The world is constantly changing and marketing is changing with it. For marketers, this development is a two-sided coin. On one hand, it’s exciting to be continually catching up with marketing trends and coming up with new ideas.
On the other hand, as more and more areas of marketing arise, marketers become busier — we need to handle marketing strategy, content, SEO, newsletters, social media, come up with creative campaigns, and so on. Fortunately, we have marketing tools to help us, save time, and analyze data we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
Influencer marketing is not a new trend – by now, it’s an established and reliable way to raise your brand awareness and bring in new customers.
75% of brands intended to dedicate a separate budget for influencer marketing in 2021. If anything, the last 5 years made influencer marketing more available for smaller brands, but at the same time more intricate and flexible.
Nowadays, almost any product or service can be promoted with influencer marketing but marketers are facing new challenges with influencers. They want to know how to find the creator that is perfect for their brand, how to check if they are buying followers and engagement, and how to ensure that their campaign will be effective.
Luckily, there are marketing tools that help you find the best influencers for your niche and brand image, evaluate what reach you can expect from collaborating with them, and analyze your influencer campaign once it’s finished.
In this article, we will cover 7 tools for different budgets and goals. You can choose the one that suits you the best and save time on influencer marketing research.
Awario enables businesses and marketers to find micro- and macro-influencers in your niche.
Awario is a great tool for finding all types of influencers, big or small, niche or mainstream. Its advantage is flexibility – you don’t have preset categories which you browse for influencers like with many other influencer marketing tools.
Instead, you create a social media monitoring alert that allows you to look for influencers mentioning specific keywords (or using them in their bios, etc.). These keywords can be specific brands in your niche, your direct competitors, the type of products you produce, and industry-related terms – the limit is your imagination.
Take a moment to think about what kind of an influencer you want to find and what phrases they would use in their captions and posts.
Awario then collects the online conversations that mention these keywords and examines them for reach, sentiment, and a bunch of demographic and psychographic metrics. The authors that had the most reach on their posts are added to the Influencers report.
The report shows you the influencers broken down by platforms (Twitter, YouTube, and so on) with their reach, the number of times they mentioned your keywords, and the sentiment they expressed. You can explore this list and find suitable creators. The report can be easily shared through cloud or PDF with your colleagues and stakeholders.
If you’re looking for an influencer with a particular reach (for example, 100-150 thousand followers), you can find them in the Mention Feed. There is a convenient filter panel that allows you to filter out accounts with a certain number of followers. You can further filter out this data by sentiment, country of origin, and more.
It should be said that Awario is not simply an influencer marketing tool and it provides a lot of useful marketing insights for competitor analysis, campaign planning, and social media monitoring.
- You have very specific requirements for influencers in mind
- You want to laser-target your influencer campaign
- You need a multi-purpose tool that is able to cover more than influencer marketing
Awario offers a 7-day free trial with which you can test the Influencers report.
The prices start at 39$ a month (24$ if you purchase a year-long plan) and depend based on how much conversation the tool is able to collect and analyze.
Upfluence is the best influencer database for E-commerce brands. Most influencer marketing tools are based on databases – a catalog of influencers if you will. Upfluence is the natural progression of this concept. It’s a massive online database of influencers that is constantly updated and expanded by algorithms that analyze profiles of creators across multiple social media platforms.
Once again, you are using keywords to search for creators, but this time the tool doesn’t start a new search from scratch. Rather, it combs through its database to find the profiles that have relevant tags associated with your keywords. What separates Upfluence from other influencer databases is the ability to assign weight to different keywords.
For example, you are looking for a lifestyle influencer to promote your ethically-made homeware. You can make home decoration and interior design the main keywords and choose ethical, small business, owned by women as secondary keywords. They will be relevant for your search, but won’t play as major a role as your main keywords.
If your main platform is Instagram, you’ll be able to filter influencers based on demographics such as age, gender, and location (if the influencers featured authorize access to this data).
E-commerce shops will be able to get even more value from the tool finding influencers among their existing customers. Upfluence can be integrated with your CMR and website to identify customers with a lot of social media followers. Remember, your customers are always your best marketers, and if they have an audience of their own, it would be reckless to neglect them.
In addition to influencer search, Upfluence provides a customizable database where you can organize influencers of interest. You can add fields and leave tags to find people you collaborate with easier. Besides, you can connect all the email correspondence between you and the influencer for easy reference. There’s also a lifecycle management component that shows you your progress for each influencer—who you’re negotiating with, who you’re waiting for to complete content, who’s waiting on payment, those kinds of things.
All in all, Upfluence focuses on facilitating long-term organic relationships between brands and influencers, hence their focus is not just on influencer discovery but communication and connection as well.
- Work with e-commerce and online stores
- Want an influencer marketing platform for search and management
- Aim to build long-term relationships with influencers
Upfluence is an Enterprise-level platform. It provides the exact pricing on contact after their managers are able to ascertain your needs. There are three preset plans that differ by the number of users and access to reports and integrations.
There is a free Chrome extension to quickly analyze an influencer’s profile.
While BuzzSumo is not strictly an influencer marketing tool, it allows its users to discover the most popular online content and analyze the authors behind it. Thus, it can be an amazing way to find influencers whose content gets a lot of engagement and therefore those who have a loyal and active audience.
