Influencers are experts within a particular industry or on a particular topic. More than just experts, though, an influencer is an expert with a large and engaged following. Engaged followers, for their part, are those on social media platforms who do more than simply follow industry leaders and subject experts; they’re the ones re-tweeting content, writing reviews, and engaging in conversations with influencers, with their own followers, and with people in their day-to-day lives. It is important to tap into this follower base, because these are the people who are more likely to engage with and share your own content.
An incredibly simple and effective way to do this is to use media monitoring and analysis to identify those figures in your industry who get a lot of retweets, favorites, and replies. This information can be located using a manual search, but tools have also been developed that do the work for you. Companies like Impactana, Klout, and yes, MediaMiser can help identify and provide statistics on influencers.
Who needs influencers?
Plainly put, if you want to successfully amplify your content outside your own platforms, you need to engage with influencers; doing so is a major part of an earned media strategy. Your goal should be to piggyback off of influencers within your target industry to add value and promote your content. Of course you think your content is great, but when a recommendation comes from someone outside your organization, someone who’s trusted and respected, it carries even more weight. Marketing guru Jay Baer created a list of eight types of influencers, and here are just a few of the roles they can play:
1. Improve the reach of your content
Influencers have a large base of engaged followers that you likely also want engaging with your content. Having these engaged followers see your content — which is already known to be of interest to them — is likely to elicit yet further engagement, such as retweets. It’s a beautiful cycle.
2. Give credibility to your work
The best influencers are considered experts on your industry or subject matter. If these influencers engage with your piece (either by sharing or commenting) it gives your work more credibility. By linking to or contributing to your content, the influencer is suggesting to their followers that your content is reputable. This can be especially useful later on in your relationship with the influencer if your brand or company is facing a crisis. In the face of bad PR, your influencer can defend you and your brand, and this can be invaluable.
3. Advise you on creating better content
Consider asking influencers for quotes or having them contribute a piece to your company blog. Getting an influencer’s name involved in your content, whether on the byline or in the body, will boost its value. But having an influencer featured in your content does more than just boost its value, it also helps your influencer gain more recognition. It’s a win-win.
Influencers may also be willing to provide advice on your work. Reach out for this advice and take the feedback seriously — they are experts, after all.
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