Find Niche Influencers In 5 Simple Steps

by Mick Higgins August 24th, 2010 

Using a classic SEO backlink analysis technique, I unlocked a fantastic new way to find niche influencers. This trick will help you find active and powerful influencers in you niche.

I will be using a sporting example to illustrate this great trick. Here goes:

The Company: I operate a sports ticket service, offering packages to sporting events around the world.

The Challenge: I need to find sporting influencers that can spread the word of my great service.

This method is a ‘hub and spoke’ method. To be successful you have to find a suitable ‘hub’. In this case I am going to use Sport Illustrated Senior Writer Peter King. King has been with Sports Illustrated for over 20 years and is considered an authority on the NFL, and North American sports. His weekly column Monday Morning Quarterback is considered a must read for NFL fans, and regularly generates over 1,000 emails per week. Clearly Peter King is an ideal hub for finding other like minded sporting influencers. Peter King may not be interested in working with you, but many of his followers may be.

Go to the home page of Peter King. Next open Yahoo Site Explorer and plug in the URL.

yahoo site explorer

Click Inlinks:

inlinks

…and select to exclude inlinks form the domain itself:

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You can export the 1st 1,000 results to an excel file to review with ease. To export click the TSV button.

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Open the file in Excel (or another spreadsheet application you like).

To find bloggers you can use CTRL + F (find) to search for occurrence of the word blog. You can also select the column with the page titles and click on Filter

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Select text filters from the dropdown, and from the text filters select Contains

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…and enter blog

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From the results create a list of community influencers.

Gauge how influential users are with the following factors:

• Site Traffic
• Toolbar Page Rank (remains a fast way to determine backlinks) 
• Do they get frequent comments on their posts
• Twitter activity and followers
• Facebook activity and likes

Now you have a list of influencers that can help you reach your target audience.

The next step is up to you.

Tip: start small. Don’t target the most powerful influencer you find, unless you think you can provide them with the kind of offer they can’t refuse. You need to build a relationship with these influencers and show them you can add to their community.

Summary

• Find followers simply by looking at existing networks
• Find influencers by looking at traffic and engagement factors
• Contact influencers, working your way up from small to big time

Mick Higgins

A marketing graduate with itchy feet, I moved to Canada from my native Ireland in late 2009. My passions are marketing, media, advertising and sports.

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2 Responses to “Find Niche Influencers In 5 Simple Steps”

  1. Josefina Agüello says:

    Another very helpful and informative post. Like it!! You should read "the tipping point" by Malcolm Gladwell, since only "target audience" and "influencers" just doesn't cut it in social media and community building, there are a few more variables to fill

    • Michael Higgins says:

      Thanks Josefina, I am actually currently reading the Tipping Point. Gladwell is an excellent writer, and magnificent story teller.

      Like you said, the variables in building a community go far beyond finding one key influencer. To be successful, you must engage a number of what I suppose could be called community "leaders" rather than influencers. It is a common misconception that social strategies can be carried out a great speed. However, to be successful research and interaction with "leaders" and influencers is key to creating a snowball effect. It is easy to think that a snowball effect can happen simply overnight, but more often than not, a snowball effect can only occur if you alrady have the ear of powerful community members.