Many companies all over the world are developing software, programs and processes to try and crack the online influencer code. These organizations are looking through mountains of data and through enough tweets to touch the moon and back, all for the needle in the haystack (in a galaxy far, far away). The complexity of this problem is great. The accuracy of the current solutions, not so great. To further complicate things, tools that can accomplish this job generally need large amounts of data to be accurate. So what happens when you are working with a B2B client who has minimal indexed conversations or content on the industry? We have faced this problem a number of times. Whether the B2B client reels in 300 million annual revenue or hovers at a humble 2-3 million dollar range, these big brands struggle like the little guys to recognize influencers and establish relationships. What have we at Evolve: Digital Labs learned? Chasing the influencers through conversations and keywords proves difficult. However, we have found that identifying the hierarchy of influencers who affect the decision can be more efficient. First and foremost, it is and always will be, peers and colleagues So how can you infiltrate the peer network? In a non-digital sense, many marketers will attend the leading conventions and conferences of the industry. This is the easiest way to form relationships, hear the pains first hand, to network and form relationships. This knowledge drives your ability to speak intelligently to their issues and provide true critical analysis in their field. So where does that fit in online? Start with linkedin.com groups. Join the discussion, listen, learn. Then start your own group. Consultants They might not do exactly what you do, but if a company brings in an IT and Cloud expert, there is a good chance they will be asked some question in relation to digital and technology. The layperson often assumes digital marketing and IT go hand in hand. In some ways they are right, but probably not in the way they assume. This means you need to do a little work before you can fully utilize this for success. You need to learn what comes before and after your products and services. For example, before SEO there is a website build, or if the company is smart, planning for one. That means those who develop websites would be a great choice for Evolve to get to know and provide resources to. So what about the after and why does it matter? If you are in the position to offer a service that is needed more than once, this is a wonderful situation. Not every experience a business provides is perfect; in fact, some experiences are awful, right? Find those who can help you come to the rescue. So where does that fit in online? Start with Google and Twitter. Use Google to find out when and where these folks get together. Learn the blogs and social networking sites, but absorb when and where they physically get together. You can bet there is a #hashtag to follow along too. Form relationships. Give them first dibs at free content that can help their cause. Offer a place to share their ideas and agenda. Vendor This one shouldn’t be a shock. Businesses have been partnering through preferred vendors for a long time. This is nothing new. So where does that fit in online? Find a way to get on the sites of the vendors that service your potential clients. This might mean a badge, or it might be supplying those vendors with an easy commission or benefit. It could be the ability to sell your products or services on their site. Finally, only pursue a respectable affiliate program, not the kind that pushes male enhancement supplements. The brands that you affiliate yourself with have a significant impact, not only on how your company is perceived, but also on the way search bots crawl and index your site.
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