Whenever I speak on influencer marketing, I inevitably get asked: Are there any influencer marketing tools that can my life easier? After all the work involved in influencer identification alone could require a tremendous amount of time, especially once you understand my influencer marketing definition and its broad implications. And that is only the beginning of the activities you will need to embrace as part of your influencer marketing program.
Just as I believe there is no one tool that does everything for a social media marketer and thus most marketers I know end up developing their own unique stack of tools for social media marketing (you can check out my social media marketing stack here), I believe the same is true for influencer marketing.
As I continue the process of preparing my upcoming book on influencer marketing, The Age of Influence, for publication, I wanted to create a page that future readers can always find updated information on recommended influencer marketing tools, so I plan to continue to update this post as I expect changes in the market to come as influencer marketing as an industry grows bigger and bigger.
That being said, instead of trying to list every available tool, I wanted to focus on only the tested and popular influencer marketing tools from my own research and client feedback so that the list becomes pre-vetted for you. I am not perfect, so if you see your favorite tool not listed here – or if you represent a tool not listed here – please feel free to comment so that I can consider inclusion.
Without further adieu, below is the list. I have done my best to divide the influencer marketing tools into tools types. Some tools crossover multiple tools, and others are always adding functionality, but this list should give you some guidance whether you are looking to invest for the first time in an influencer marketing tool or you want to do an audit on your current tool stack.
Note that I do not include social media dashboards in this list, but since you will need one to engage with and monitor your conversations with influencers, you obviously need one. I also assume if you are reading this social media blog you are already using one, such as Agorapulse, Sendible, et. al. ;-)
Also. those influencer marketing tools which have an * after their name are featured in one way or another in my influencer marketing book The Age of Influence – you’ll have to read the book to find out the details ;-)
Below is a preview of all of the tools included here for your quick reference:
SOCIAL LISTENING INFLUENCER MARKETING TOOLS
Influencer marketing tools rightfully begin with social listening tools, because your customers might already be talking about you in social media. From social listening tools, we can identify popular influencers as well as customers, partners, and employees that are already talking about us or a topic that is related to our product or service. For more information on how to use a social listening tool for influencer marketing, read my guest post on the Awario blog here.
Here a few of the top social listening tools for your consideration:
Awario is one of the newer kids on the block but offers a robust social media monitoring tool that includes all of the advanced features you would want in a tool such as boolean search, sentiment analysis, location-based monitoring, social listening reports, topic cloud, as well as monitoring on sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in addition to Twitter.
Brand24 is a social media monitoring tool that lets the user get real time social insights about their brand. It provides the user with features like “Influencer Score” which shows if popular media personalities have been talking about their brand. It can also perform a “Sentiment Analysis” for the user which helps them be aware about the type (positive, negative or neutral) comments being made by the public. Another excellent feature of this tool is that it facilitates the user to detect sales opportunities and interact with the customers in real time.
Brandwatch allows its users to keep up to date with the latest market trends by making them acquainted with all the hot topics and trends going around in the market. This is another real time listening tool which helps the user interact with the customers without delay. Its best feature is that it alerts the user about opportunities and threats, for example if a media influencer is engaged with the product, the marketing team is alerted instantly. Note that Brandwatch’s recent acquisition of former formidable competitor Crimson Hexagon only strengthens their position in the social listening tool market.
Digimind claims that they are an AI-powered and thus smart social listening tool. Used by some of the world’s largest brands like McDonalds, Sony, and Lexus, Digimind seem to have a particularly strong footprint with global agencies. A global company with offices in four countries, Digimind offers the features you would expect in a robust social listening tool such as state of the art sourcing, text mining, advanced monitoring, and real-time analysis.
Keyhole is another tool while provides accurate and in-depth consumer trend monitoring services. It allows the user to understand their brands audience/clientele by observing conversations and by analyzing the sentiments in these conversations. It facilitates the user with all the required information to cater the target audiences’ needs. It also allows the user to monitor campaigns and build reports.
With their recent acquisition of social listening tool Sysomos, Meltwater is clearly one of the leaders in social listening technology. With more than 30,000 clients, Meltwater’s social listening tools provide AI-driven insights decoding billions of data in real time. From quantifying your PR impact to knowing your share of voice, Meltwater has you covered.
