Digging Deeper: The Power of Niche Influencers
It’s common sense to use Google searches and Twitter searches to find people who are already interested in your industry or in your target demographic. But if you want to go above and beyond in your influencer marketing efforts and find niche influencers who could really connect with you, dig deeper.
Why “go niche” in your searching efforts? While it can be incredibly beneficial to get a mention from a celebrity or someone who has a large following, customers are actually most influenced by what their friends and family do and like, followed by people they can relate to, or consider like them — their friends-of-friends network, and people with similar demographics. These are the people they trust, and the people who tend to have a greater influence.
Beyond the first tier
People talking about your brand and your competitors’ brands are your “first tier” of influencers, but savvy marketers are looking outside those areas. For example, marketers at an interior decor company also check out fashion blogs, DIY blogs and construction blogs looking for interesting overlaps. People who are creating unique, personal content and demonstrating passion for their projects (and most niche bloggers are), are more likely to resonate with someone who is searching through these blogs looking for pointers.
“Lower ranked” influencers, or tier 2 influencers, can be very effective for any campaign, and it’s often easier to engage with them. If your product or service aligns with their content, a niche influencer will likely be glad you reached out. These kinds of influencers can help you discover rich sub-communities and can also allow rapid scaling of influencer marketing.
Determining the “influence” of niche influencers
There are many free tools available that you can use to determine who has the biggest, broadest reach across social networks, but keep in mind that the size of someone’s network doesn’t necessarily correlate to the extent of his or her influence. A large following that isn’t very engaged won’t be greatly affected by an influencer’s recommendation, let alone take action on it.
You want to uncover the relevant people leading conversations and shaping opinions about your company or brand, even if those influencers are leading smaller social groups. Marketers are naturally interested in bringing big-name influencers in their industry into their network, but it’s a smart strategy to also target up-and-comers, who are often the first to mention something new and start trends. Once you identify these up-and-comers, you’ll see who else wields influence in this space and who you might want to add to your network.
Start where you are
Begin by looking to your current network. By examining this circle, you have the opportunity to identify and get closer to important individuals who are already engaged, and pay attention to what they do. You can study their interests, see how they share and who they share with, learn what content they prefer and observe how they engage in the community, giving you much deeper insights.
In addition, learning about their critical concerns, pain points, and how they engage in conversation will help you cultivate stronger relationships with those who are closest to you. You have the opportunity to move them from liking and following you to engagement with much more impact. This focus on quality over quantity with people you know helps you earn the group’s trust. That’s when they open up their networks to you and are willing to share about you and your products.
Digging deep when searching for key influencers is only one way to increase the effectiveness of your campaigns. For more, access our free tip sheet, 6 Best Practices For Influencer Marketing.