Developing an Influencer Network

Influencer marketing is definitely a modern buzzword, but what does it actually mean for coalitions on the ground, and how can you build an influencer network from scratch? 

When people think of influencers they usually think of celebrities or stylish millennials selling beauty products, but an influencer is by definition anyone who can influence the public, or decision-makers, in how they think or act. They don’t have to have a million followers if they represent an important constituency of a key member of parliament. 

Some influencer groups that could be tapped for your advocacy campaign: 

  • Journalists
  • Academics
  • Political Pundits
  • Medical Professionals
  • Parents/Youth
  • Business Leaders/Entrepreneurs
  • Trade Associations
  • Health/Fitness Leaders
  • Style/Fashion 
  • Social activists

Some high-profile influencers can only be engaged through paid partnerships. This should be viewed as any other marketing expense, and used only with clear expectations as to the messaging and expected engagement among your target audience.  

Influencers with a personal connection to the issue will be the most effective messengers, however, even if they have a smaller audience. To scale up your work, think about creating a formal influencer network.

When deciding first do an audit of your organizational network offline and online, seeing if there are any influencers who are already engaging with your brand on Twitter. 

Also take some time to conduct some digital mapping around who on social media will be able to impact your key decision-makers. Find more on digital mapping here: 

To best take advantage of your influencers, you should:

  • Set clear expectations for participation
  • Provide easy to use/editable content 
  • Provide opportunities for collaboration/learning across the 
  • Conduct trainings in issue area specifics as well digital advocacy strategy + tactics
  • Develop strategic plan for engagement
  • Measure results + provide feedback 

Want more information on how you can work with your grantees to help them develop influencer relationships. Sign up here and we’ll reach out with more resources tailored to your needs.