What Is Influencer Mapping and Why Does it Matter So Much?

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Be it to spread awareness, generate leads, or get conversions, every brand needs a marketing strategy. While there are many different modes of marketing that brands around the world leverage successfully, influencer marketing is quickly catching steam. In fact, in 2016, influencer marketing became more popular than print marketing, according to Google Trends.

Google trends snapshot comparing influencer and print marketing over the last five years
Image via Google Trends

This form of marketing uses the power of influencers to spread the word about brands and products. Influencers have the power to influence the purchase decisions of their followers. Their followers trust their recommendations and often swear by them.

It is, however, important to keep in mind that these influencers aren’t regular celebrities. They are popular social media personalities who’ve developed a massive audience and interact with it regularly.

Unlike celebs, influencers develop personal connections with their followers. This gives them high engagement levels, which brands can benefit from.

Influencers are authority figures in their respective niches and their audiences follow their advice devotedly. When you collaborate with these influencers, you can ask them to promote your brand or products in a subtle manner to their audiences. This can help you reach your brand’s marketing goals.

However, finding reliable influencers in your niche can be a task in itself. This difficulty is accentuated due to the fact that there are many fake influencers out there. These people buy likes or followers and don’t possess truly engaged audiences.

To find influencers you can depend on, you need to invest your time into influencer mapping. But before we get into how and why, let’s find out what exactly influencer mapping is.

What is influencer mapping?

Influencer mapping is the process of measuring the influence of an influencer’s voice in the digital world. It can help you figure out the right influencers with whom you should engage.

Do note that popularity should not be confused with influence. Popularity is a measure of how many people recognize the influencer. However, influence is a measure of how much of their audience’s decisions or ideas can be swayed by the opinions or content posted by an influencer. The former can’t help you get many conversions while the latter is very effective at that.

In fact, brands that use influencer marketing can generate $5.20 in sales by just investing $1 in influencer marketing. If influencer mapping is done well, this ROI may increase as well.

Influencer mapping will give you an idea of the impact that an influencer can have. It will also help you find out the best ways to reach them.

Influencer mapping can also help you figure out who is already talking about your brand or your competitors the most. Additionally, mapping shows you which platforms these influencers use. And you can figure out how often they talk about you.

Mapping is based on the size of their audience and their rankings. The best part about the map is that it puts influencers head-to-head and helps you compare them in an easy way.

Influencer mapping is important because it helps you to:

1. Understand your social network

Influencer mapping allows you to understand the social network around you. It also helps you understand which influencers are the key to reaching your target audience. Your influencer marketing campaign can be successful only when the influencer can help you reach your target audience.

Influencer mapping helps you figure this out and based on it, you can figure out whom you should approach for collaboration and whom to avoid.

When you connect with genuine influencers in your industry, you’ll be able to execute your influencer marketing campaigns better.

2. Test influence

Influencer mapping shows you the most important influencers for your brand. But if you want to compare the influence of your influencers, you can do it with these maps too.

As mentioned before, influencer mapping puts your influencers head-to-head so that you can compare their influence. You can create different social campaigns with influencers and then A/B test the impact that these campaigns produce.

Doing this for multiple campaigns with the same set of influencers can help you figure out which one is able to influence a larger audience. When you compare multiple influencers this way, you will be able to zero in on the ones who are the best in business.

This way, influencer mapping helps you optimize your influencer marketing campaigns as well.

3. Find hidden audiences

Influencer mapping also shows you who your influencers can influence. This means that you will be able to figure out the exact audience of the influencers through this process. While you might have reached out to influencers whose audiences are similar to yours, there may be certain audiences you might have missed out on.

Through influencer mapping, you will be able to see audiences of different influencers who are relevant to you. This can help you find some hidden audiences that you may not have come across before. Doing so can help you expand your reach and generate more leads and conversions thus driving more revenue.

However, after influencer mapping, you may have a big list of influencers. Managing your relationship with all of them can be an arduous task. Grin, in such a situation, can help you manage your influencers more efficiently. You can add a list of your influencers to the software and it will build private profiles of each influencer.

This influencer CRM will also help you manage your relationships with your influencers. You can add custom properties and filters to create your very own ideal view of influencers.

It also tracks every single point of contact with the influencers. This way, you can keep track of the entire history of interactions between your brand and influencers.

Kickstarting and managing influencer marketing campaigns is easier with Grin too. You can send influencers your products, pay their commissions, and track your revenue, all on the platform.

Communicating with influencers can be a hassle too, especially when you’re dealing with multiple influencers. Grin helps you communicate with them seamlessly with the use of templates, email sequences, and variables. These can help you automate your communication with them.

If you want to send products to your influencers, you can create product fulfillment orders on the platform. This can help you figure out the exact time when your influencers receive your products.

Payments to influencers can be made directly through Grin in a seamless manner. Influencers are also given the choice of how they want to get paid.

Finally, measuring the success of your influencer marketing campaign is extremely important. Grin shows you all of the important campaign statistics and helps you compare your influencers.

When you carry out your A/B testing through influencer mapping, you can use these statistics to determine which of your influencers are the most effective. You can also see the number of conversions and the content that your influencers have created. This will give you complete control over your influencer marketing campaigns.

How to do influencer mapping

To do influencer mapping, you need to focus on your key goal from the campaign. This needs to be at the center of your influencer map.

Without a goal, you will not have an idea about which direction you should take your campaign. Having a goal lets you put all your resources into the right slots.

The goal could be greater reach, higher engagement, more leads, or sales.

Once you’ve decided your goals, you should then identify relevant influencers and place them around the goal based on their importance. You need to consider how important they are to the success of your goal. Use a thicker line to connect the more important ones.

Place influencers who have a good rapport with you closer to the goal. Additionally, put arrows that will show you how the influence flows. Once you’ve added the influencers, connect them with their audiences. This will give you an idea of who influences a bigger and more relevant audience.

You can rank your influencers based on the ease of connecting with them and their importance. Doing this will help you figure out who which influencers are the most valuable for you.

These are the ones you should hold close and partner with frequently. They might even become brand advocates in the future.

Finally, based on this influencer mapping, you can come up with a strategy for your influencer marketing campaigns.

influencer mapping chart

Influencer Mapping – the star system 

(based on OgilvyRP IQ Mapping)


Overall Influence

  • Prominence of the organization
  • Reach in mailstream [sic] media
  • Reach in digital (and social) media
  • Level of investment in the issue of your brand
  • Grassroots reach

Overall Opinion

  • Consistency of opinion [sic] on the issue
  • Willingness to engage others on the issue

Final Thoughts

Influencer mapping allows you to visualize and figure out the influencing power of your influencers. It can also help you find audiences that you might have missed earlier and helps you reach them. You can also determine which influencers to collaborate with.

Learn more about influencer marketing: Influencer Marketing 101

Updated: July 2023

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