Mention allows the user to monitor their customers, campaigns, brands, competitors, different products and the overall industry. It gives live updates about from the web and social media about what is being said about a certain brand or product. Automated reports are generated which assist in keeping clients and other users up to date. It also facilitates the user to find media influencers who can help with the outreach.
Netbase is a social media analytics platform which provides real time insight to all the customer conversations. It has the ability to distinguish between emotions, behaviors, attributes, hashtags, people and brands mentioned in the text. Being used by companies such as Coca Cola and Edelman, Netbase claims to be the leader in social analytics. It helps in maintaining the brands health and improving crisis management by tracking issues in real time.
Sprinklr is way more than just a social listening tool, but it bears reminding that they possess industry-leading social listening technology. One of the most popular and comprehensive enterprise social media platforms that exist, Sprinklr offers not just real time data but also allows you to dig in to over 300 billion historical conversations to bring insights closer to action.
Talkwalker is reportedly the first social listening tool to offer visual recognition analysis. As social media moves from text to the visual, visual recognition might be a critical way for your brand to find the right influencers on a visual social network like Instagram. Used by over 2,000 global brands, Talkwalker offers all of the advanced functionality you would expect from an enterprise-grade social listening tool.
BLOGGER OUTREACH INFLUENCER MARKETING TOOLS
Influencer marketing in its earliest days (i.e. before the popularity of Instagram) involved reaching out to bloggers, and thus the term “blogger outreach” was created. Blogger outreach is still critical in many industries, and thus these influencer marketing tools deserve mention. Note that these tools have also evolved over time as has influencer marketing, so their functionality is not necessarily limited to just bloggers. Following are some of the top blogger outreach tools:
BuzzStream helps its users in reaching influencers, managing relationships and conducting personalized and efficient outreach programs. It is a platform which allows the user to discover social profiles and contact information of influencers. It also provides an insight into the user’s outreach campaigns and helps in keeping track of the performance through customized reports. Companies such as Shopify and Airbnb use BuzzStream as a blogger outreach tool.
GroupHigh is a social media marketing tool which facilitates the user with the contact information of most influential bloggers. The user can filter blog results by multiple parameters such as content, social following, language, location etc. Influencers can also be filtered out in order to target a certain set of followers. It performs website and content research to make a decision about who to reach out to, that helps to reach out to social media influencers. It includes several visual reports which help in analyzing post engagement results.
Ninja Outreach provides many social media marketing solutions such as content promotion, sponsored post outreach, resource page link building, branding and PR and many more. Ninja Outreach claims to have a massive influencer database and the user just needs to type in keywords in order to access millions of profiles and their email addresses. This tool has a built-in CRM which allows managing all influencer outreach and marketing programs.
Ontolo is more than just a blogger outreach tool as it allows you to search for prospects for a wide variety of sales and marketing objectives. Allowing you to simultaneously prospect from more than 80 different sources, Ontolo also has unique features such as the ability to classify, categorize and prioritize your prospective influencers that you want to contact.
PitchBox is a content marketing and influencer outreach platform for brands, publishers, SEO agencies etc. It is integrated with top SEO providers to make sure that the user gets connected to the most influential bloggers. It is easy to use and provides an automated follow-up feature which increases the ease of the user to climb up social media influencer ladder.
Repona is the newest entry to the list and is the tool I am currently trying out. It was developed first as an internal tool by the folks at Visme, and due its success, they have evolved into a commercial tool that they recently started releasing to the outside world. In their words, Respona is “the all-in-one PR and blogger outreach tool that combines personalization with productivity.”
TRADITIONAL INFLUENCER DISCOVERY TOOLS
Parallel to blogger outreach tools, there have been a number of influencer discovery tools which focus less on just bloggers and more on a holistic approach to measure influencer from social media in addition to blogging. These companies are well-established and have been around for several years helping enterprises large and small, so it made sense to make a small section for them and label them as “traditional” types of influencer discovery tools because they have been helping influencer marketers way before Instagram became the most popular platform for influencer marketing.
According to Klear, people trust influencers, not ads. Klear helps in building this trust between the audience and the influencers. It searches influencers by filtering them out on the basis of the social network, their influence and their skills. It is used by companies such as Uniliver and Coca Cola.
