Marketing to so-called influencers is one of the hottest topics among CMOs today, with discussions around Klout and their proprietary algorithm for measuring “influence” leading the way. There is of course value to understanding the top-down influencers with huge followings or high Klout scores, but to date discussion is missing the big picture.
Most of those we recognize with high Klout scores, particularly those scoring above 70, are people with a large following on Twitter, often either a celebrity, reporter or tech-industry pundit like Robert Scoble (Klout score of 85). While “Scoblelizer” might post useful articles or industry-related thoughts that get retweeted hundreds or thousands of times, he is certainly not someone I or most people would trust for recommendations for purchases related to fashion, household products, restaurants, entertainment or most common purchases.
Most consumers’ purchases are not influenced by someone who tweets frequently or scores high on Klout, but rather by a person’s tight-knit group of family, friends and peers who share common interests and have earned trust regarding purchasing decisions. Just think back to your recent purchases. Everyone has a friend with great taste in music or movies, or a knack for finding deals on a great meal or the latest fashion. Understanding these connections will help unlock the real value of influencer marketing, allowing brands to identify their loyal advocates and engage with them in a scalable way to drive conversations online and off.
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