Identifying those influencers who are truly relevant for their specific brand (or in the case of agencies, for their clients’ brands) is still perceived as being the main challenge faced by experts. That’s according to The Influencer Marketing Status 2014, a new report by international communications agency Augure. Social scoring platforms like Klout have failed to convince these experts of their ability to carry out a proper “identiciation task”, finds the report. At the same time, there is greater awareness that influencers are not defined by following absolute criteria, such as the amount of followers, but rather contextually to a specific area of expertise.
This raises the question: what criteria do people trust in order to identify the real influencers within the scope of their own ecosystem? According to those surveyed, an influencer should have the following attributes:
- 79% are described as “Echo” – in other words, being able to mobilise opinions and create reactions when they talk about a specific topic;
- 73% “Exposition” – this refers to the potential audience and the size of the influencer’s community in a specific area;
- and 62% “Share of Voice” – this refers to the influencer’s high degree of participation in a conversation on a given subject.
In contrast, let’s look at what is not considered as an influencer. A mere 23% of respondents feel that a well-know celebrity is an influencer, while the survey finds that only nine per cent see Klout as a valid criteria for defining the influence exerted by a person over the internet. But what happens once the target influencer has been identified? Capturing his or her attention and creating an ongoing relationship is far from being an easy task. 56% of those surveyed mention this as their prime challenge. The most popular channels used to contact influencers are email at 66%, Twitter at 57% and the influencer’s own blog at 52%. Only 29% of those surveyed see Facebook as a valid chanel for contacting influencers, despite its popularity as a social network for brands and influencers alike.