Who Are Influencers?

Influencers are the hidden assets in your marketing balance sheet. They can have an outsized impact, they can be leveraged to generate a higher than expected ROI and you don’t need to throw away money on an ad campaign.

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Influencer marketing however is different from traditional marketing. Even compared to the standard social media playbook, if you want to motivate the influencers in order to mobilize your fans then you need to take a different approach. This isn’t your father’s marketing campaign.

What’s Wrong with Traditional Methods?

Confidence and trust has been steadily dropping when it comes to paid-for media, compared to a personal, network-centric, unpaid approach, which has consistently gained the public’s trust during the past few years. According to Nielsen, the two most trusted sources are recommendations within personal (on and offline) networks (92%) and online reviews (72%). Ads have been steadily losing ground for years now.

How to Identify an Influencer?

Everyone – all 7 billion of us – have the power to influence others. In fact most of us influence someone else at least once or more a day. Our words, actions, social media posts, emails, even body language all has an impact on those around us. Humans are social creatures. We need interaction in order to constantly define and refine our place in our social and familial hierarchy’s.

Influencers, or rather “key influencers,” according to The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) 2013 Influencer Guidebook are people with an outsized or amplified ability to “cause or contribute to a change in opinion or behavior.”

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Social networks allow us to identify influencers more easily. Individuals having large number of followers, who are active and engaged, who have high (above 55) Klout scores are usually capable of having an amplified reach and ability to change opinions and behaviours throughout their network.

The idea of mobilizing key influencers in a marketing capacity is a broad concept, the exact definitions of the types of influencers will be discussed in subsequent blogs and articles. But for now, consider this quote from the academic Duncan Watts (known for his work on network theory and author of Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age, 2004):

“If society is ready to embrace a trend, almost anyone can start one – and if it isn’t, then almost no one can.”

Watch our webinar about how to Reach More Supporters on Social Media When You Turn Influencers into Advocates.

Attentive.ly is a a social marketing platform that drives engagement with your digital campaigns by turning your existing audience into brand advocates.

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