At its most basic, Influencer Marketing is like a hybrid of old and new marketing tools, taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and placing it into a modern day content-driven marketing campaign. The main difference is that the results of the campaign are usually collaborations between brands and influencers. People have been talking about Influencer Marketing. It’s not going to replace Social or Content Marketing, because it can’t exist without them.
So where can you find influencers? Or how? Well here are my suggested 10 FREE tools you can use to find influencers!
1. GroupHigh Monthly Influencer Lists
While you can scarcely call GroupHigh a Free Influencer Marketing Tool (it as a fully-featured platform) they do have one section of their site that could be very useful to a small business wanting to begin influencer marketing on the cheap.
They provide a series of 12 free centralized lists of influencers connected to particular niches. They built these lists from their platform’s influencer database. If one of these lists covers your niche you could use it as a starting point for determining influencers in your niche who you could approach.
The current lists available to download from their site are:
Family Travel Influencers
DIY List of Influencers
Fall Holiday Themes
Gift Guide Influencers
Food Pairing Bloggers
New Year's Resolution
Valentine's Day Influencers
Luxury Travel Bloggers
Discover.ly is a Chrome plugin that helps you with your networking. You can use it to see your email recipients, LinkedIn and Facebook connections’ social accounts and updates in a sidebar. This means, for instance, that you can see mutual Facebook friends for somebody you connect with on LinkedIn.
Indeed you can also see your connections’ social media accounts on a wide range of other social media channels and platforms. These include Google+, Klout, Angel base, FourSquare, and Behance.
One use for Discover.ly is to see if any of your existing contacts have connections with influencers in your niche. If you find any connections you could then leverage your contacts to introduce you the influencers.
Tweetdeck has very powerful search capabilities. You can use Tweetdeck to track mentions of your competition. You can also use it to find used of particular hashtag, which in turn can help you find influencers. You can also search by the number of retweets. People whose tweets are retweeted multiple times are likely to have some influence.
Tweetdeck can alert you whenever one of your followers adds a new person to their list. You could take a close look at these people to see if they are worth investigating as a potential influencer.
You can also use Tweetdeck to see how many lists particular people are on. This could be a useful sign about how influential other people believe them to be.
If you are looking for influential blogs, a Google search can be something of a hit or miss affair. It records all different types of websites in its results, and blogs are mixed in with everything else, from sales pages to forums. Alltop can help you here as it simply aggregates blog posts. It is curated by people, not by an algorithm, who search for the top blog posts each day in particular niches. You can use it to find the top posts in your niche, which should help give you an idea of the most influential blogs on your topic.
5. Famebit By YouTube
FameBit started life in late 2013 with a mission of connecting popular YouTubers with brands for endorsement opportunities. At the time of its launch, influencer marketing had already proven its worth and bigger brands were starting to invest real money in it. It was the time of the Great Marketing Pivot, when everybody was rethinking their digital marketing strategies to further than basic inbound/content marketing. Platforms and marketplaces were starting to get big, and FameBit focus on video content was a differentiator. Brands could post their campaigns to the platform, with specifics on what they were looking for, and creators sent proposals. Alternatively, brands could seek out creators with specific criteria in mind and invite them to join a campaign.
They got some press, some early traction, and then a million and a half in funding from 5 different investors. That was in June of 2014, and by August they celebrated the milestone of their 1,000th branded video on YouTube—with those first thousand videos translating into $250,000 into the pockets of its creators. By March of 2015, the FameBit was touting it had reached 300 million subscribers. Here, subscribers are people who signed up as brands or marketers looking for influencers. Their website lists companies like Canon, Sony, and Adidas as brands they work with. It’s an impressive company history.
It was that overall narrative, and Google’s buyout of the company in October 2016 that convinced us to list FameBit in a post about the 8 best influencer platforms a few months ago. It turns out that the company’s history is more impressive than the platform itself. It’s not terrible, but it doesn’t feel fully formed, either. And three years into a company’s existence is not a good time for its product to be incomplete. In fact, the software’s taken a step backward since its launch, because it doesn’t even support Instagram anymore (more on that in the Details section). Google’s involvement, and its ownership of YouTube, tells us that that’s where the focus is going to be—but still. Instagram is the number one social platform for businesses, boasting higher engagement rates than any other channel. That it dropped support for its creators Instagram accounts is not a good sign. Couple that with a platform that doesn’t appear quite ready for its closeup, and FameBit isn’t looking like a great choice.
At the heart of any influencer marketplace like this should be an extensive database of influencers and plenty of ways to find them. FameBit relies more heavily on influencers finding brands, though. When a brand first logs in, they’re prompted to get started and create a campaign, then sit back and wait for the proposals to roll in. But on a platform with over 56,000 creators to choose from, surely brands will want to survey the landscape a little and see who’s out there. Unfortunately, searching for influencers only shines a light on FameBit’s weaknesses.
Klear is great for finding influencers who are already engaging with you and those within your network. One of the most useful features is the ability to filter influencers by Celebrities, Power Users, Casual and Novice. When conducting influencer targeting, it’s important to set realistic targets.
Reaching out to the likes of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Rihanna is the marketing equivalent of buying a lottery ticket. Instead you should aim to find influencers who have the ability to reach a large number of people and are receptive to the message you are promoting. Klear comes packed with some really useful demographic features that allow you to see which types of people are following the influencers you are considering targeting. Matching this demographic data to your audience means you will have a better chance of delivering your message to the right people.
PeerIndex takes a refreshing approach to influencer identification. They believe that influence is much more than follower counts or the volume of content shared; real influence is measured on the the ability to drive conversations and actions, and needs to be measured in context.
PeerIndex measure influence based on an individual’s expertise on topics. For example, someone who is influential on politics isn’t necessarily going to carry that same authority if they were talking about technology, and vice versa. This means marketers can start to find the real influential voices within a wide variety of niches.
Of course there are a lot! Are you using an influencer? Let us know which platform you use in the comments