10 Tools to Help You Run Your First Influencer Marketing CampaignBy Michael Quoc on August 24, 2017
Reading Time: 17 minutes
If you’ve heard the term “influencer marketing” before but haven’t tried it out, you’re missing the boat. Studies have demonstrated that word of mouth advertising is more powerful than paid solutions. When genuine people give honest reviews, shout outs, or feedback; brands win.
If the price of influencer marketing has held you back, you’re about to be out of excuses! We know you don’t want to break the bank, that’s why we’ve scoured the web to find 10 low-cost tools to help you get started with influencer marketing.
These tools range from discovery tools that help you find real influencers, to campaign management tools that handle everything from start to finish. If you’re a small or medium-sized business and you’re looking to jump in, these 10 tools are a great way to get started.
Tools for Finding Influencers
Just as the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step; the journey of 1,000 influencers begins with finding one to suit your needs. The tools listed below may offer additional features, but their true value begins by helping you discover and connect with the right influencer for your business needs.
Find influencers in any location or category with BuzzSumo. Sort by reach, authority, and engagement to find people that align with your target audience. Then, build outreach plans, add influencers to Twitter lists, and export data for detailed analysis. BuzzSumo Pro starts at $79 per month and is a good starter plan for small teams.
How It Works
Brands search for influencers that fit their niche. From there, they can view content, follower size, domain authority, and more. Search by keywords to source content and influencers.
Brands can also search by a particular piece of content and view the engagement metrics (such as shares, retweets, etc) and identify the influencers who share that content most frequently.
Once influencers are identified, they can be followed directly from Buzzsumo, or added to Twitter lists. Contact information can be exported into an Excel sheet for later addition into your e-mail program.
Buzzsumo Pro starts at $79 / month (with yearly membership) and includes most of the basic tools to get you started. The Agency plan ($239/month) includes deeper analytic tools and filters you may want to consider as you scale.
Ninja Outreach houses over 25 million websites in its database of influencers. Use your target keywords to search for social media influencers and bloggers with matching descriptions.
How It Works
You can easily search for influencers using keywords. Once you’ve found prospects, you can manage contacts inside the tool along with message history, notes, and relationship tracking.
This tool allows you to source the best influencer for your needs while eliminating others. Brands can filter results by platform, minimum follower count, domain authority, and more. Additional analytics takes a deeper dive into the influencers you select and reveals information about their other social profiles, website, as well as contact information.
Influencers can be grouped into lists for later contact. The tool also allows you to add notes, tags, and other identifying information that can be stored or shared with your team. Email templates may also be set up to allow you to contact your lists directly through the platform.
Additionally, your contact lists can be exported into an Excel sheet or CSV for later use with a different outreach program.
Ninja Outreach starts at a reasonable $99/month for the small agency plan, though there is a solo plan for $69/month. The small agency plan is preferable for small and medium-sized businesses who are looking to get started with influencer marketing and have access to more enhanced features. This plan allows two users access to unlimited searches and emailing as well as automated follow-ups. Paying annually will save you 25% on any of Ninja Outreach’s four plans.
Klear is a discovery platform built for bigger brands. It boasts 500 million social profiles and influencers in over 60,000 categories. Use it to find, engage, and track relevant insights, manage influencer outreach, and monitor ongoing campaigns.
How It Works
Brands select the target network (Instagram, Twitter, etc) and use keywords to search for influencers in their preferred category. Klear also allows you to search by geographical location, which may be beneficial to some users.
You can further narrow down your search by viewing robust analytics of each influencer. Engagement data will show the influencers activity level, likes, retweets, follows, and more.
Once you’ve identified the influencers you want to contact, you can follow their activity through the platform, or export their contact information for later use. Klear does not offer a specific outreach program, though you are able to add your preferred influencers into lists or groups.
Klear is a costlier option than the previous two, but still offers a $250 per month starter plan. They also offer a free demo of the service if you’re unsure.
