INFLUENCER MARKETING

What Is Influencer Mapping and Why Does It Matter?

David Morneau

By David Morneau
8 min READ | Apr 1 2023

Influencer mapping is practically a map of your influencer’s level of influence. This map shows how connected these content creators are in the digital space.

These connections are a measure of their persuasiveness.

Remember: Being connected is not necessarily the same as being popular. These connections are rather a measure of persuasiveness.

If all that seems too complicated, you’re on the right page to clarify things.

We’ll discuss influencer mapping with hands-on examples and show you the 7-step process behind it.

Keep reading below.

What Is Influencer Mapping?

Imagine going outside early in the spring when the snow has begun to melt. You see heaps of that snow in different places – more in the shade and fewer in the sunshine.

That’s what an influencer map may look like.

Obviously, the larger heaps of snow are more powerful if you were to make a snowball out of them. And a bigger snowball allows you to target your audience better. That power equals persuasion, which lies in:

  • Numbers
  • Proximity

That’s what an influencer map is: a tool that shows you how persuasive influencers connect with each other to convince your target audience.

Identifying these groups:

  • Highlights the impact of your influencer.
  • Shows you where these influencers are – i.e., the channels they use.
  • Underlines these influencers’ most frequent messages, and you can determine whether you or your competitors are their favorite talking point.

Note: Mapping influencers depends on their audience size, rankings, and specific audience segment. When you amplify this data set to include multiple audience segments, this is called audience mapping.

Why Is Influencer Mapping Important?

Influencer mapping is mainly important for B2B brands rather than B2C companies. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to include it in your influencer marketing strategy for B2C.

However, B2B companies have:

  • A longer sales funnel
  • Pickier customers who do more extensive research compared to B2C customers
  • More similar customers who purchase a B2B product for a more similar reason

That’s why you need to target them very correctly and with a very big snowball.

Here are the benefits of influencer mapping:

1. You Understand Who Is an Influencer

An influencer marketing campaign needs relevant influencers to work. The process of mapping influencers entails finding those clusters of snow to make snowballs from. It also entails building detailed profiles for your influencers.

Those are your key influencers that make for effective collaboration. Besides, influence maps help you eliminate wrong influencers from your campaign.

2. It Helps Your Split Testing Efforts

Your influencer map looks different for different influencers and audience segments. Creating a few of these maps and testing their impacts offers reliable insights for A/B testing.

Use data about these social media networks to zero in on the top-performing influencers for your current campaign.

3. You Can Extend to New Markets

When drawing the lines between influencers within an influencer map, you create clusters of persuasive power. That persuasive power of influencers is directed to your audience.

But as you study connections between influencers, you may discover these lines converge and point somewhere else.

That’s an entirely new hidden audience you can discover only thanks to influencer mapping.

Therefore, influence mapping helps you extend to a new market – be it with a new product or by simply adjusting your communication. And that will increase your ROI considerably.

4. You Make Better Pitches

Cold phone calls and emails have a bad rap because the answer rate is so tiny. But influencer mapping is a game changer for your PR pitches because:

  • You’re finding more relevant social media personalities to pitch to.
  • You’re also swaying actors with a high social media influence level over the original influencers.

Basically, you’re making your pitch better targeted and more appealing. Thus, you’re increasing open rates and answers considerably.

This strategy also increases your outreach pool considerably.

5. You Can Measure Your Influencer Campaign Better

Many marketers face challenges measuring their influencer campaign before implementing it. But accurate pre-campaign data showing you the extent of your influencers’ persuasiveness is essential.

After all, you want to choose the most persuasive and relevant creators.

For that purpose, marketers usually consider the influencer’s:

  • Audience size
  • Topic expertise
  • Engagement level

Influencer mapping introduces a new variable called “reference.” Just like with the heaps of snow, strength lies in numbers; the more referenced an influencer is, the more persuasive they will be.

And that persuasiveness will accelerate your sales considerably.

How to Do Influencer Mapping in 7 Easy Steps

Let’s get straight into it with seven practical steps of influencer mapping.

1. Set Your Goals

The first step in any influencer map is deciding your campaign goal. This could be:

  • Increasing your sales
  • Getting more leads
  • Increasing engagement rates
  • Increasing exposure

Let’s say you have a gaming app for which you want to increase downloads & active users.

Your business objectives will look like this:

  • Increase downloads by 15% by [deadline].
  • Increase the number of active users by 30% by [deadline].

The KPIs you want to consider are:

  • Number of downloads
  • Number of active users
  • In-app purchases
  • Bounce rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Cost per install (CPI)

2. Find Your Influencers

You need to identify key influencers for your campaign. That doesn’t necessarily mean prolific influencers; it means engaged people connected within their network.

