Influencers can be bloggers, journalist, industry analyst, and even consultants. They have a strong following and are often used to help build the credibility of different companies. Think of an Oprah Winfrey or Beyonce when it comes to fashion, most would consider these two as celebrity influencers. However, there is another genre of influencers; these influencers would be your everyday people who have created an online following within a specific industry with consumers that have that interest in common. Using an influencer that has a strong following can help you in marketing your product, often by getting their seal of approval or favorable review, you would more than likely see a boost in sales.
Sounds fantastic, right? It is when done right. The problem that most companies have is locating influencers within their own industry. That's the big challenge when it comes to influencer marketing, but I'm going to try to help.
There are many free tools that you can use to locate influencers within your industry, but you'll have to invest your time. If you are willing the following list should at least get you started in identifying influencers within your industry.
Twellow is a database of Twitter users that categorizes them by subject. You can use the search feature to drill down deeper when searching for exact topics. Users are ranked by the number of followers, so the algorithm is fairly simple, but it may take a little time finding an accurate listing of influencers that isn't dependent on only the number of followers. The investment of time is worth a shot.
Klout used to have a bad reputation, but it's starting to recover. I must admit I have found it very useful in finding influencers in my own industry. All you have to do is connect your social media account to Klout and immediately you can start searching influencers to reach out to.
FollowTheHashTag makes finding influencers easy by just simply typing in a hashtag that is of interest to you. You select the keyword that you want to search and within a second it will provide you with the top 10 influencers by just clicking on the influence link in the sidebar. It can't get much easier than that.