Influencer marketing has risen to become a key component of a brands marketing strategy.
The rise of social media has brought a new type of digital stars who became popular through their growing number of social followers. This has led them to an increased number of requests for sponsorships and brand affiliations.
As people are more inclined to believe another person rather than a brand, the new generation of influencers has become even more important, affecting a growing audience with their opinion. Marketers have noticed this trend and have increased the budget spent on influencer marketing in an attempt to maximise the awareness and conversion rates of their campaigns.
According to the State of Influencer Marketing 2017 by Linqia, 94% of marketers were planning to increase their budget for influencer marketing during 2017. This decision comes from the realization that influencers can improve social visibility and engagement for a brand.
Influencer marketing can help a brand reach a targeted audience and find the most relevant exposure for its products. This maximises the chances of conversion, especially if the campaign involves a popular and trusted person.
Facebook and Instagram seem to be the first choices for marketers when investing in influencer marketing. Despite the clear preference on the two social platforms, the biggest challenge is to measure ROI and prove the success of the campaign when involving influencers.
It is estimated that businesses can generate an average of $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. However, it is still important to find the right tools to discover, find and manage influencers.
Eight tools to use in influencer marketing
If you want to start searching for the right influencers with a free tool, then Moz’s Followerwonk is a good start for Twitter. Although it focuses only on one platform, it can (Read more...) be a very useful tool to start discovering relevant influencers for your brand or a particular campaign.
Followerwonk allows you to search for keywords that show up on Twitter bios, making it easier to find the right influencers. Moreover, they are organized by their number of followers, their tweets and their social authority, which enables you to understand posting frequency, audience and social popularity.
It also includes a feature of comparing the followers of up to three Twitter accounts, which can be a great addition when trying to understand your competitors’ audience. If you’re still new to influencer marketing, this tool can help you explore how social influencers rank and how to find the best ones for your brand.
If you’re serious about influencer marketing, then Insightpool’s platform might be of great use. Insightpool offers a complete multi-channel approach, helping you identify, engage and manage the influencers you need for each campaign.
One of the most powerful features is the search and the segmentation, as it allows you to search for influencers based on their characteristics (demographics, topics, specific social networks), their conversations (focusing on a particular trending topic) or their individual profiles and what makes their network and their presence unique. This way there are more chances to find the right fit, customising the search criteria depending on the goals of each campaign.
Moreover, once you find the ideal influencers, Insightpool lets you organize them, depending on their reach, their relevance, but also their resonance, creating a rank that blends them all together. This is a useful categorization, as it reminds us that the measurement of influence goes beyond the number of followers, taking into consideration several factors.
Once you organize your influencers, the platform can help you develop and scale 1:1 relationships with them by creating the right content to turn them into brand advocates.
BuzzSumo is one of the most popular platforms that blend content marketing and influencer marketing in an appealing and effective way. When it comes to influencer marketing, BuzzSumo helps you identify the right influencers for your campaign through an analysis of their social performance, the content they are sharing and its performance across all networks.
It also allows you to discover influencers based on keywords and hashtags, while you can also organize the search results depending on the type of influencer you’re looking for (individual, blogger, company, journalist, etc). This increases the chances of finding the perfect fit, knowing that a journalist, for example, might be more relevant in a PR campaign, while a fashion blogger might be ideal for an ecommerce brand.
What makes BuzzSumo special is the fact that you’re able to monitor the content that the influencers are sharing in order to understand what they’re most likely to share. It’s also useful that you can follow users directly through the platform, while you can also add them to Twitter lists to create your own personalized outreach lists.
Klear is a powerful influencer marketing platform that focuses on sophisticated technology and data to help you discover the best influencer for each campaign. It offers 60,000 categories and 5 years of historical data to create an effective and visually appealing platform that can be useful for anyone working in social media marketing, content, branding or digital media in general.
Klear allows you to discover the most relevant influencers for your brand on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, along with bloggers. Its filtering helps you search for new, casual, or power users, or even celebrities when trying to scale up your campaign.
What makes it special is the unique Klear People Rank algorithm that relies on more than 100 social signals to determine each influencer’s authority and social ranking. The platform is also user-friendly with appealing profiles for each influencer that offer a useful overview of their activities and their influence.
