[Editor’s Note: I want to thank good friend Amy Vernon for pointing out that it should have been flagged that Joe Griffin is the CEO of ClearVoice, one of the products he describes below. Joe also identifies two competing products to his own within the article.]

How to Identify Top
Influencers in Your Industry

Joe Griffin


To be relevant in today’s crowded content marketing landscape, you need to be followed, fanned and evangelized by the masses. Brands compete for consumer mindshare on a daily basis, and as more and more marketers adopt content marketing into their marketing strategy, one thing is clear: You need influencers.

Influencer marketing is the equivalent of handing over your brand microphone to someone with an existing fan base. Influencers come in many forms, but have a similar makeup. Tracking down influential, authoritative voices in your industry and wrangling them in to be part of your brand publishing band is the key to online brand amplification.

Finding Influencers

Identify the right influencers within your industry and narrow them down to the handful who can move the meter on your brand advocacy. Finding influencers within a given subject matter is becoming easier by the microsecond thanks to a new crop of online tools. Here are three to get you started:

Topsy: Using the intuitive social search tool Topsy, you can search influencers by topic. From the list of users from a search, you can view the number of mentions and click to the user’s Twitter page. Click on the influencer’s “mentions” to view the individual tweets that person posted on that topic. Another powerful feature is that if you find a highly shared link within your topic search, you can view others who shared the link, and from that list, identify those marked as “Influential.”



ClearVoice: Launched recently in beta, ClearVoice gives you the power to search influential subject matter experts purely based on the authority of their content. The ClearVoice “Score” gives you an objective measure of the author’s reach based on total content output, the prominence of the publishers hosting the content and the social reach of the content. Click on an author’s name for a bio, topics and links to posts.



ClearVoice is rolling out a marketplace for marketers to streamline their content workflow process. Use the system not only to find influencers, but to plan, recruit, produce, and measure content.

BuzzSumo: Research influential writers by subject matter on BuzzSumo, which displays the most shared links and key influencers for any topic or website. BuzzSumo displays other valuable info such as page and domain authority, followers and retweet ratio. Influencers are also designated as a blogger, influencer and/or company.



Identification is the first step to your influencer marketing campaign. My business partner Jay Swansson recently authored a guide to “How to Build and Leverage Your Influencer Marketing Relationships” here on The Social Media Monthly. Use these tools above for influencer identification, then defer to the guide to learn more about the influencer onboarding process, setting clear objectives, and maintaining your influencer relationship.

Joe Griffin is the co-CEO and co-founder of iAcquire and ClearVoice. In 2009, Joe co-founded iAcquire, a complete content marketing solution for brands, serving 100+ medium-to-large enterprise customers. In 2013, Joe co-founded ClearVoice, a platform, marketplace, and search engine empowering brands, publishers and writers to create, manage and promote content.