In the last few months, I have been doing a lot of work with influencers. I am sharing a few of the things I have learned along the way.
First, let’s tackle the term influencer. In today’s marketing world, an influencer reaches a large audience through any number of non-traditional outlets – blogs, social media platforms, video, online publications. I’m sure there are many others that I am not thinking of at the moment. What matters is that he or she has an audience that listens and trusts what the writer has to say. Ideally, that trust leads the follower to engage with your (or your client’s) business.
There are so many ways to find influencers that it can be overwhelming. Here are a few of my favorite ways (in no particular order). All but one is free to use (but some also have paid upgrades).
Eight Ways to Find Influencers to Promote Your Product
- Google – We all Google everything, right? So, yes, you can Google “mom blogs” or “tech blogs” and find lists and articles to read through. The bad – time consuming. The good – some sites will talk about what it’s like to work with certain bloggers, giving you an idea as to how engaged an influencer’s audience is.
- Media databases – many influencers are listed in these databases (like Cision) and you can build a starter list. The bad – not always up to date. Not free and databases are expensive. The good – quick and easy.
- Social Media – Use the most popular ones like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest to find influencers who reach your target audience. The bad – time consuming. The good – instantly see how active an influencer is and if their audience is a fit for you. PS – I think I will do a dedicated post about how to use this method in the future.
- Other Influencers – this method works once you have established some relationships. Many influencers know each other and will recommend others.
- Blog badges – Find a blog or two that you think is a fit and see if they have community badges listed. For example, I have worked with Heather at Here We Go Again, Ready. When you look at her blog, on the right side are a number of badges. Click on the first one, Picket Fence Blogs, and ta-da – you have a list of bloggers to check out. The bad – time consuming, may be out of date, and may lead to agencies instead of blog groups. The good – it’s a community, the list often has blog details.
- Blog Metrics website – I recently discovered Blogmetrics.org. I can’t verify how accurate their numbers are, but you can find decent lists here. The bad – not sure about the accuracy of numbers. The good – lists broken down by different metrics.
- Help A Reporter Out (HARO) – On HARO, reporters put out requests for people to help them with stories. If you are not subscribed to the HARO emails, stop right now and sign up. You can set your preferences to what kind and how often you would like to hear from HARO. It’s not just reporters who ask for help, but influencers do, too. When you reply to a HARO post, you reply to a HARO generated email address. BUT, often the request will list the name of the person requesting and the name of the outlet. Put them together and you can head to the site to figure out how to contact the writer or producer directly. The bad – the HARO emails can get unwieldy if you don’t set your preferences. The good – lots of different types of leads.
- Buzz Sumo – This is one of my favorite sites to play with to find influencers. Just type in what you are looking for (for example, “product review blog” or “mom review”). Then use the filters on the left side as needed to get a list of blog posts and their sharing information. For best success, be sure to be as specific as possible in your search. You can also click the influencer tab at the top, but I haven’t found this to be as helpful. The bad – Buzz Sumo now limits the number of searches you can do per day and the number of results (unless you pony up for the paid version). The good – see which social media outlets are most popular for the blogger or topic. PS – I think I will do a dedicated post about how to use this method in the future.
Once you have created your initial targeted list of influencers, the next step is making your contact plan and then reaching out. How to do that is coming up soon!
Have a great way to find influencers to promote your product? Share in the comments.
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