Online Influencers: Who Are They and How Do They Make a Small Business Grow?

Influencers are the people with pull who can navigate consumers towards your blossoming business. It is a key component in marketing. Well defined by Influencermarketinghub.com, an influencer does two things:

  • They have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
  • They have a following in a distinct niche, with whom he or she actively engages. The size of the following depends on the size of his/her topic of the niche. (www.influencermarketinghub.com)

A popularized expression by Donald Trump is “fake news.” We are all familiar with it. Massive amounts of articles are posted online, it is a free-ranging enterprise where anyone can contribute. The problem is differentiating fact from fiction. What content is reliable and what is not? This is where influencers build their following. They have been proven to be reliable sources of information. They are particular about who they promote, what advice they offer, and where their information is coming from. They build their reputation on the principles of truth. In a nutshell, they are the “go-to’s” when seeking answers that are legitimate.

Influencers began with celebrities endorsing a product. With businesses now booming from online sales and recognition, it has vastly changed. While big brand companies run commercials with a celeb as their “face,” numerous businesses targeting the online market rely on many other sources to promote themselves. It’s a smart move to collaborate with an influencer, and it takes effort, consistency, and time to receive that kind of VIP status. And most influencers online are real people and prefer the company of fellow real people. Simply put, make sure to keep it real. The goal is to build and establish a trusting bond. It is not to formally conduct a business proposition. The traditional way of doing things has been taken over by the online voices – YouTuber’s, entertaining podcast hosts, and popular, off-the-wall tweeters to name a few.

How do you find influencers?

Connecting with an influencer in a specific genre begins with finding them. Searching organically and hiring a company specializing in this area are a few ways. That said, you can also save time and money by doing it on your own. Below are a few credible ways to connect with influencers:

  • Followerwonk.com – A Twitter analytics tool where you can type in your niche-related keywords and it will pull up the top list of influential people posting on that particular topic.
  • Buzzsumo – Along with finding the latest articles to hit the online airwaves, buzzsumo.com displays the influencers creating them and how many followers on social media outlets they have accumulated. It also offers an opportunity to share their articles with consumers, which gains more consumers. Sharing credible blogs that you agree with will attract followers, the influencers, as well as your own.
  • Instagram Search – A social media platform where you can search influencers and hashtags in order to connect with others interested in your type of business. Along with Instagram, hypeauditor.com ranks Instagram posts and followers, while weeding out any phony accounts using AI algorithms.

Several other online websites focus on connecting businesses with influencers. However, building a trusting relationship with one is the winning ticket. Targeting the masses will tamper with authenticity. Take it slow, put thought into it, and find the influencers you most believe in to ensure a strong and lasting connection.

Megan Rellahan

Megan Rellahan is an award-winning author with over 15 years of experience working in the publishing arena. She has interviewed numerous Hollywood actors and was featured in L.A.'s Venice Magazine. Along with her background in publishing, Megan has a degree in Cyber Security and certifications in Digital Marketing and Web Design.

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