Solving the Influencer Puzzle

Now that you have been introduced to influence marketing and the possible types of influencers, you may be wondering how to find the so-called influencers. I’d like to share what I have learned while working at Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners, as part of our sales and marketing support for our portfolio companies, that may help you solve the puzzle.
Problem:  Where and how can you identify who influences your customers
Possible solutions:

  1. The first (and quite possibly the best) resource is your current customer base. Invite your customers to participate in a survey, phone interview or focus group and ask them where they go for information within your industry, what blogs they read, how they follow on Twitter, etc. Most will be excited to engage with your company and offer up the information without any resistance. All you have to do is ask.
  2. Use blog search engines such as Google Blog Search and Technorati to find the key bloggers for your company. Use a few different keywords to ensure the best results.
  3. Look for influencers on Twitter by using the search feature. Start retweeting and following key influencers as you identify them.
  4. Use Google to identify experts within your company’s space by using a variety of keywords. This is a generic tactic that may help you find a wide range of influencer types – bloggers, analysts – you name it.
  5. Take a look around LinkedIn. There may be well-established groups within your industry. These groups are often composed of multiple types of influencers.
  6. Review the Tekrati database. I mentioned this in my last entry. It is a very powerful database and may help you find the analyst firm with the best fit for you.
  7. Set up multiple Google Alerts around your company, your competitors, as well as 5-10 keywords to get the news as it happens. This may also catch anything you may have overlooked.
  8. Use one of the PR software tools out there. Two examples are Cision and Vocus. These tools can help you find the influencers as well as manage the engagement process.

Check back next week when I explain the importance of goal setting for influencer programs within expansion stage software companies.

Amanda Maksymiw
Amanda Maksymiw
Content Marketing Director

Amanda Maksymiw worked at OpenView from 2008 until 2012, where she focused on developing marketing and PR strategies for both OpenView and its portfolio companies. Today she is the Content Marketing Director at Fuze.
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