If yesterday was the age of blogger engagement, we’re now in the age of the influencer. And let’s be honest, we’ve always been in that age, but now what our influencer looks like has changed. Want proof? Look in the mirror. Yes. You are, in some shape, form or capacity, an influencer. We all are. And brands are starting to take more and more notice of it.
There are a number of influencer ranking platforms out there, such as Klout, PeerIndex, TweetReach, etc.. but that’s not what I’m talking about here. We need to start recognizing that there are concentrated pockets within the online space made up of vocal, relevant and influential people that could prove incredibly valuable to sharing information, creating excitement and most important, growing advocacy. For brands, this is huge. The brands that will win in this will be the ones who don’t simply look at a number, but see the bigger picture and recognize the ROI is now ROR, return-on-relationships.
The Altimeter Group released a new study about the role of social influence and one of the things that I found very interesting and agreed with most is how they break down the influencer by reach, resonance and relevance. And through these three pillars are the keys to tapping into the right audiences and influencers. Additionally, it’s not just about someone having a huge following online, but finding those that have a concentrated audience centered around a shared interest or subject.
I think within the next six to 12 months, brands are going to step back, realize their pay-for-play blogger programs aren’t returning on their objectives and will reassess how to reach their core audiences online. And I believe that it will come down to strategic, thoughtful and smart mining of regular folks online that fit in one category or another. Time will tell, but we’re already moving in this direction.
It seems like an arbitrary nut to crack, but we’re getting there and this is going to be a pretty fun and exciting space to see expand. I, for one, am very much looking forward to it. Who doesn’t love an influencer case study?
What do you think? Is influence a matter of a Klout score or more than that? Would love to hear additional thoughts.