Creating amazing content that is the envy of your peers and is highly useful to your site visitors might seem like a hard task and it is.
Still, it’s often a much harder task to get people to visit your site in order for them to see and make use of this content.
There are many ways to bring in traffic including SEO and paid adverts. An increasingly common approach that combines traffic generation and brand awareness is through the use of influencers.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is someone that has a following on their blog or via a social media channel, who is also in some way or shape related to your niche or target audience.
These people can be celebrities or more commonly that can be everyday people who have simply carved an audience of their own through their entertaining and informative content.
Pretty much every niche has an influencer of some sort, often with a range of people some who have literally millions of followers, and others with just a few hundred or few thousand in their virtual family.
How can an influencer help your business?
Influencers attract a following due to their natural charisma and entertaining content that provides value – content marketers can learn a lot from influencers!
The thing about influencers is that they are not big business and rarely ever a business at all. Due to this and their content they can engage with their audience in a way that businesses can’t.
Also, as most influencers are just normal people doing normal things whilst being passionate about their particular niche it is authentic, which most marketing cannot replicate.
As such, if an influencer says that A product or B service is great it’s more likely to be taken seriously than if a business says their product is great.
This authenticity is key to helping people see your content, your product or your brand, both in terms of visiting your site and seeing it in a more favorable light.
For internet marketers and services related businesses, influencers are needed to share content and links back to your site, so choosing influencer sin the right channel is paramount.
If your site is about web hosting, an influencer on Instagram probably wouldn’t fit, but if your site is about fashion or business produces fashion related products Instagram would work well.
Influencers can backfire
There is a flaw with using influencers and it’s that they are human. As such they can’t be controlled and sometimes do things that can be against your business ethos.
For example, take PewDiePie, a famous YouTube influencer who has over 54 million subscribers. Earlier this year he got dropped by his main sponsor over anti-Semitic “humor”.
This sort of thing doesn’t happen often but it can happen, so anyone who is trying to use a popular influencer should make note and monitor what they say and do in case you need to distance your business from them.
How to find influencers?
Influencers are everywhere, but how can you actually find them to promote your site?
Well there are a variety of methods and tools available:
This is by far the hardest, and most time consuming method, but by using search (both search engines like Google and internal site search) you can discover new influencers.
If you take YouTube for example, by searching for different elements of your niche you can find people talking about it and can collate data on the different sources: number of followers, amount of content, the style they present their content and so on.
Via social networks
Similar to search but rather using the inbuilt search system and tags associated with each social network. Some additional work might be needed to round out your information on each influencer.
Luckily there are also services available that can help you to find influencers on social networks.
Both Buzzsumo and Followerwonk have sections devoted to influencers in the niche you’re researching.
Buzzsumo is a more social agnostic system that has a bunch more features attached.
Followerwonk is specifically for Twitter but still has an amazing number of features that can help you find influencers in that sphere.
Networking is as old as the hills and there’s nothing like face to face meeting s that can really help you find people to help you promote your work.
That being said, the digital age makes things a lot easier! Sites like LinkedIn are specifically designed around networking. While cold contact might not be ideal with this type of service, it holds a lot of potential for finding influencers in your niche.
Via influencer focused services
As with anything, if there is a rise in popularity with something, it quickly becomes monetized. Influencers are no different.
With more and more businesses wanting to find the right influencer easily it’s easy to see why these companies pop up.
Take Little Bird for example, it makes finding influencers its sole job and the software you get makes your life a lot easier.
Most often these services use databases that are continually updated to provide data on influencers, meaning that the data you need is there waiting to be mined, rather than having to collate it all first.
Another service that has appeared recently is an influencer arbitrage service such as tapnfluence. This service actively finds influencers who want to leverage their followers for payment with people like you who want to leverage their following.
The Bottom Line
Influencers are nothing new, but nowadays they are certainly more common and active, and they don’t need to be celebrities!
Making use of influencers in your marketing campaigns is an ideal way to find and target your perfect audience while leveraging the authenticity of the influencer. It really is a win-win for you and the influencer.
Just remember to monitor the influncers activity in case they start to go against your brand image!