.
When conducting influencer targeting, it’s important to set realistic targets.
Reaching out to the likes of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Rihanna is the marketing equivalent of buying a lottery ticket. Instead you should aim to find influencers who have the ability to reach a large number of people and are receptive to the message you are promoting.
Klear comes packed with some really useful demographic features that allow you to see which types of people are following the influencers you are considering targeting. Matching this demographic data to your audience means you will have a better chance of delivering your message to the right people.
FollowerWonk is a great little tool that allows you to search for keywords in Twitter user bios and sort individuals to find those with the largest reach and most authority.
The free version of the tool also comes with a few handy analytics features, such as the ability to compare the followers of up to three different Twitter accounts.
This particular feature can be used to identify social media influencers who are following your competitors but aren’t following you.
In the example below, you can see how you can quickly generate a list of beauty vloggers.
TweetReach is a useful tool for finding influencers around a specific subject. After authenticating your account with them, you can search by keyword, hashtag, or account an get some results (the free version will use 100 recent tweets to pull the analysis together).
You will get a list of the top 100 contributors and the most retweeted tweets for the subject. This is a great starting to point to see who is influential in your chosen area.
You’ll also get the estimated reach and exposure of your search term, which can give you extra context to your research.
Kred is a good entry level tool for those interested in getting to grips with influencer metrics. Influence is measured by evaluating mentions, retweets, replies and follows on Twitter.
Kred also offers an ‘Outreach Score’ based on how often you retweet, reply and mention other people.
Both metrics are combined to give an synopsis of how influential and active an individual is within certain communities such as marketing, social media, tech, sports, Etc.
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