Many people assume the most difficult aspect of influencer marketing is knowing the correct way to measure results. However, the detection of influencers remains the most pressing challenge facing marketers.

Linquia indicates that 45% of marketers have problems finding the right influencer. Some brands’ initial instinct is to focus only on reach, which means that they work with influencers who have millions of followers. While these types of influencers can help you increase your visibility, they may not be able to generate conversions if your product isn’t relevant to their audience.

Whatever your reason is for working with an influencer marketing program, it’s important that work is aligned with the main objectives of your brand and your business. Social listening can help you detect influencers, but you must first understand what defines their role, so that you can establish strategies and actions to manage those relationships.

Understanding influencer marketing:

In the continuing battle to reach audiences, marketers are fighting to attract the attention of consumers at a time when they’re increasingly overwhelmed by excess noise. Recent studies show that people can be reached by those they trust to filter the noise—that’s where influencers come in.

Influencer marketing is nothing new. The role of influencers has remained the same for some time, what has changed are the elements to the formula—now, folks influence through social media, making them easier to find.

Throughout the current online landscape, you’ll find three categories of influencers:

  • Traditional media: refers to traditional influencers that we can find in the offline world as journalists, analysts, or investors who can now be equally seen as influencers in the digital world.
  • Online community leaders and experts: like bloggers and industry insiders. These can be extremely influential in their niche.
  • Influential Fans: The fans in your community that other fans listen to and respect.

What defines an influencer for your brand?

In short what defines an influencer for your brand is:

  • Context: As we’ve mentioned before, appropriate influencers vary from one brand to another. So using a famous singer like Justin Bieber to tweet about your software may not be wise if your brand doesn’t sync with his.
  • Reach: When an influencer is right for your brand, their messages must also have a certain scope. They should be heard by a large audience.
  • Actionability: This feature comes naturally when you target individuals who are contextually aligned with your brand and have a broad enough reach.

What are the most relevant influencers for your brand?

Imagine that a person wants to buy crossfit shoes and can’t decide on the right pair. Here is the path that that consumer has to walk before choosing what to buy:

  1. Unaware: The consumer doesn’t even know that there are special shoes for crossfit or that your brand exists.
  2. Aware: within his or her search (forums, blogs, etc.), the consumer finds out about your brand, becomes curious, and is willing to listen to your message and receive more information.
  3. Deciding: as soon as the consumer learns more about the different offers in the market, including yours, he becomes an educated buyer, ready to make a decision.
  4. Buying: the purchase is made.

Along that person’s path, somewhere between the “aware” and “deciding” phases, he or she was influenced by a combination of tastemakers relevant to their journey. So to detect your influencers, you must:

  1. Understand what your consumers are trying to achieve.
  2. Accompany them in their buying process by identifying their needs, aspirations, desires, challenges, and those who they trust.

Once this mapping is done, you will be able to identify your consumers’ topics of interest, and track their conversations with influencers—effectively, consumers sometimes lead you to influencers.

Using searches on your brand:

One way to find influencers is by doing a search on your brand (in social listening tools this is known as a query), this will allow you to find the publications and individuals who are talking about you.

You’ll be presented with a selection of information about which leaders have the most opinions and influence in the network.

Using searches on concepts or keywords:

This is similar to the above but using terms instead of brand names.

Writing a query around the product category will reveal people who are relevant, but not necessarily talking specifically about your brand.

Metrics to take into account:

The most important KPIs to take into account when deciding who you want to work with are ones that will give you some quantitative criteria for your selection:

  • The level of involvement
  • Engagement of your audience
  • Network of influence
  • Channels and platforms

As a result of this type of analysis, it’s now possible for brands to have a complete view of what is said about them on social media, which influencers are saying it, and whether or not that person is helping or hurting their overall narrative.

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