Onalytica aims to connect brands and influencers in order to create better content. Brands can connect with influencers, engage with them and with their help, shape the perception of people about their products. Used by top IT companies such as Microsoft and HP, Onalytica lets its user discover relevant influencers and connect with them. It also helps in measuring the impact made by these influencers.
Traackr is an influencer management platform. This tool has one central database of all influencers and has the ability to prioritize them based on the impact they make. It also provides analytics in order to measure the impact of the influencers on the targeted audience, maximize ROI and keep track of competition.
INFLUENCER DISCOVERY TOOLS
The remainder of the influencer discovery tools mentioned below have been developed with the growth of Instagram and can be considered more Instagram-centric in their approach. For that reason some of these have become as or even more popular than the traditional influencer marketing platforms mentioned before, but I highly recommend you compare several of these, including traditional influencer discovery tools, before deciding to make an investment.
These are considered influencer discovery tools because they focus on the technology of allowing you to find your perfect influencer over millions of profiles rather than a limited subset of a hundred thousand or less opt-in-only influencers that are the hallmark of the influencer marketplace tools list that will follow this one.
Formerly known as Revfluence, AspireIQ offers a streamlined search engine system to discover thousands of influencers and gives its own recommendations to find the best suit. The platforms services automate tedious tasks by providing a one-stop-shop solution that allows clients to measure their company’s ROI and track stats of every social media content across all media channels.
CreatorIQ bill themselves as the “influencer marketing cloud for the enterprise,” so clearly they are focused on working with larger companies. Offering similar functionality to other solutions listed here, their unique differentiator is the ability to white-label their solution for your organization so that multiple business units or departments can create their own unique internal influencer marketing dashboards for their individual programs. With their “Creator Pay” functionality offering fully integrated global payments to streamline accounting and their “Creator Boost” functionality offering a unified look at organic and paid media performance to improve ROI, CreatorIQ is a must-check-out for solution for large, global enterprises.
Grin claims to be the number one marketing software for the world’s leading companies. Its services include getting companies to find, recruit and get advertised by prominent influencers. Its services expand over a variety of multi-purpose applications such as Shopify, Gmail, WooCommerce, Office365, Slack, PayPal and Google Drive.
Hypr is one of the largest discovery directories that provides real-time analytics for social media influencers across all social media platforms. It provides services as to categorize influencers according to age, gender, interests, income and location with other hundreds of options available. It claims that over 30% of the world’s largest brands are on its network.
Mavrck provides an all-in-one influencer marketing platform to empower brands to impact their followers and create new ones across all digital media. It helps brands and companies connect to various impactful influencers to create ideas, insights and content. Like others leading platforms, Mavrck is also trusted and used by a few of the world’s largest brands.
Neoreach allows you to filter through millions of influencers’ insights and analyze the fans of influencers with comprehensive audience demographics to find your perfect match. Within the NeoReach dashboard, manage your influencer communication, contracts, deals, and reports on how your campaign is performing. Instantly unlock historical performance and pricing insights on social influencers.
Open Influence are a global team of passionate experts that have won the Forbes 30 under 30 award as they provide seamless influencer solutions to help platforms, brands and industries create consistent and followed content to create greater ROIs. It works to empower the human element in advertising and works with known clients in fashion, lifestyle, travel, automotive, entertainment, technology, etc. Check out the ebook that I co-wrote with OpenInfluence: How AI is Revolutionizing Influencer Marketing.
Scrunch has been active for over 9 years and has 400 million consumers and trillion of data points. It claims to understand the influence of social media, its importance and connects brands to influencers globally. Their purpose-built people intelligence engine draws insights from customer data and digital resources to help grow businesses. Scrunch has a versatile team at their disposal, consisting of passionate data scientists, marketers, content creators, etc.
Socialbakers is the newcomer to this list and to the influencer marketing space as a whole. With its roots as a Facebook analytics tools, Socialbakers has grown up to be a full fledge enterprise social media marketing tool. Now they have added specific influencer marketing functionality which includes AI-driven influencer search and discovery, influencer fraudulent activity analysis, an efficient workflow system for influencer management and internal collaboration, robust reporting, and even brand ambassador identification. Note that all of this functionality is part of their entire social media marketing suite.