The search in BuzzSumo is also based on keywords. You can also choose filters that will apply to your search including date, language, country, and so on. The results will be ranked by the number of engagements they generated – likes, shares, and comments. You can then research the authors of these posts to understand which of them are viral posts from regular social media users, and which were created by influencers, and reach out to the latter.
Buzsummo’s Trending Now feature is also a very useful tool that allows you to stay on top of the latest trends in our industry. All you need to do is to create a preset topic describing your niche and the software will show you the trending content in this niche. It’s a great feature to find emerging creators in your field.
The platform also provides a straightforward Influencer search, although with a little twist to it. BuzzSumo’s Top Authors feature divides influencers into the following categories:
- Regular people
You can choose multiple categories to search. The search once again depends on the niche-related keywords you provide. The results give you a lot of information on the authors including the number of their followers across platforms, their website (if they have one) and its domain authority, relevancy, and more.
You should try BuzzSumo if:
- You’re looking for bloggers
- Want an influencer marketing platform for search and management
- Aim to build long-term relationships with influencers
There is a free plan that gives you 10 searches a month, however, the Top Authors search is not included. You can also try every plan for free for 30 days.
The prices start at $99 per month and vary depending on the features available. The Top Authors feature is only available in the Large plan that sells for $299 a month.
Hunter.io finds email addresses for you. You can undertake 100 searches per month on the free plan. You enter a domain name into their search engine and Hunter.io will do its best to find the email addresses attached to that domain.
Hunter.io can be particularly helpful for finding the email addresses of people who may be of value to your organization. For instance, as part of your influencer campaign, you may wish to ask for a guest blogging post on an influential blog in your niche. It can be difficult at times to find the correct email address when you need to approach them with your request. You can enter a person’s name and company website into Hunter.io, and it will come up with a suggested email address.
If you think you have a valid email address to follow up on but are unsure, you can enter the address into Hunter.io, and it will determine whether the email address is valid.
You can also use Hunter.io as a plug-in. In this case, when you go to a particular website you can click on the Hunter.io icon in your browser and it will find any valid email addresses attached to that domain.
- You already have a list of followers you want to reach out to
- You are in the process of creating your personal database of influencers in your niche
The free version gives you 25 searches a month.
The paid plans start at 49 euros and include more searches and Premium features such as more analytics and CSV download.
While some of the tools on this list allow you to research your audience as well, Sparktoro relies on audience research to find relevant influencers. Meaning, that you first find an audience through Sparktoro and then use it to figure out how to reach them.
Once you open the tool, you can find an audience by writing down:
- what they frequently talk about;
- what words do they use in their profile;
- what websites do they visit;
- and the hashtags they use.
Mind you, you are only required to answer one of these questions to find your audience. The rest of them will be answered with Sparktoro results – along with the social media accounts your audience follows.
If you intend to use Sparktoro for influencer research, your main focus will be the results that show what your audience follows, visits, and engages with. Sparktoro divides these results into four categories:
- Most followed social media accounts
- Social accounts with smaller reach but high engagement among your audience
- Most visited websites
- Websites with less traffic but high engagement
This list helps you see the most popular people in this niche but also the most engaged with people, showing you micro-influencers with an engaged and active following.
Sparktoro also shows you what content your audience consumes online: what podcasts they listen to, what press accounts they follow, and the YouTube channels they watch.
- You don’t know who your target audience is yet or want to find a new one
- You want to understand how to reach your audience through online content
The free plan provides five searches a month, however, the paid plans add more influential accounts and channels to reach your target audience. The prices start at $38.
Followerwonk is a Twitter tool that provides various audience analytics for the platform. It also offers an influencer research feature logically focusing on Twitter influencers.
You can use it to dig deeply into your Twitter analytics. You can search Twitter bios, connect with influencers or fans, and break them down by location, authority, number of followers, etc. It gives each Twitter user a social rank based on the number of followers and engagement ratio they have. You can use these score to determine how popular influencer is.
However, search is not restricted to particular accounts. You can search for a keyword term (your brand, for instance), and Followerwonk will come up with a list of all the Twitter accounts with that term in their bios.
- Your target’s audience main platform is Twitter
The tool is free. There are paid versions with additional features, the prices start at $29.
If you’d rather focus on the more traditional platform for online creators, this is a tool for you.
With the ability to search through Instagram and YouTube with keywords, NinjaOutreach will find influencers with the highest clicks, interactions, and traffic.
Just like Upfluence, NinjaOutreach operates primarily as a database of YouTube and Instagram influencers. It holds over 78 million social media and blogger profiles you can contact and helps to automate your outreach to streamline your collaboration with influencers.
The platform makes the outreach process especially convenient since it provides the email contacts of all the influencers right in its database and allows you to build your own CRM. You can share the access with your team and track conversation history to make sure everyone stays in the know.
- You need the platform that will facilitate both the research and outreach parts of influencer marketing
- You’re focusing your influencer campaign on YouTube and Instagram
There’s a free trial available (card information required). The two plans cost $389 and $649 per month and differ by the number of available emails, team accounts, and contacts.
Get Started With Influencer Outreach Today
As you see, the influencer marketing tools offer a great variety for any marketer, no matter your budget or goals. I encourage you to try the free version of the tools that caught your eye and see what they can do for your brand. At a minimum, you can begin to follow the influencers you discover so that you can start networking with them, understanding their niche and focus, and perhaps even approach them about promoting your products and services.
Disclosure: Martech Zone has added affiliate links to this article.