In life, we are influenced by the people around us. Usually, they’re people we know well and trust. However, we also value the opinions of some people we don’t personally know. These are often people who get a lot of public attention, are very opinionated, and have a strong charismatic effect. They can influence our opinion about a certain topic or even persuade us to try new products.
A perfect example of a key influencer is Oprah Winfrey. She had a loyal following and thanks to Oprah’s Book Club, her millions of viewers were reading the books recommended on her show. They trusted her opinion on these books and decided to read the books. This is what made her a key influencer, and an important figure in terms of book marketing.

Key influencers could also be experts and researchers or even politicians, but a key influencer doesn’t necessarily have to be a person. According to Jane Schactel (Bing), it could also be a trusted website, like Technorati. This blog search engine monitors the influence of blogs and is a reliable source for many.

 

So how can we use these key influencers?

First you need to identify the key influencers in your industry. Who or what are they? Who or what has the most influence? In order to answer these questions, you need to know how to find your key influencers. Some would say that Klout is a good way to find them. Among other things, Klout measures how many times original posts and content are being spread and the number of followers you have. For example, if your content is re-posted many times, Klout will consider you a key influencer.

Others might argue that Klout isn’t that reliable, because it doesn’t distinguish the content of thought leaders from content of active social networkers with no expert knowledge whatsoever. But if you do your research well, you could use Klout as a guide. For example, if you have a company that sells hair products and there are five key influencers in that field who rank highest according to Klout, you can then do some research on these five. How do their networks respond? Anyone buying recommended products? This is your own thorough research, with a little help from Klout.

 

The next step: get them involved in your brand.

It’s very important to offer a high-quality product or service if you want a key influencer to be on your side. True key influencers will not pay attention to worthless products, because they feel a huge responsibility towards their followers. If you believe in your product, you should persuade these influencers to feel the same so they communicate your message to their audiences. One way to do this is by giving them a free sample of your new product. If you’re launching a new video game, you could host an event, inviting gamers and key influencers to play. This is how you create value for your consumers.

Once you have succeeded in persuading key influencers, be very appreciative. For example, you can return the favor and thank them by reposting content on your social networks, as long as it is relevant to your brand.

 

I think key influencers should be used for marketing purposes as engagement will expand your brand’s network, create visibility, and may lead to sales.

If you have any questions or remarks, feel free to leave a comment.