“Marketing via influencers” builds on the trust consumers have in others’ recommendations, whether the recommendations come from family, friends or authority figures in an industry. It seeks to find influencers who are willing to share a product or service with their audience, because they believe in the product or service.

Connecting with Key Influencers

For marketers, influencers are powerful connections, because they have an audience that trusts them. The recommendation of an influencer creates both credibility and greater awareness for the product or service recommended. In fact, some marketers find this to be the most successful one marketing technique they can employ. Depending on the mode of the recommendation given, a recommendation from an influencer may result in:

  • A powerful authoritative backlink
  • Traffic to your website
  • An increase in brand awareness
  • An increase in sales

This technique, however, requires companies to identify, connect with, and ask influencers for recommendations. Below is a guide on how to use the power of influencers for marketing.

Who is an Influencer

An influencer is anyone who has some relevant audience that trusts them. The audience may be as small as a single family member or as large as a nation, and the degree of trust will range as well. Companies, obviously though, benefit most from connecting with influencers who have large audiences and are highly trusted. These people can be found on blogs and social media, or they may even be recognized celebrities.

How to Identify an Influencer

Manual research is one way to identify influencers, but it is a resource-intense method. There are many tools now that help companies reduce the labor involved in finding and identifying key influencers. Tools like BuzzSumo, Tap Influence, Klout, and others that range in features and prices. These tools crawl social media platforms to find influencers and identify their audiences. Through a dashboard, these programs present marketers with the metrics used to identify influencers.

How to Engage an Influencer

Influencers are rarely keen on recommending products they are unfamiliar with from companies they do not know. Engaging an influencer requires building a relationship with him or her. Most successful strategies start by sharing the influencer’s work with other people, commenting on their blogs or social media pages, and interacting with their audience. Only after the beginnings of a relationship have been forged is it appropriate to reach out and ask for a product or service recommendation. However, some influencers engage in affiliate marketing so you could explore this as an offering depend on the nature of your industry.

Influencers on News Websites & Blogs

A specific kind of influencers are good old fashion journalists and reporters. For TV, newspapers, and of course, online magazines and blogs. Finding key media contacts that are relevant to your business by geography and/or niche, is a powerful method to gaining quality coverage. Often times these media pros are creating stories that are relevant to your business, and they could use some inside insights. As with other influencers, you will have to build the relationship with these professionals as well. Some platforms help you identify and connect with these media professionals, and some PR agencies offer this as a service.

To learn more specifically about engaging new reporters and journalists, read our page on targeted press release distribution.

Bottom Line

Gathering a list of influencers in your company’s industry and building relationships with them can accelerate your company’s marketing efforts. Remember, though, reaching audiences through key influencers is all about building relationships.

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