Influencer marketing is like a huge game of ‘Guess Who?’. Do they have glasses? Any facial hair? Do they use #EnSW in 50% of their tweets? It can be a complex digital game.
But, you’d think that you could fall back on social software platforms to magic up a list of technology influencers, but on the whole, we find they miss the gems.
B2C influencers are very different to those in B2B. What makes a B2B influencer isn’t hundreds of thousands of followers, like those in B2C, but an understanding of a niche market. Which is key.
What’s frustrating is I don’t feel influencer marketing tools reveal the level of detail you need to get the full picture and thus define your perfect pool of influencers.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re a good starting point but if you don’t get your hands dirty and track these profiles, you’ll waste time interacting with the wrong people.
So, if the influencer tools out there can’t help you, how do you identify an influencer for your market? Here’s some questions to help you get started:
Where do you seek news and information related to your industry?
You work in your industry; you know who the leaders and shakers are. You probably source news from CIO online and Forbes. These are great places to source influencers, but industry-specific titles like Datacentre Dynamics or Inside ERP really showcase the people in the know – the ones that your audience know and trust.
Who do the movers and shakers follow?
It might be that the people you identify here aren’t influencers, but can be those that regularly interact and contribute and are likely to have an opinion on your niche too.
We use Followerwonk to pull out ‘followers in common’. The screenshot below compares the three niche handles: Data Centre World, DCD and Datacenters UK, and shows who they are following.
From here, you can start to build a profile of the influencers in your space and whittle down the generic accounts to the niche geniuses.
Who follows the movers and shakers?
It’s not always a case of how many followers the account has, more a case of how specialised their followers are. Followerwonk is great for analysing the right demographics too. It’s possible to analyse the keywords used in the bios of influencer’s followers as well as their locations to get an idea of which influencers have the right audience.
How active are they?
It’s hard to determine how active an influencer is, but it’s important to know. The ideal influencer shouldn’t just broadcast, they should interact and share opinions too. At this stage, it’s about manually reviewing each account, scoring them and then refining the list.
It’s good to consider the volume of posts, interactions and engagement. Next, look at who they’re engaging with – is it the same old group or do they reach out wider? This will help you understand their levels of interaction and whether you’ll get traction from their audience.
Are they NSFW? (Not Safe For Work!)
This is hugely important. You need to determine if they are the right person to promote you. This comes down to the culture of your business as well as what’s acceptable for your audience. Are you comfortable with your content alongside political propaganda, satirical humour or someone that calls out industry errors?
Choose wisely, because influencers may be intelligent but their tweets may reflect an opinion that you don’t want to promote.
That brings us to the end of our ‘Guess Who?’ game. If you’ve followed this advice, you’ve won! Back to the reality of B2B marketing we go…