Like many of the other platforms listed above, Upfluence is another data-driven AI-powered platform to help you discover influencers. Upfluence allows you to not only access over 3 million influencers but also to use 20 advanced search criteria to help you find the most effective influencer faster.
INFLUENCER MARKETPLACE TOOLS
Marketing influencer marketplaces play as big a role as social media or online platforms. These are traditional forms of outlets built to track influencers for businesses. They accommodate research facilities across their networks to help brands develop relationships with relevant influencers. In many cases the marketplaces, because they are inherently limited to opted-in influencers, also vet the applications to provide you a list of only influencers they recommend you work with.
A few of the top influencer marketplaces include:
Activate is an influencer marketplace that provides a unique combination of technology and human expertise. Their platform allows you to efficiently find influencers as well as track their performance, but their marketplace includes handpicked curated lists of influencers as well as a host of other services provided by their Studio in-house experts for influencer strategy, casting, and execution.
ExpertVoice is an influencer marketplace where worthy brands can find, educate and interact with trusted influencers. These experts provide opinions and authentic advice as to the where’s and why’s to buy something. This helps new companies and startups gather input from the brightest and the most experienced minds in the outset.
It is a leading self-service platform that maintains a popular influencer marketing link and has been announced as a subsidiary of Google since 2016. Its business plans allow brands and products to get featured by YouTube content creators which is referred to as “The Bounty Model”.
Influence.co provides services where agencies, individuals, brands and companies can create their campaigns and manage them over different social media platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It provides all tools to measure analytics against each post on multiple platforms and informs clients of detailed performance statistics to identify success factors across different levels of user engagement.
It is the world’s first open platform that enables influencers, brands and agencies connect to each other. Through this platform, they can share their work and interact with the community. Many brands become highlighted on the influence platform and collaborate with high-rated PR firms while building effective influencer relationships.
Izea conducts and manages marketing campaigns for brands to get influencers on board. It creates social media posts and ads for companies and features them over blogs, videos and photos via trusted influencers across their vast platform. This creates a personalized message for the influencer’s audience about the brand endorsed.
Linqia creates a connection between brands and advertisers and provides a high-performance content engine that delivers the best return on ad spend across all social media. It has an outreach of over 244 million across the U.S. with over 100,000 influencers on its platform. It drives greater performance with efficient branding of all kinds of companies and strives to move towards an AI based platform.
Shoutcart is a simple plug n play version of getting exposure over social media. All that is required is to sign up to browse influencers through a vast network, add to cart the selected choice, create order, pay and receive instant exposure in social media posts via top influencers. This is pretty much an online and business ventured version of getting a shout out over social media.
TapInfluence is a marketing platform that caters to Business-to-Business companies. They provide over 100,000 verified influencers of various sorts on their platform. This includes fashion, lifestyle, technology and healthcare influencers over multiple social media platforms. The platform helps clients create effective influencer strategies while providing greater analytic outreach and campaign management facilities. TapInfluence helps track performance history, estimated cost-per-engagement (CPE) and specific services for clients that have their own blog.
A SAAS based platform in Minnesota, Tomoson integrates brands with top influencers to manage and promote their brands and projects. They help meet marketing goals with an extensive database of over 90,000 influencers. Their team includes consultants, social media experts and dedicated representatives that can help brands meet their marketing targets efficiently.
INFLUENCER MARKETING AGENCIES
While an agency is not a tool, many of the influencer marketing tools listed above offer influencer marketing agency services, so it only seemed fitting to list the top influencer marketing agencies should you wish to have more of a white glove approach or don’t have the resources to implement everything on your own. These agencies have a plethora of experience when it comes to vetting and selecting influencers, they deem best fit with a brand. The agency’s goal is to make sure that a marketing campaign will go smoothly and efficiently and to provide a comprehensive report upon such campaign completion. The top influencer marketing agencies are:
360i are a full-service marketing agency who are the pioneers in creating the term DWOM (Digital word of mouth) and have been providing outreach and launch services via an extensive network of advocates, influencers, brand storytellers and digital personalities. From creatives to strategy, insights and planning to analytics, 360i has you covered.
