In a nutshell, the goal of PR is to "Get people to say nice things about your brand."
You reach out to journalists and people in the media and get them to write about your latest campaign or product launch.
Sometimes, you may have to send out more than a dozen or more pitches before someone accepts one - no one said it was an easy job.
Influencer marketing, on the other hand, is building relationships with key individuals that can reach and engage your target audience. These relationships then provide a huge boost to your existing social media, marketing and PR campaigns.
When used in tandem, influencer marketing can impact your PR efforts in a huge way. This is because influencer marketing has the human element that PR lacks - it encourages new audiences to trust your brand quickly. By "borrowing" other people’s audiences, you piggyback off of their community and align yourself with their credibility.
It may sound simple, but in order to incorporate influencers in your PR activities well, you need to be resourceful, on top of the latest trends, and very organised.
For example, you'll need to know how to:
- Find influencers who are talking about your industry
- Research and evaluate if the influencers are right for your brand
- Organize them into different categories
In this blog post, we're going to show you 5 tools that you can use to kickstart influencer marketing in your PR program.
1.FollowerWonk - stalk who is following your competitors
FollowerWonk allows you to search for keywords in the bios of Twitter users and sort them to find the ones with the biggest reach and social authority. It's great for finding and connecting with influencers in your niche.
With 3 different priced plans to choose from, it includes analytic features such as allowing you to compare the followers of multiple Twitter accounts. This is a great way to 'stalk' the influencers that are following your competitors.
Tip: Once you find a dozen of influencers that follow your competitors, create a Twitter list with them (we'll talk more this later) and check the content that are sharing regularly.
If they happen to be already writing or sharing content about your competitors, there's a good chance they'd be open to with you too!
2.BuzzSumo – analyze content shared by influencers
BuzzSumo’s influencer search tool is a handy way to find social media profiles based on a certain keyword or what websites they share content from. For example, if I specifically need influencers who talk about technology, I would run a search for that (as I did below).
BuzzSumo also breaks down each person’s influence, showing you domain authority, number of followers, and how often they’re retweeted. Those numbers could all help you narrow down a list of people to work with.
It also lets you see a list of links the person has shared on Twitter. As more people are jumping on the influencer bandwagon, anyone with a Twitter account and a credit card can buy their following - it's therefore important to verify the authenticity and relevancy of their content.
3.Mention – find industry influencers
Mention's influencer tables great are for identifying influencers that are true advocates.
Instead of looking at a list of influencers and finding people who fit your audience, using Mention works the other way around. It show you people that are already talking about and sharing content about you or a competitors' brand, then pick out which ones are influential.
What's more, you can reach out to directly from the tool, making super easy to interact.
It also allows you to see the details about the potential influencers such as: the number of followers they have, where they are, what topics they are interested in, as well as the interactions that you brand, or your competitors' has had with them - It's an easy way to see which competitors' campaigns are being mentioned by influencers.
Similar to Buzzsumo's influencer tool, Mention's influencer discover (in beta) allows you to search for people by keyword or topic. You can search for Twitter and Instagram influencers and then filter them by the number of followers or people following.
4. Twitter Lists - keep up with your influencers easily
This is one of my favorite personal influencer marketing slash stalking tools.
It's pretty straightforward. Once you compile a list of potential influencers that are interesting to you, create a Twitter list with them such as 'Growth Hacker Influencers'. You can choose to make the list private or public.
The list will create a feed of what the influencers are sharing and it's a good idea to check this feed regularly. Getting to know them a bit better will help personalize your pitch, and seeing everyone’s tweets in one spot can help you better identify their content strategies and audiences.
Tip: Once you identify potential influencers that you may want to reach out to, check out what type of Twitter lists they have of their own. Chances are, they'll have like-minded influencers lists on organized by topic.
5. Hey Press - find influential journalists
A large part of PR is tracking down the right journalists for your brand, and sometimes, this can be a needle in a haystack.
For finding journalists and influencers in the media, Hey Press is a sweet and simple search engine. Focusing specifically on tech journalists, this research tools great for founders getting started with their first round of PR and influencer outreach.
Once you get a list of journalists from your search, you can see a list of articles they wrote that are relevant to your topic. If that all looks good to you, add them directly to a Twitter list from there and start engaging with them.
Add influencer marketing to your PR arsenal
The great thing about working with influencers for PR is that with the right strategy, their involvement can make your campaign a lot more appealing to journalists and publications. Reaching out to a few influencers once your campaigned has gained momentum may give it the viral push that just needs.