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How Klout Can Guide Your Online Marketing Strategy

by Nicholas A. Kosar  |  
February 13, 2014

A law industry business development consultant I know says it takes on average 17 "touches" with a prospect before turning him or her into a client. Whether that's the number or not, the point is clear: It takes sustained engagement to bring in business.

So, whether you're a consultant, a lawyer, an accountant, or any other kind of professional, why would people engage with you? The answer is simple: They trust you.

And if you have some influence within your industry, your field of expertise, or your geographic region, they will be all the more likely to trust you. It's that simple.

Accordingly, if "influence" is a reason that potential clients are attracted to your services, it should also serve as a pillar of your online marketing strategy. In other words: Clout matters.

What Is Klout?

Klout "is the dominant system of grading and rating how much influence people have," write authors Gina Carr and Terry Brock in their book Klout Matters. Klout is "a social scoring system...used to measure your online and offline influence in various ways."

Klout uses social media accounts, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, to grade online participants. For example, if you have a Twitter account, then you are already being graded, much as you are earning a credit rating behind the scenes via your personal commercial transactions. (Also, Klout recently rolled out a new version of its service that provides tools to curate and share content related to your interests. And it's reportedly in the process of being acquired by Lithium Technologies.)

Klout is not the only influence-measuring program out there. For example, PeerIndex and Kred, and TweetLevel and BlogLevel by Edelman, are similar tools that attempt to determine people's online influence.

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Nicholas Kosar manages marketing campaigns for an AmLaw 100 law firm in Washington, DC. Prior to his work in the professional services sector, he was in book, magazine, and digital publishing.

LinkedIn: Nick Kosar

Twitter: @nakosar

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  • by Michael Gerard Thu Feb 13, 2014 via web

    Nice post Nicholas! Regardless of your desire to increase your Klout score, you offer some good tips on increasing your social media presence and the value that you offer your community. Your point about the need to "engage and share your stuff" is right on. From a content marketing perspective it is sometimes easier, and more interesting, to move on to the next piece of research, ebook or blog post then spending the time to market your marketing. Successful content marketers will spend the time on this last step.

  • by Terry Brock Thu Feb 13, 2014 via web

    Great ideas, Nicholas! Thank you for the mention of our book, Klout Matters. You know, even if Klout didn't exist, what you recommend would work to be a better marketer and build business. It is about connecting with people as, well, PEOPLE! This is in contrast to the other concept of "blasting" a message out to a bunch of "users" who you hope might, perhaps, if the wind is blowing right, buy from you!

    Today, engagement and genuine caring is what matters most. Thank you for doing an excellent job in this post. I look forward to more of your creatively compelling content!!


  • by Nick Kosar Thu Feb 13, 2014 via web

    Michael, "Market Your Marketing" - I couldn't have put it any better than that! That's a book or at least article title waiting to happen. Terry, your book is a very worthwhile read for all marketers. Thank you both for your comments. - Nick

  • by Abhijit Gupta Tue Feb 18, 2014 via web

    These guides are helpful to marketing companies. I learned lot of information in this article. Thank you so much for this post.

  • by Peter Sigrist Fri Feb 21, 2014 via web

    Interesting post Nick, though I wanted to comment on your use of the term "ROI". You equate ROI with "the effectiveness of the time and effort you spend online" and "the measurement of your influence". I do not believe these are what business leaders mean by "ROI" - the "return" they want to know about is measured in dollars and cents. I feel it's important that marketing and communications professionals use definitions thoughtfully, as it can undermine our collective credibility if we misuse terms like this. Having said this, I do agree with your point that services like Klout encourage valuable social media activity, such as the five steps you describe.

  • by Nick Kosar Fri Feb 21, 2014 via web

    Peter - you got me. An early draft of this article included some statements about the formal definition of ROI (one even including some form of the measurement, such as ROI (%) = net profit/investment x100), but then I thought, nah, I don't want to get too much into the weeds. But you're right. When I decided to scratch that, I thought, "I'm sure some astute observer is going to call me out on this," so you win my Astute Observer award. :-) I agree on marketers needing to speak and understand the language of business. But I was mainly trying to answer the basic question so many professionals ask, "Is this worth it?" Thanks for your correction and input. - Nick

  • by Lilia Maccannell Sun Mar 23, 2014 via web

    Great points on online marketing strategies! As an owner of small business I think that some part of work should be outsourced. You can make a smaller investment to building your marketing plan until your growth provides the cash flow needed to hire more permanent staffing. Also, you often need the expertise of more knowledgeable professionals providing strategic growth plans and your budget doesn't not allow for that level of investment for the long term.

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