Corporate Eye

3 Steps to Identify Influencers and Consumer Moments of Influence

influencerWho are the people who influence your customers as they make the journey from awareness of your brand to purchasing it? Influence has become a fundamental part of branding in recent years, particularly as it relates to social media and content marketing. Traackr, a social media and influence company, released an ebook, “Help! Who Are My Influencers?” which offers an easy-to-follow and easy-to-implement three phase process to identify influencers.

The ebook also explains how to identify key moments of influence during the purchase process, so you can connect with consumers to create the right kinds of influence and push them closer to buying. It’s also filled with useful worksheets to help you create a audience overview as well as customer journey and influence matrices.

Step 1: Understand Your Customers and Define Your User Profiles

First, you need to determine who you want to influence. What do they want and need from your brand? Who do they get information from when they need to make a purchase decision for a brand like yours? The Traackr ebook provides an Audience Overview worksheet, which includes Customer Types section to identify core and extended audiences as well as a Customer Baseball Card section to create a detailed description of specific users.

Step 2: Map the Customer Journey and Identify Influencer Touchpoints

Using the user profiles you created in Step One, identify your customers’ paths to purchasing. Record the types of questions they ask along the way, and again, capture who the influencers are at each stage. These are the people who your customers rely on for information along their journey to making a purchase.

The Traackr ebook offers both a B2B and B2C Customer Journey Influencer Matrix, which you can use to map the customer’s journey through the four primary stages in the purchase journey: unaware, aware, deciding, and purchasing. You can also answer important questions about the customers’ journey and who influences them at each stage.

Step 3: Derive Topics for Each Touchpoint and Find Influencers by Topic

Finally, you need to find the influencers who are guiding your target customers throughout their purchase journey and identify topics that you can use to engage those influencers as well as your customers. Not only is it important to identify the right topics and the right people, but you also need to make sure you learn the right terms, keywords, and phrases to have effective conversations with them.

As the Traackr ebook explains, “By going bottom up, starting with your customers, their areas of interests and concerns, you’ll be able to find people who are important to their decision-making at every point.”

Next Steps

If you’re not already identifying influencers and communicating with them as they’re actively offering information and advice (directly or indirectly) to your target audience of consumers, then you need to start doing so immediately. The worksheets in this ebook are very handy whether you’re just starting to implement influencer tracking and communications into your brand marketing strategy or if you’ve already been connecting with influencers but need to refocus your efforts for better results. You can download it for free using the link at the beginning of this article.

Image: Barun Patro

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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