Technology influencers can be seen everywhere. The vast realm of digital products and various gadgets calls for the need for extensive branding, marketing, reviewing, and influence by none other than the network everyone uses for their primary source of information: the internet.
Tech influencers aren’t your regular run-of-the-mill influencers or simply brand advocates. Instead, they operate more accurately in the B2B department, regularly working with product management and marketing. They tend to be quite more specific, and it takes lots more than just mailing them samples to win them over. Nonetheless, it could be crucial to get them to endorse your business, as some major tech influencers could make or break a newfound tech company.
In this article, we’re going to cover what differentiates a tech influencer from the world of influencer marketing, the nature of their campaigns, and why you should be looking into hiring one for your business.
Why technology influencers exist?
To answer this question, you would have to put yourself in a tech consumer’s shoes. Suppose you’ve already bought enough gadgets to experience a BSOD – Blue Screen of Death – or a malfunctioning device. In that case, you know how important it is to check out specifications and product reviews before you make a purchasing decision.
Customer reviews and peer-to-peer WoM (Word-of-Mouth) marketing isn’t just enough since undeniably no two IT environments are the same. What works in a specific configuration might just not work in the other. There’s so much hype over digital products out there that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate between fact and fiction.
Another contributing factor to the need for tech influencers is that technology is rapidly evolving. Although Moore’s law is just an unproved perception that is believed to have started to plateau, most IT industry people believe that technology tends to obsolete itself in 18 months. That means what comes out today is averagely outdated in a year and a half, eventually, just as it had for the last 50 years of technology.
Tech influencers help CIOs and PMs navigate IT vendors’ teeming terrain by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of key industry participants and figuring out the market leaders.
Why should product managers recruit tech influencers?
It’s not always the best technology that wins; sometimes, even if you yield a stronger product than every other business in the industry, some business might just promote their product better. In this case, your product wouldn’t even be heard of. In the realm of IT, being second-best doesn’t always work out. Big IT leaders stay at the top of their games.
There’s a reason why everyone knows about Windows, but an ordinary end-user wouldn’t have probably heard of OS2, although the two started quite similarly. Perhaps OS2 was controversially more functional at the beginning than its counterpart. Microsoft didn’t out-engineer the folks at IBM. It simply out-marketed them.
6 types of tech influencers
The multiverse of influencer marketing – which houses technology influencing too – is so varied that it’s quite difficult to point out different types of influencers in the business. There are various kinds of influencers with different authorities and reach, and not all of them fall into six neatly designed categories. Nonetheless, product leaders should consider these six classifications as a referential point of view.
The most prominent and best-known influencers in the business are the analyst firms: Gartner, Forrester, Ovum, Yankee Group, 451 Research, and others. Gartner is one of a kind by itself. It was one of the first analyst firms to focus on IT in early development and still has the greatest impression on the market. We even make jokes about no one ever getting fired for buying a vendor in the upper right-hand corner of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.
Innovator and entrepreneurial CIOs
While it’s crucial to include analyst firms in your squad, they aren’t the only influencers. An important class of these influencers often overlooked is the “innovators” and “early adopters.”
Most CIOs are classified into the “Late majority” when adapting to new technologies and taking greater risks. However, there are a few whose company strategies allow for such ventures. They exist in almost every industry, and they boast themselves on their role in helping shape an emerging market. The easiest way to discover them is through trade magazines, online articles, and blogs. These CIOs are most often quoted when an emerging technology or market is publicly introduced.
Some other influencers are classified as independent analysts, where they only specialize in a specific subcategory of the market instead of large analyst firms that cover the entire landscape. Examples include the Tower group, which works with financial services organizations, and ESG, which specializes in infrastructure and hardware. These kinds of influencers could be primary thought leaders since they are so focused on a specific area. Some of these influencers have even been CIOs or tech company CTOs before, and they’re so credible since they have real hands-on experience.
Tech bloggers, content creators, YouTubers, and book authors
Bloggers could be any type of people from independent analysts to analysts from big firms who produce their reviews as web-based content. Sometimes these people are just experts with information, expertise, experience with people, and prolific content producing skills. You could easily measure their impact by merely looking at the number of their followers.
Tech magazines like Computerworld, PCmag, MIT Tech Review, and WIRED all have well-credited tech writers. Newspapers and press releases also fall into this category. The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, etc., all have their own tech columns with respected writers on the task.
Media publications like TechCrunch, WIRED, Mashable, and CNET share a fair amount of juice, utilizing strong and technical but casual writers and content creators on the job. Using these resources for your content could come in handy when implementing the “influence the influencer” strategy.
Leading IT vendors
Eventually, we can’t simply ignore the impact of the industry’s most influential vendors: large superlative firms such as IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Cisco, Oracle, etc. If these companies endorse your brand or product, or partner up with your business, you could win the game point in the name-recognition war against your rivals. Companies like IBM and Google could grant you instant credibility with their big reach and influential audience.
Promoting your brand is just as important as its quality in the marketing world. That’s where tech influencing is necessary to make a digital product or service known to customers. It is one of the most effective marketing methods to promote a product people are likely to buy, which is called Word-Of-Mouth marketing. Suppose you’re looking into partnering with a technology influencer to promote your brand or product. In that case, there are at least 6 distinct types of marketers classified as tech influencers that you need to consider.
Based on your business’s requirements and the marketability of your product, you should find and choose the best type of tech influencer to promote your brand. This article will hopefully assist you in doing so.