Every outreach marketer will have his or her preferred methods for finding influencers. Below are all the tools or techniques I’ve used and what I think of them. However any outreach marketer will tell you that it’s best to use a combination of several methods in order to ensure you’ve cast a wide enough net. So try them out and pick your favourites!
The good ol’ Google search
Let’s say you are a restaurant chain launching a new restaurant in London. You want to reach out to relevant influencers in order to promote your launch and encourage them to come – how do you find the right ones? First things first, simply type “London restaurant bloggers” into the Google search bar and see what you get – you may be surprised by the quantity and quality of websites and blogs you find! Why? Because the websites worth reaching out to will often be good at SEO and therefore easily findable.
‘Top bloggers’ lists
There are many websites and databases out there who regularly publish ‘Top Blogger’ lists for many fields – cooking, lifestyle, sports, you name it. My personal favourites are Vuelio’s lists because they cover an impressive array of industries (although a few are a bit outdated so watch the publication dates!).
Combing through blogrolls
Once you’ve found a highly relevant and influential blog, add it to your list, but before you click away make sure you have a look at its blogroll! Bloggers will often link to other blogs in their field that they admire. Chances are these blogs will be just as relevant to your brand, so comb through the blogroll and have a careful look at each one. I like to call this method ‘snowballing’ as it can quickly help you grow an impressive list of high-quality influencers!
Buzzsumo (and other similar tools like Topsy) can help you find influencers in two ways. The ‘Content Research’ tab allows you to search for the most shared content pieces on any topic of interest. Have a close look at who shared those successful content pieces to spot some great influencers who will be interested in your related content. Also, Buzzsumo’s ‘Influencers’ tab does exactly what it says on the tin: it provides a list of top influencers based on the topic you want, along with important social media and SEO metrics to help you filter.
You can use Twitter to find influencers in many ways. Always look up the profiles of whoever likes or retweets you – if they have an interest in your tweet, they could have an interest in your brand or content piece! Similarly, try and look at all new followers attentively. You can also run more general searches for hashtags that are relevant to your brands and analyse the top tweets.
If it’s press coverage you are after, local or national, you need to identify journalists who are interested in your topic or industry. Look up highly shared newspaper articles on Buzzsumo for example and identify the journalist. Then email them your press release (try Email Hunter if you can’t find their email address on the website). If your company is looking into large-scale outreach, there are some great journalists databases out there you can purchase, Gorkana being my personal favorite.
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