Influencer marketing is redefining the power of voice. Leveraging the clout of authoritative, influential voices can be the difference between a ripple and a tidal wave.
This relatively new form of marketing has emerged from the intersection of public relations and social media, where the focus is less on the target market as a whole and more on a subset of individuals with a natural megaphone.
Influencer marketing identifies writers and contributors with a large audience and orients marketing activities around their voices.
In “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell poignantly illustrates influencer marketing as the “Law of the Few” which he describes thusly:
The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.
Though influencer marketing has been popularized as the “it” tactic of 2014, Gladwell’s book (published 14 years prior in 2000) hits the nail on the head with the benefit of influencers to carry a conversation or idea to the masses. This idea is similar to the 80/20 Principle, which asserts that roughly 80 percent of the work is accomplished by 20 percent of participants.
Influencers come in many forms — celebrities, connectors, thought leaders, aggregators, CEOs and journalists — and need to be identified and targeted based on your vertical market. The following tools are avenues to help you define who you should target as an influencer through 2014 and beyond.
Finding Influential Authors: ClearVoice
Recently launched by the content marketing agency iAcquire, ClearVoice features a smart search tool that assigns metrics to the subjective measure of content quality.
At its heart is an algorithm that “scores” writers by weighing their post frequency, quality of publishing sites, quantity of sites contributed to, and social relevance. Based on the defined parameters, online voices are scored from a 1 to 100 scale.
ClearVoice is an unprecedented content platform that not only showcases an influencer metric, but also is able to connect authoritative writers with content producers that need their subject matter expertise. Marketers can search for a specific term and find authors that rank the highest for those terms based on their overall ClearVoice authorship score.
For example, if I was a Community Manager for Lululemon and I was searching for content writers who were authoritative in my space, I could search [yoga experts] or [active lifestyle], and content influencers would appear and be ranked based on their ClearVoice Score.
Finding Influential Social Accounts: Klout & Little Bird
Arguably the most popular influencer tool today, Klout analyzes Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Instagram data to arrive at a social influence or “Klout” score. Based on a numerical value between 1 and 100, Klout measures the size and engagement of a user’s social media network.
How is this applicable to influencer outreach, you ask? A marketer can leverage this tool to find high-ranking influencers based on a particular vertical. They can then reach out to them and ask if they’d be interested in engaging with your brand.
A separate but nearly equal platform called Little Bird enables marketers to find influencers but on a topical level. Little Bird has unique profiles that share information about the influencer, and allows you to compare two users against a topic of interest. Marketers can find influencers in more obscure/underground topics as well, making it a great tool for all types of industries.
Tracking Influencer Outreach: Inkybee
After you define possible content creators through ClearVoice and then find influencers on Klout to help amplify the content, leverage Inkybee to track the full influencer outreach process.
Inkybee helps you find influential blogs and bloggers in your industry while pulling in engagement metrics, audience, and social accounts. Its real glory lies in the ability to manage outreach. With its tracking functionality, Inkybee enables you to manage the outreach process, track engagement, and produce reports for the project’s stakeholders.
Analyze Your Influencers: Cyfe
Any marketer knows that success lies in the numbers. Leverage Cyfe, a cloud-based analytics service that enables you to monitor and share all of your vital business data from one single location.
Cyfe’s social media dashboard allows you to select a specific time frame and track social reach, views, engagement, clicks, referral sources and analytics. Data can be pulled in from Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, and a ton of other sources so you can customize your report so it showcases key performance indicators that matter to your organization.
Utilize Cyfe to create custom reports to see the impact influencers have made in your marketing efforts. Prove the value of influencer marketing and track your monthly social and content growth.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)
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