WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?

Influencer Marketing is the most important new approach to marketing in a decade for those professionals trying to influence decision-making.  It serves as a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of recent practices and studies, in which the focus is placed on specific key individuals or types of an individual rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.  Goals should include Business, Marketing, Strategy & KPI’s.

In Influencer marketing, we need to foster these relationships.  The data lessons of CRM, the engagement, monitoring and gamification lessons of Facebook and Twitter all apply naturally to a community of influencers in an IRM network.  Marketers setting up a new target list for an upcoming campaign want to pull a list of top influencers within a specific category.  They also want to rank them not only by these generic scores but also by variables that have proprietary relationships relative with these influencers.

Hot, trending Klout has long been an effective way to get your word out, but only recently have digital influencers been a primary focus.  An influencer is a person, brand or company who is contextually compelling to produce effects on the actions, behavior, and opinions of others. For marketers, influence is only valuable if it produces actions or changes behavior or opinions of others. This distinctive point is often missed. So as marketers, we want to focus on those individuals that do something to cause an action or behavior change in a significant number of people that favors the brand we represent.

Types include:

1) Traditional influencers – These are the individuals that traditional PR agencies court. They are pinnacle media establishments (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post) and celebrity-like figures (Mario Batali, Roger Ebert, Tim Gunn) in a specific area of subject expertise.

2) Emerging (digital) influencers – These poster-tech bloggers and emerging digital influencers such as Robert Scoble, Tavi Gevinson, and Seth Godin have established a large audience following and drive thought leadership in a specific space.  Emerging digital influencers could also be blogs such as PitchFork, Mashable, and Gizmodo rather than individuals by name.

3) Influencers by connection – People who have hundreds of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. If you represent a brand, you want to court these people to produce brand action.

4) Influencers by topic – People who are opinion leaders for certain topics.  If you represent a brand, you want opinion leaders talking about your products or services.

5) Earned influencers- Influencers who are active in their topic of expertise over a period of time

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