What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a fairly easy concept to understand once you define its root words:
Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something
Market: to advertise or promote a particular commodity or service
In laymen's terms, influencers are leaders in their respective industries with a loyal following that have the power to affect the development and buying behavior of a particular product, service, or company. Influencer marketing involves connecting with and developing a relationship with those influencers in a strategic way in order to market your brand or business.
Now that we've wrapped our head around that concept let's dive into a more mind-blowing concept. There are influencers in influencer marketing! And I have searched high and low to bring you the top names of leaders in the industry of influencer marketing.
Here is a list of the top 4 you should be following:
LinkedIn: Jason Baer
Quote: "What the best companies do is focus on advocates (customers & employees) first and then add influence on top of that." - @jaybaer (Tweet this!)
As the most Retweeted digital marketer in the world, it only makes sense that Jay Baer tops our list. He is a New York Times best-selling author of 5 books, and owner of one of the fastest growing companies recognized by Inc. Magazine, Convince & Convert. His blog is go-to content for many digital marketers, and a platform to educate others on the power of influencer marketing and how to properly use it - which may also account for why he's so Retweetable.
LinkedIn: Ann Handley
Quote: “Be generous in your definition of ‘influencer’. Maintain a giving mind-set.” - @annhandley (Tweet this!)
Recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers, Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and a Wall Street Journal best-selling author. She has written the book on how to create ridiculously good content (literally!), and with more than 318K Twitter followers, she clearly knows how to deliver. It's a wonder she still finds time to be a keynote speaker (at events like INBOUND '15) and write a monthly column for Entrepreneur Magazine.
LinkedIn: Jeff Bullas
Quote: “Brands should have goals for an influencer program whether that is creating more brand awareness, or an increase in leads.” - @jeffbullas (Tweet this!)
Ranked as the top influencer in a variety of areas (Ranked #1 Content Marketer Influencer Globally), Jeff Bullas is a certified thought-leader on influencer marketing. He is a world-renowned blogger on jeffbullas.com, author of several best-selling books, online strategist, and event speaker. The road to his global success was not built overnight, but with his informative content being consistently read and shared by millions, it is easy to see how is able to develop such a loyal following.
LinkedIn: Joe Pulizzi
Quote: “Have an influencer strategy. Start with why you are engaging with influencers (what it is going to do for the business).” - @joepulizzi (Tweet this!)
Viewed as a leader of the “Content Marketing Movement,” Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, the leading education and training organization for content marketing. As owner of one of the most influential blogs in the world, it's safe to say Joe knows the ins and outs of influencer marketing and makes every effort to continuously educate others through his best selling books, speaker engagements (even hosting a few of his own), and social media.
To those of you that have never ventured into the uncharted waters of influencer marketing, these top 4 influencers can serve as great lifeguards.