Before we say another word on why online influencers matter to your business, let’s get the elephant out of the room:
What are online influencers, anyway?
Let’s say you are a “dedicated follower of fashion” who wins an all-access pass to New York Fashion Week. It’s a whirlwind of glamour and outlandish outfits showcased in dark and noisy venues. By the end of the week, chances are you’re thrilled, exhausted, and a little confused. Step in your latest edition of Cosmo – where they lay out a systematic display of the fashions on show, which emerged as trends, and how a regular person can incorporate these styles into their wardrobe.
The majority of us are influenced by second-hand information and opinion leaders – we rely on them to interpret for us the meaning of media messages or content. This is the case in digital marketing too.
How does that affect my marketing?
By identifying individuals that have influence over your potential customers, you can focus your marketing actions on these key individuals rather than the target market as a whole.
This isn’t a new idea. Back in 1944, sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld et al. wrote a book called “The People’s Choice” explaining that ideas flow from mass media to opinion leaders, and from them to a wider population. Digital marketing experts use this principle today.
What’s changed is the explosion of data through the internet. Nowadays, the average person produces 6 newspapers worth of information per day. Just 24 years ago, that figure was 2.5 pages – that’s a whopping 200-fold increase!
Business owners have to work harder and pay more to pursue people who are trying to watch and listen less to their messages. Which is why narrowing your marketing efforts to specific online influencers, who can then spread it to their doting audience, makes good business sense. Be sure to tailor your content marketing and social media marketing to catch the eye of the influencers in your industry.
How can I leverage influencers?
To uncover influencers relevant to your field, you can use social media tools based on keywords that belong to specific industry.
An excellent proposal of the five attributes needed in influencers can be found in Ed Keller and Jon Berry’s book, “The Influentials” (Free Press, 2003):
- Activists: influencers get involved, with their communities, political movements, charities and so on.
- Connected: influencers have large social networks
- Impact: influencers are looked up to and are trusted by others
- Active minds: influencers have multiple and diverse interests
- Trendsetters: influencers tend to be early adopters (or leavers) in markets
We are here to help you identify and connect with the influencers that count. For more information on the power of online influencers in your business, contact us today.