How to Build a List of Influencers for Your Infographics
Once you have a great infographic, it’s time to make a list and check it twice. Actually, check it more than twice. Identifying the right influencers is one of the most important things you can do in the entire process. You need to find the right people to reach out to as you encourage them to become ambassadors of your content. This list can make or break your promotion.
A common mistake people make here is that they think that every website would love nothing more than to feature their infographic. They end up pitching their work to every major website and setting themselves up for failure.
The reality is that only a small percentage of infographics created are going to get featured on major websites like The Huffington Post, Mashable, or Buzzfeed. Having said that, keep reaching out to reporters and bloggers on those sites.
A better tactic, however, is to first home in on the media outlets that are most likely to be interested in your content. You find the right media outlets by knowing your audience.
If your infographic is about dogs, for example, a website that is very tech-focused like Mashable may not be the right site for you. Instead, in this instance, you should be researching the top dog blogs and then make those sites your first targets.
A straightforward and easy way to start identifying the right websites and blogs to target is to search Google for the topic in mind. Say you created an infographic on dogs, which you’ve titled “The History of Dog Breeding in the World.”
Type something like dog breeding history into Google. You’ll get a mix of results, as shown in this figure, including Wikipedia pages, news stories related to dog breeding, and websites about dog breeding. You’ll want to dig through the search results and locate the ones that come from blogs dedicated to dogs and dog breeding.
After you target some good potential websites and blogs, take a look at the posts that have been published. See how many social shares the posts tend to get. Take a look at how many readers tend to comment. You want to find websites that have active and engaged readers. With an engaged readership, many posts make their way to Twitter, Facebook, and the other main social sites.
In the digital media landscape, posts that receive a lot of comments and a lot of shares are the gold standard. The nature of comments matters, too because those websites and blogs that provoke smart, engaged conversation are the ones you want to target.
Even a small or medium-sized site may be worth targeting if its comments are relevant and its audience seems excited. Naturally, it won’t have the metrics like The Huffington Post, but it may be the right audience for you right now.
The Technorati Top 100 can help you search for the right websites and blogs to add to your list. In the middle of the Technorati page, you can find its overall Top 100 list, which contains the usual suspects of largest blogs in the world: The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Business Insider, and others.
The really valuable element of Technorati is its directory, shown here. In this directory, you can search for the largest blogs on the web by category. So if you created an infographic on dogs, you can just click the Pets section to be taken to that directory and ranking of largest pet-related blogs on the web.
Thanks to its focused rankings, you could really just rely on Technorati as the main tool to build your list of websites to reach out to during your promotion and be just fine.
Topsy.com is an amazing social analytics tool that will also allow you to identify influencers on various topics. Here’s how to get started with Topsy:
Go to www.topsy.com.
In the search bar, type in a keyword related to your infographic.
You’ll get a long list of content related to your keyword. On the left side of the screen, you can change the period of time. Use this function to see, for example, how recently someone tweeted about your subject.
Note (on the left side) the Influencers icon. This is who Topsy believes are the best influencers on the topic you typed into the search bar. They are the most likely to tweet about your infographic topic.
Broaden this function by clicking Everything to see all people who have shared similar content, not just the top influencers.
Klout, which is a website and mobile app, can help you determine the best influencers. Klout uses an algorithm to measure the influence a given person has. Type your infographic topic into Klout, and you’ll get a list of all the influencers on those high-level topics. This is a great way to locate more influencers, figure out who they are, and be able to reach out to them.
As far as outreach is concerned, one obvious but sometimes overlooked approach is reaching out to infographic directories and aggregators. Sites like this do nothing but feature infographics, so they naturally have potential. However, there are some downsides to this approach.
Most infographic directories are general in focus. They feature infographics that they like, rather than those dedicated to any specific topic — and that won’t help you get your content to people definitely interested in your topic.
Infographic directories are still a viable and logical option as you promote your infographics. Here are a few to consider adding to your list.
You may want to consider searching Google for “infographic blog” and “infographic directories” to look for any new ones.
Twitter is a very valuable website when it comes to the promotion of infographics. Twitter never turns off, and there’s always a desire for fresh content. Heavy-duty tweeters want to be the ones to share great, relevant content with their followers.
Through offering them your content, you may develop a symbiotic relationship: You’re helping the influencer share great content with their followers while also naturally helping yourself.
In determining the right Twitter users to go after, the easiest approach is to go onto Twitter and simply type the topic of your infographic into the search bar. This launches a search for people using a hash tag that relates to your content.
Folks who are active on a hash tag are looking for things to tweet, so giving them something educational, newsworthy, or something their audience will value will make sense for them to tweet out.
Getting back to the History of Dog Breeding in the World infographic example from earlier in the chapter, go to Twitter and search (in the search bar) for hash tags like #dogbreeding or #historyofdogbreeding. From here, go through tweets made using this hash tag and look to see who the users are.
Go person by person to see how active they are, how many followers they have, and how often they tweet about this topic. If they’re active, have a good following, and use the hash tag fairly frequently, you just identified an influencer that you should add to your list.
Using Followerwonk to find Twitter influencers
A powerful tool for determining Twitter influencers is Followerwonk. This site searches Twitter bios for whatever keywords you want, which will allow you to identify people who would be ideal targets to reach out to. On the Followerwonk site, click Search Twitter Bios and then type the keyword or keywords that are related to your infographic or industry. The search results that come up will show the following items:
Tweets: How many tweets the Twitter user has sent out, which will show how active the user is
Following: How many people the Twitter user is following
Followers: How big of a following the person has, which is a factor in determining how much of an influencer the person or company is
Days Old: How long the Twitter user has been active
Social Authority: A score created by Followerwonk that measures the social influence of the user
The free version of Followerwonk lets you do everything but download, so it’s a really nice tool for finding influencers.
Pinterest has grown at a tremendous pace and could be another good place for you to pitch your infographics. The first step is finding out which Pinterest boards are named by your topic/infographic topic.
Similar to Pinterest, StumbleUpon is an aggregator of things that people think are cool. At StumbleUpon, you can search by topic, find users and groups that are talking about your topic, and then reach out to them individually.
Business networking site LinkedIn can also be valuable for promoting an infographic. Keep it in mind if your infographic is about business, professional, or industry topics.
To find a potential home for your infographic on LinkedIn, search LinkedIn for groups that are related to your infographic topic. Then you can create a new discussion and share the infographic there.
Pay attention to Google+ as well. Go into Google+ and search by the topic of your infographic. Then look for a search result that has a lot of + signs and activity. From there, click the drop-down arrow on the top right and then click View Ripples. You can see how your search result has been shared and who was sharing it. You can list the people who shared it and then reach out to them.
There is also a big community element to Google+. You can join a community relevant to your infographic and then share the infographic there within the community. On top, next to Everything, click More to see Communities to find which are the big communities on the topic and also how many posts there have been.
Don’t spam your new contacts. Just be honest and say you created an infographic that’s relevant to their community, and you wanted to share it with them. If your infographic is really relevant and of interest to those people, they just might send it out for you.