May 16, 2016 Jason Khoo

What is an Influencer

What is an Influencer

Influencers is a popular term used in the Marketing industry. Its a broad term for a figure who is particularly well respected in their industry and has a following of people who look to them for advice. There is no numerical or statistical barometer for determining if a person is an influencer. Influencers are not restricted by mediums either. So they can be an influencer from blogging, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

How Can Influencers Help Me?

Influencers can often be the determining factor that can launch a campaign into resounding success. Lack of influencers can make your grand marketing scheme feel like an empty bar on New Years Eve. The reason influencers are so important is because they are the experts of their respected field. Thus their community and many consumers look to them for advice on buying products or a particular service.

It’s the same reason why some people go online and read articles on smartphones before they make their purchase. Or they go to the interior design blog before the trip to Ikea to get some inspiration. We don’t have time to be experts at everything, so we look to others to provide us that expertise. If your business can work with influencers, your message gets spread to the experts of the industry who are distributing messages to those who actually care about the information.

Much more effective than a TV ad or billboard, working with influencers helps deliver your marketing message to those who are actively looking for information in your field.

How Do I Find These Influencers?

There are a number of tools that exist in the market to help you find influencers. Tools include companies like Little Bird or Followerwonk by Moz. To be honest though, finding influencers just takes time. You have to understand your customer, the market and who they look to for respect. If you are doing the proper work for your industry, talking to customers and trying to educate yourself, it will come naturally.

Many large companies and small timers battle this same issue. Its a difficult process, but it is well worth the time to find these influencers.

How Do I Work With These Influencers?

Influencers aren’t your puppets. Lets just get that straight. You can’t just shove products in their face and expect them to do your bidding. These influencers have their own business to run and they work with many companies. Like any great relationship, business or personal, there has to be a benefit to both sides. Its not that hard to find either, you just need to communicate and understand both sides.

The bottom line is that you need to understand what both sides want. If you can align the goals of both sides, then a relationship is simple. A vlogger needs products to review to keep viewers engaged. A company needs more exposure for their product. The key is to express this and find a healthy relationship.

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Jason Khoo

Jason is a graduate from California State University Fullerton's Mihaylo Marketing program. Starting his career in marketing consultancy as a sophomore, Jason went door to door asking businesses to give him a chance. From then on, Jason has been helping businesses understanding the vast bevy of marketing and online tools to help accomplish business goals on behalf of his clients. Jason writes at Ron Wave Design, his personal site and at medium (@jasonjkhoo).
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