Influencer Marketing is becoming a key element in many digital marketing strategies. Brands collaborate with Ambassadors or Advocates: users that have a large online visibility (usually on social media) and that have an affinity with some of the brand’s characteristics. In this way, brands can reach users that are likely to be interested in them and are introduced to them in a more subtle way than with most advertisements.
As people get more and more desensitized to ads, networking and Influencer Marketing are very effective ways to leverage reputation and drive consumer behaviour.

Influencer marketing is already strong in the sphere of blogs and social networks. People with high numbers of followers or website visits are considered Influencers. Focusing attention on particular products, services or news, an Influencer can orient the purchase or, at least, direct people towards it. Brands usually use Influencers to promote events in real time through live tweeting activity or by contest campaigns, relying on the large audience the influencers have. In live events coverage, one of the most important goals for brands is becoming a Trending Topic on Twitter: this is important because the brands can quickly improve awareness, engagement, and visits on the web site.

There are several important questions concerning Influencer Marketing that need to be asked: How do you identify an Influencer? Is having an high number of fan/followers the only characteristic for a person to be an Influencer?
How do you track the activities of an Influencer? What topics and interests are Influencers most likely to endorse?

We believe that the field of Influencer Marketing is not as simple as it might seem. This strategy is built upon social networks and, as we’ve already seen, social networks’ features go beyond the number of nodes and links: the quality of the links are especially relevant in order for the influence to be effective. Also, Influencer Marketing can be applied in different ways, to pursue diverse interests. Here are some examples…

Brands may simply want to create buzz, to be more visible and reach a greater number of people. In this case, we can talk about “Quantitative Influencer Marketing”. This is commonly used when a brand needs to promote news, events or products. The best Influencers for this kind of strategy are the ones with high percentages of exposure, contributors and interactions. ROIALTY detects these metrics for Twitter (the king of Quantitative Influencer Marketing, right now), Facebook and Instagram.

Screen grab from ROIALTY live Tweet monitoring tool focusing on the MotoGP battle in Spain, which wasn’t just hot on the Valencia circuit.

Screen grab from ROIALTY live Tweet monitoring tool focusing on the MotoGP battle in Spain, which wasn’t just hot on the Valencia circuit.

On the other hand, if a brand wants to increase the conversation about something and create a large amount of content around it, the model “one-to-many” is inefficient. This is the field of “Qualitative Influencer Marketing”. Before deciding which metrics to focus on, you may want to understand why Influencer Marketing is becoming so important for marketers.

Today brands can reach people through paid social media marketing campaigns (Facebook ADV, Instagram ADV, Twitter ADV) as well as through email marketing and Google Adwords. Usually brands pay in terms of Cost per Click or CPM or Cost per Lead. An Influencer is a person that can personalize the news and promote the purchase of a product or service. In this case, Influencer positioning is related to the brand’s goals, the message is supposed to be strengthened and the audience is likely to be more sensitive to it, as it is already open to that positioning. Therefore, a well designed campaign of Influencer Marketing is more effective than a campaign of social media marketing or Google ADV – and sometimes it’s even cheaper. The content promoted by an Influencer is personalized according to the interests of the person. In this way, the content is not as invasive as direct advertising.

In “Qualitative Influencer Marketing”, brands try to create storytelling and an authentic experience. There is a shift from “one-to-many” to “many-to-many” communication. In order to achieve Qualitative Influencer Marketing, you can’t just count the number of links towards a node: all of the people on social networks are considered “user generated content”, but only some of them are recognized as reliable. These reliable users are the right Influencers in this case!

So, now we can go back to our question, what are the metrics to spot relevant and reliable Influencers for a “Qualitative Influencer Marketing” strategy? You should mix Social Network Analysis and Social Media Monitoring: SNA shows the ties and relationships among user/hashtag networks while social media monitoring tracks the influence of the user according to the engagement around her.

Using ROIALTY, you have two ways to find the right Influencers for your strategy on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
Analyze the interactions with your brand: ROIALTY monitors all people publicly interacting with the brand and compares the influence that each of them have on the brand’s audience.
Analyze the relevance of Influencers according to a specific topic, keyword or hashtag.

ROIALTY adds more value to this analysis thanks to customer profiling: with ROIALTY, besides analysing nodes, links and relationship degrees, a brand will also uncover users’ interests and passions. In this way you will know which user is most relevant for a specific audience as well as the subjects that matter most to them. This means that you will be able to spot the right user you need to engage with in order to increase your popularity with the audience, AND you will also have a better understanding of the content that will trigger this attention!