Acorn is an influencer marketing agency that brings a lot to the table. One of their specialties is Emerging Influencer Identification, tracking and recruiting up-and-coming influencers to join their influencer network. They also have a curated influencer network of thousands representing 25+ niches, and reach millions of people through their channels. They also have a unique Pitchback program where an influencer has the opportunity to outline their ideas to ensure programs have a variety of creative content. Finally they have a lot of experience working on influencer campaigns with retailers.
Clever is an award winning influencer marketing agency that provides brands with seamlessly managed services and access to a wide range of influencers. It shares brands’ and product content through a lineup of influencers that enable outreach growth and increases brand ROI. It has also been recognized as one of the Top 50 Fastest Growing Private Companies by the Business Journal.
Collectively is a full-service influencer marketing agency whose clients include giants like HP, Intel and GMC. It has been operative since 2007 and recognizes social media as a tool of absolute power when it comes to brand recognition. In early days, it connected Fortune 100 brands with star bloggers and their audiences and paved way to inventing a powerful way into marketing products and ideas.
HireInfluence call themselves an “elite influencer agency” who have clear-cut processes as to how they help their clients from influencer marketing strategy all the way to implementation and measurement. One of this agencies specialties is finding natural affinities between brands and developing cross audience partnerships. From collaboration logistics to production and management of live experiential events, focus groups, and more — HireInfluence is a true full-service hands-on agency of experienced professionals.
Influence Central is also an influencer agency that believes there is nothing like first-person recommendations. It provides influencer services in the forms of bloggers, visual storytellers and social media conversationalists. It takes pride on establishing a trust venue between its clients and influencers that carry out the best results in the form of greater recognitions for brands and companies via its platform.
MediaKix is a pioneering agency in influencer marketing and has executed more than 15,000 high profile influencer placements globally with top brands. Their clientele extends across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Baidu, Blue Apron, Sony Pictures, LG, Huawei, Uber, Hallmark, Fairmont Hotels and ExxonMobil, among others.
Obvious.ly is a team of marketers and technologists that create influencer marketing campaigns. The provide services to build custom networks of 100s of influencers with the right target audience for brands. Working at scale, Obviously provides clients with maximum exposure, access to 100s of pieces of on-brand content for use in marketing, and improved ROI on ad spends.
Vayner Media is a digital agency that aims to drive business outcomes through social media and influencer marketing campaigns. Their platform inhibits over 200 effective writers, designers, photographers, editors and animators with a common goal to push businesses out of the water. They also provide data capabilities and creative researches to bring companies closer to potential customers. As the name implies, this agency was founded and managed by no other than fellow HarperCollins author Gary Vaynerchuk.
Viral Nation is an ROI-driven influencer marketing agency which also serves as an influencer talent agency representing top social media talent and a 360-degree marketing content house. It’s unique in that it often represents the influencers it’s creating campaigns for. Recent successful campaigns for Angry Birds 2, RED and Apple raised awareness of HIV/AIDS and moved the mobile app up the App Store charts in every category—not to mention garnering a total of 6.5 million interactions.
OTHER INFLUENCER MARKETING TOOLS
There are also many other effective tools to conduct influencer marketing campaigns, including some who specialize in subsets of the above tools. Consider these to round out your influencer marketing tools stack.
BuzzSumo is a marketing platform that uses smarter algorithms to effectively put out top content to resonate with a brand’s audience. It takes up data from over the past 12 months to figure topics trending over social media and create viral campaigns through them. Through these campaigns, clients are connected to influencers on the BuzzSumo platform which further endorse the brand and the process couples into a highly effective branding technique.
Curalate is better known for their Like2Buy solution which allowed ecommerce companies the ability to build a shoppable link on their Instagram page. Although they are relative newbies to the influencer marketing space, their experience at working with most of the largest brands on Instagram-centric ecommerce speaks for the experience they bring to the influencer marketing space. Curalate not only helps you run influencer campaigns but also helps you source and publish user-generated content from influencers.