Scrunch is an all-inclusive, end-to-end platform that enables you to search and bookmark influencers from a comprehensive database that includes dozens of niche markets.
How It Works
Scrunch allows brands to search by geographical location, engagement rates, follower range, or by the specific social network you’re interested in. Influencers can be sorted and grouped based on your specifications.
Scrunch allows you to create a manage an influencer campaign from discover to outreach. Once you’ve searched through your influencer results, Scrunch will show you detailed information on engagement rates, activity, and an estimated cost per post for your campaign.
Search by keywords, and filter by follower size, platform, or geographic location in order to discover the influencer that is best suited for your needs.
Prices on Scrunch vary, but for the small business interested in getting their feet wet, the starter package is free of charge and allows you to manage a single campaign. However, in order to contact influencers directly through Scrunch you will need to upgrade. For unlimited campaigns and expanded features, the pro model package starts at a reasonable $99 per month.
Influencer Contact & Communication Tools
Contact and communication is the foundation of a successful influencer marketing program. The tools below are standouts in the area of managing your influencer relationships and communication. From compiling a directory of contacts to tracking messages, these tools are ideal for the business that values efficient communication.
Buzzstream helps businesses build relationships with influencers. This outreach platform maintains contact information, profiles, and conversation history between brands and the influencers they work with.
How It Works
Buzzstream allows brands to search prospect lists and add contact details. Additionally, the Buzzstream Chrome Extension enables you to source contact info directly from a domain. So if there’s a website you’d like to reach, Buzzstream can help.
As you browse the web, Buzzstream is always active. Easily add and group your contacts for later outreach.
You can also contact influencers directly through the platform using email templates. A new bulk contact feature was also released earlier this year and allows you to use those templates to contact multiple influencers at once.
Buzzstream starts at a reasonable $24/month. The tiered pricing plans run up to $299/month for larger agencies. Customized plans are also available. For small businesses, the $99/month group plan offers a good mix of features to get you started.
Send customizable messages to influencers and track the process every step of the way with Pitchbox. The outreach automation is a time saver, allowing businesses to push messages and schedule follow-ups through templated emails. The basic Pitchbox service starts at $195 per month.
How It Works
Like many, Pitchbox utilizes keyword searches to target influencers. Determine your keywords (or let Pitchbox suggest them) and view the results.
Once you have your results, you can inspect each prospect to determine their social reach, engagement, and SEO metrics to help whittle down your list. Clicking on any of the prospects will open the website directly in Pitchbox for further inspection.
Once you’ve identified the influencers you want to contact; email templates (including follow-up emails) are easily sent and automated. Pitchbox monitors your communications and stops sending emails to a prospect once they’ve responded.
Unlike some platform, Pitchbox is not designed for influencers to sell their influence directly. The platform offers valuable insights for discovery, outreach, and communication.
Pitchbox starts at $195/month and allows you to send up to 2,000 outreach e-mails per month. The tiered plans run up to $1500/month for total Enterprise training and management as well. For small businesses just starting out, the basic plan ($195) is sufficient to get your feet wet.
If you’re interested in casting a wider net, influencer marketplaces are the ideal solution. On these platforms, you’ll be able to select from a wide range of influencers. Some platforms allow influencers to compete for your business, while others allow you to set goals and view proposals. If you like having options at your fingertips; influencer marketplaces offer just that.
FameBit is an influencer marketplace targeting YouTube users specifically. Influencers submit proposals for campaigns and create video content that can reach audiences of over 1 million people.
How It Works
FameBit allows brands to create a campaign and let influencers bid on it. Campaign creation is easy and allows you to select a category, enter details, as well as designate a price range.
Influencers submit proposals and brands have the ability to look over the proposals to determine the best fit for their campaign. You can also view the individual influencer’s details and see their social reach and engagement metrics.
Once you’ve identified that the influencers are ones you want to work with, you can respond to the influencer, accept their proposal, and discuss any details that need to be determined. After that, the influencer creates their video demonstration or review of your product and posts it online to their following.