Klear makes it easier to measure the ROI of an influencer marketing campaign with performance reports that quantify your influencers’ ROI and how they helped your campaign meet the set expectations.
Onalytica is an influencer relationship management software that facilitates the identification and the management of your ideal influencers.
Except for the customized filtering in the identification of the right influencers, it also offers interactive maps that visually present how each network can extend your reach.
It serves as a complete platform for influencer marketing with its most important features being in their management. It makes it easier to keep an eye on the influencers’ content, their conversations and their authority through customizable dashboards and visually appealing charts. The reports allow you to analyze influencers’ conversations during the last 12 months, organizing them in volume trends, share of voice, share of reach and influencer rankings to decide on the data that is more useful for each campaign. Moreover, it offers a real-time feed that can be based on particular topics or influencers, making the monitoring of a campaign, or a prospect influencer more effective.
Another extremely useful feature is the option to upload a piece of content you have created (e.g. a white paper), with the platform identifying the sharing opportunities and how it can be relevant for each influencer. This can save both your time and effort to amplify the content, finding the ideal person to help you in it.
BuzzStream is another popular platform for discovering and managing influencers, focusing more on outreach campaigns. It can be ideal for anyone interested in building relationships with the right people for link building, content promotion or PR outreach.
BuzzStream makes it easier to discover prospects and find their contact information, while you can also add your own contacts to your database or provide additional information you might have. This saves time from manual spreadsheets and can help a team have an overview of the filtering and the conversations everyone has with each influencer.
The database becomes more powerful with sophisticated segmentation that makes personalized outreach more efficient. Moreover, it helps you create personalized messages based on the history or the conversations you’ve had with each person, while you can also decide on the ideal time that you want to send each message.
This platform is ideal for a team that wants to stay organized in outreach marketing, having an instant view on the status of each campaign and the relationship with each influencer.
GroupHigh is a very popular platform for relationship building with influencers, used by many brands to improve their campaigns.
It can be very useful when looking for relevant bloggers to be part of your campaign, with a blogger index that offers a visually appealing overview of all bloggers depending on the topic, the influence, the social presence, the reach, or the location.
The varied search criteria with more than 50 metrics can lead to very targeted influencers, while you can also import your existing relationships to the database for a complete overview of your contacts in relevant and segmented lists.
Another interesting feature is the option to keep data for influencers up to date, from the number of followers, their latest content to their SEO stats for their ranking. This makes it even more powerful when trying to understand the influence of each person.
Moreover, its CRM facilitates the communication and the nurturing of influencers to create authentic relationships through email or social messages. The reporting also helps to organize all communications and mentions in one place to prove the ROI for each contact.
Ninja Outreach is a complete platform for influencer and blogger outreach and it’s ideal for startups, small businesses or even large brands. It blends many different features, helping with lead generation, Instagram and Twitter prospecting, link building, all of them as part of targeted outreach campaigns.
It’s easy to discover the ideal influencers for each campaign through an appealing interface and a database of 5 million influencers. A search for the right influencer can be based on the location, the niche, or even particular keywords and hashtags. There is also the option to import your existing contacts and segment your lists, while you can also improve your organizing with notes and tags for each contact.
It can be a very useful platform when working as part of a larger team, as contacts can also be tagged as part of a campaign, or a client, making collaboration easier.
Aside from the identification of the right influencers, it also facilitates the communication with them, by featuring automatic emails as part of outreach campaigns along with customized templates that can be adjusted based on the requests for each contact. The reports on the performance of each campaign make it easier to measure their performance, while all communications are saved in each contact’s profile for future reference.
So what does this all mean?
Influencer marketing is maturing as it becomes increasingly important for brands to find the right influencers to amplify and champion their campaigns.
As people value authentic relationships more than a branded message, influencers are expected to be an integral part of successful marketing campaigns. Although FTC guidelines ask them to disclose when they are promoting a product, this action can contribute even more towards an honest relationship between rising stars and their audience.
Brands need to understand the power of an inspiring influencer and form a beneficial relationship that is relevant and can bring the desired ROI from it. It’s easy to be tempted and experiment with influencer marketing without measuring its success.
The tools we mentioned above can make a great start for an influencer marketing campaign, aiming for relevance, success, and proof of ROI.
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