Dealspotr is not necessarily an influencer marketing tool per se, but smart marketers realize how they can leverage this marketplace app to engage with lifestyle influencers and drive sales through coupon-generated campaigns. Dealspotr is an online coupon-sharing network where more than 200,000 community members vet coupon codes to ensure that they work for the more than 1 million shoppers who use the site. As a brand, you can create your own page and offer exclusive discounts to the community. By engaging with community members who are micro and nano-influencers, you can establish an influencer marketing campaign that is 100% trackable right there on the platform.
FollowerWonk is an analytics platform that provides optimized data for all social media handles and content. It enables the user to dig deeper on their follower base and their demographic while also providing services to extract the ideal customers and followers customized to the brand. Moreover, the analytics services create effective graphs and charts to organize data optimally.
Heepsy focuses on helping you find influencers and vet their authenticity. With a database of 7+ million influencers who all have at least 5,000 followers, Heepsy allows you to quickly identify potential influencers and then helps you analyze each influencer by their authenticity score, audience demographics, cost estimations, and brand collaborations.
HypeAuditor is a follower checking platform that provides an insight over fraud followers that have been paid or bought to participate in marketing and engagement activities. The platform identifies these fake marketers and helps optimize businesses over social media.
Influenster is similar to Dealspotr in that it is not an influencer marketing platform, but instead of offering coupon codes like Dealspotr to attract influencers, it offers a product discovery platforms that is chock full of more than 40+ million reviews from its 6+ million member community. As a business, you can engage with these influential shoppers through hyper-targeted product product sampling utilizing their “VoxBoxes” and then generate reviews which you can use on your own as well as retail partner websites. These UGC reviews also can also be repurposed into powerful social ads because of their inherent social proof.
LaunchMetrics is another influencer marketplace, but they are unique in their focus solely on influencers in the Fashion, Luxury and Cosmetics industries. This has helped them create a premium influencer database of Fashion, Luxury and Cosmetics trendsetters that can help propel your brand if you are in one of these channels. Find and activate mega influencers and celebrities, mid-tier digital talent, and emerging micro-influencers across all online and social channels.
Nimble is a contact management platform that integrates scattered information. It works over Microsoft Office and tracks complete contacting and engagement history over all social media platforms. It works as a wingman to effective business professionals and analyzes keywords and topics to identify what content would be of best interest and relevancy to the brand.
Perlu is another influencer marketing marketplace, but it is listed here because of its unique functionality which enables brands to target influencer marketing campaigns to curated networks and communities of influencers. On the platform they are called Packs, which are groups of Perlu influencers, agencies, and brands that share common interests. Created and curated by Perlu members, Packs make it easy to find influential voices in any category or niche.
Phlanx is a unique set of tools, some free, that allow you to more easily run your influencer marketing. With a beginning price point of $25 per month at the time of writing this blog post, Phlanx is a perfect entryway tool into influencer marketing. Its unique set of tools include an influencer directory, a collaborations app to allow you to partner with other brands and cross-promote each other, an influencer auditor tool, an app that allows you to offer product trials, a contract generator, and a number of engagement calculators that help you calculate estimated costs of working with influencers.
Pixlee is one of the most popular platforms to curate user-generated visual content for your organic social media. Not only can you do most things supported by influencer discovery tools, but you can also publish shoppable content from social media influencers across marketing channels.
Right Relevance is a RaaS based platform designed to provide information and intelligence on over 50 thousand topics that include semantic information, influencers and marketing content. They provide services to help effective decision making as the platform has been found effective in election campaigns, product launches, news developments and disease outbreaks, etc.
Looking to find a graph of the number of followers that any given social media user has on any given social network? SocialBlade has been the choice of marketers for sometime now because of its ease of use and free analytics. A great tool to use to help vet influencers if you don’t use any of the influencer marketing tools mentioned above.
Socialix has created an Influencer Relationship Management Platform that focuses on helping you streamline your influencer marketing program and improve performance. Their end-to-end solution includes an Influencer CRM, Influencer Profile Analysis, Automated Workflow, Reporting & Analytics, Team Collaboration, and Custom Integrations to your existing technology.
There you have it. Hopefully, this list, which I plan to keep updated, provides you enough intel to create your own unique tool stack for influencer marketing.
Which of these influencer marketing tools are your favorites? Which ones am I missing? Please chime in!