But we’ll get to that in the next step.

To find influencers, use the free inbeat platform.

We’ll choose micro-influencers with 50,000 to 100,000 followers located in the US and with engagement rates of at least 5%. Let’s include #gaming as well:

Micro influencer search in Inbeat

3. Shortlist Influencers

It’s time to zero in on the key influencers for your campaign. To do that, you should perform in-depth social listening and analyze:

  • Their content creation efforts
  • Content relevancy
  • Engagement rate
  • Audience score
  • Type of followers
  • Likes per post
  • Social media conversations and comment quality

Once you click on a creator, the inBeat influencer marketing platform shows you some useful stats:

Influencer profile in Inbeat

You already know the engagement rates and follower count for each influencer. Now, you can see their average likes and how those likes oscillate per post.

These allow you to gauge your influencers’ engagement behavior and persuasiveness better.

Other inBeat tools allow you to analyze potential influencers more comprehensively. This fake follower checker shows you an audience score made up of several factors.

Let’s see how this looks for @janaeyah_:

Influencer profile overview

The audience score is fair, but it could be better. This creator falls behind the target for average likes and comments, and more than half of her audience is inactive followers.

Let’s look at the next creator:

Creator overview in Inbeat

This profile has an exceptional score, so the potential business impact on your campaign is likely to be high.

Using the engagement rate calculator by inBeat shows you other useful stats, such as comments and likes for each recent post.

Another creator overview in Inbeat

Pro tip: Use the “find similar creators” button to identify similar influencers in this niche.

The tool shows you 97 results that you can export into a CSV file:

Export your influencer overview

4. Analyze Creators

After building your shortlist, it’s time to analyze them. Follow these variables:

  • Topics
  • Other similar brands or competitors mentioned by your influencer
  • Audience demographics

The strongest influencers will:

  • Talk about apps and games similar to yours
  • Mention similar products but not your direct competitors. Ideally, they already talk about your company.
  • Address an audience very similar to yours in terms of age, location, interests, and more.

Let’s look at Michael Groth’s profile. His usual topics involve lifestyle and travel. However, he is also a fan of Pokemon and Reinassance festivals.

Pro tip: This could help you advertise a real-time strategy/tower defense game.

Looking at the 338 people Michael is currently following, you can discover other potential influencers, such as creator/streamer @valkyrae:

Influencer profile screenshot
Source

Based on her posts, this creator would also be great for promoting your gaming app.

Rinse and repeat for all influencers you have selected, checking their social networks thoroughly.

5. Profile

This step is fairly simple. After you have gathered and analyzed all your influencers, it’s time to use those insights.

So, arrange those creators in descending order by their ability to help you reach your current marketing goals.

At the end of this stage, you’ll have a list of influencers that looks like this:

1……………….

2……………….

3……………….

And so forth.

6. Start Mapping

  1. Put your key goal in the center of the map.
  2. Place key opinion leaders around that goal.
  • The ones who can help you reach the goal faster should be closer to it.
  • Group together influencers in similar focus areas or with equal authority.
  1. Draw lines to connect your influencers.
  • Draw arrows between influencers to see who’s influencing whom.
  • Connect your influencers with a particular audience.

That’s your map.

This map shows you:

  • Which influencer cluster addresses a larger and more relevant target audience.
  • The reference power these creators have.

Pro tip: The most engaged and connected creators are the likeliest to be your top performers.

7. Run and Measure Your Campaign

The final step is implementing, measuring, and scaling your influencer marketing campaign. You will have to keep track of the KPIs outlined in the first step, but also:

  • Engagement level for each influencer
  • App installs for each influencer

These variables measure participation effectiveness.

You can adjust your current campaign and plan more successful future campaigns based on these metrics.

How to Ensure Your Influencer Mapping Is Effective

Influencer mapping done right requires patience, time, and the right software. It’s also just the starting point of a successful campaign.

To reach the desired results, you must implement your entire campaign based on this map. That means:

  • Negotiate reasonable payment and contract conditions with all these influencers.
  • Set a thorough, creative strategy based on the most convincing pieces of content and channels.
  • Keep the influencers engaged & interested throughout your campaign.
  • Monitor and optimize your campaign to leverage the top-performing content.

inBeat Agency can help you with all those steps. Our clients see results like dramatically decreased CPAs, increased sales, and reduced ad fatigue.

NielsenIQ, one of our top clients, had its CPAs slashed by 75% across social channels. And we put Phone Loops on the map, raising awareness of this new product.

We can help you reach your marketing goals too. Let’s schedule a free strategy call, and we’ll discuss all your options.

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