As with most marketplaces, FameBit does not charge an up-front price. Instead, they charge a flat rate of 10% on all campaigns. So, if you receive a proposal for $100, you will wind up paying $110 to accommodate the service fee.
Octoly targets YouTube and Instagram users. In this marketplace, brands give influencers free products in exchange for video reviews. Octoly prides itself on authentic reviews, which help boost brand loyalty. The platform primarily focuses on the health, beauty, and lifestyle verticals, although not exclusively.
How It Works
Octoly works by brands offering free products in exchange for honest reviews. Brands start by creating their “store” where they designate what their products are, how many they have to give away, and other details.
Brands can offer some guidance on the content if there are rules, disclaimers, or other legal guidelines surrounding their product. However, the actual content of the video cannot be directed. The point of Octoly is on receiving honest reviews and feedback so brands have to allow the creator to speak genuinely.
For brands that might be concerned that this will lead to negative reviews, the risk is relatively low. Influencers have built a following on being genuine, but they also know that if they continuously bash a product, they won’t be selected for future videos. Thus, even critical reviews are typically done in a manner which may provide valuable feedback.
While the idea behind the marketplace is to sit back and allow proposals to come in, Octoly does include a search feature that allows you to look through influencers to determine if there are any you’d like to work with.
Octoly keeps a lot of information about their operations a secret. Even signing up requires you to wait for approval before being granted access to the platform. The “cost” associated with the influencer/brand relationship is limited to the free exchange of products with no additional fees from the influencer.
Access to Octoly is granted on a subscription-based model, but details on the exact cost per month is difficult to find online. You’ll need to speak to one of their sales representatives.
Shoutcart is the number one marketplace for Instagram influencers. It’s simple to use: brands search influencers, add chosen influencers to their cart and pay the advertised fee. Brands then pass along content for the influencer to share.
How It Works
Brands are buying “shout outs” on social media which are quick mentions from influencers meant to drive traffic to your website, store, or platform. Search by keywords and filter results based on the influencers reach, price, or industry.
Think of Shoutcart as an e-commerce platform for purchasing exposure online to an audience within your industry. Once you determine an influencer fits in with your needs, you check out like any other online store. Under the order details during checkout, you include the text of the shout out as well as any additional media such as pictures or video.
Shoutcart is free for brands to access. The influencer cost per shout out will depend heavily on the influencer’s social reach and the size of their following. As with many things, you get what you pay for. Costs start from as little as $1 per shout out, but range up to several thousand depending on the influencer.
Full Service Influencer Platforms
For the brand that wants it all, a full-service platform is the perfect solution to all of your influencer marketing needs. From discovery to relationship management, tracking and campaign analytics; a full-service influencer marketing platform handles everything you need.
Full-service platforms like Tomoson offers a complete influencer solution. From searching influencers, to managing contracts, shipping products, and reporting; Tomoson does a little of everything.
How It Works
Brands create a campaign and fill in the details such as their budget, the channels they want to reach, product details, and other information. Your results can be filtered by keywords, categories, social metrics, etc. Clicking on an influencer leads to expanded information regarding their views, average engagement, visitation, domain authority, and more.
Once you decide on an influencer you would like to contact, they can be messaged directly through the Tomoson platform. Send your chosen influencer a customized message, or an offer, then run your campaign and track the performance all from within the channel.
Tomoson’s basic package starts at an affordable $49 per month and ranges upward for Enterprise solutions. If you’re just starting out, the basic package offers many of the features you’ll want without adding in those you don’t. There is a free trial available for first-time users as well.
The influencer marketing industry is only going to continue to grow. Finding a platform that fits the needs of your business is essential to the development of your influencer marketing strategy.
These 10 tools help you enter the space with low costs and minimal commitment. But, don’t wait too long to get started: Influencers are growing increasingly valuable to brands and the price to play in this space can evolve rapidly.