This is a question that intrigues me a lot lately. And no, not so much about my own influence (if that even exists), but more about finding out how big other people’s influence can be when talking about brands. Especially in the blogosphere. Is this something that you can define using the tools out there, or does it all come down to reading the blogs yourself to get a clear picture? I’ve had some interesting conversations around this with a few people like Ine, BVLG, Simon & Ashley to name a few but the question still stands. More recently we also had a good discussion about this in MarketingProf’s Book Club as well.
There are many ways to list blog valuations out there. In Belgium for instance, Bruno (BVLG) has been busy listing Belgian blogs according to their value, using a wide range of tools: Blogshares, Technorati, Bloginfluence, Blogrolling, Alexa, the blog value calculator found at the Business Opportunities weblog and more. But what does that really say about these blogs’ influence for your brand?
I also see numerous tools being released that start doing more than just ‘some basic’ buzztracking but try to get some more analytics applied to all this. Think about Buzzlogic, Attentio, … where you can get an idea of favorability of the buzz and things like that.
To my own experience though it’s really tough to find out about interests & influence unless you read the blogs yourself. Personally I don’t care doing so honestly, I enjoy reading most of them. I reckon that this asks for a lot of work, and that this might not be the solution for all marketers. Still it’s the best advice I could give you: read, read, read… if you don’t bother to read the bloggers you want to engage with, don’t even start. I think the tools mentioned before are very good to find out about the buzz around your brand, and they might give additional data on influence once you’ve defined who you want to engage with. But the reading comes first.