Influencer marketing strategies can be a veritable minefield. This is especially true given how quickly the social space evolves, with the addition in recent years of video features and new social platforms
Influencer marketing campaigns can pay serious dividends for your business – particularly if you find and connect with the right social influencer. Companies both large and small have enjoyed success with these ultra-modern campaigns, tapping into the potential of social engagement to drive brand awareness, broaden reach, stimulate traffic and boost conversions.
That being said, influencer marketing strategies can be a veritable minefield. This is especially true given how quickly the social space evolves, with the addition in recent years of various Instagram video features, not to mention the rise of networks like Snapchat and TikTok. Demographics vary from platform to platform, so it pays to conduct plenty of research before launching a campaign. In this blog post, I’m going to share seven useful tools you should be using for each step of your influencer-led project. Let’s get right to it.
A tool to help you find the right influencers: Buzzsumo
Most influencer marketing campaigns start with an idle thought: "Hey, I think I want to use a social media superstar’s popularity to help me shift some product." Or, "I’d like to get more followers, so it’d be useful to have an ambassador with millions of loyal fans touting my brand."
Identifying a potential influencer is easy – scroll through Instagram for half an hour and you’ll find a dozen – but pinpointing the perfect influencer is more difficult. After all, you need to find someone authentic. Some who has a dedicated following and great engagement. Someone who is a great fit for what it is you’re offering.
Step forward Buzzsumo, which has customers that include Expedia, IBM and Yahoo. This content research and influencer marketing tool is worth its weight in gold, helping you hone in popular content and learn who wrote it, plus which major influencers shared it.
You can also look up influencers by their bios or via the content they share and filter them by topic area and location. Best of all, Buzzsumo will provide you with a list of influential people on Twitter who might consider sharing your content, based on their history.
Away from influencer marketing, this tool is handy for a whole bunch of things including compiling content ideas, discovering quality guest writers and researching the output of your competitors.
A tool to help gauge influence: Kred
It can be a struggle to gauge actual influence. Something you’ll learn fairly quickly is that it’s not about how many followers your influencer has, but how engaged those followers are.
Think about it: some influencers have millions of followers but get only a handful of shares every time they post; others with 20,000 or so followers inspire a sprawling conversation or debate.
Kred helps you look beyond the misleading follow count, providing metrics such as mentions, replies and shares. What’s more, Kred supplies an Outreach Score, which reflects how often your influencer retweets, responds to or mentions other people. Naturally, you’ll want to team up with an individual who posts regularly, encourages interaction and who commands a healthy level of respect from their followers.
Tools to help you monitor and benchmark performance: Agorapulse and Phlanx
So, you’ve found a number of influencers that look great for your campaign idea; which one should you actually work with?
One way to go about making this decision is to compare their social media performance and the quality of their engagement. To do this, you can use one of two free tools, depending on which social network the influencers are active on.
For Instagram insights, you can use the Phlanx Engagement Calculator to look up any public Instagram profile and get an idea of their engagement rate.
Then, simply repeat the process with the rest of the influencers you’re looking into to see how they’re engagement rates stack up against one another.
If, on the other hand, you want to focus on Twitter, this Twitter Report Card lets benchmark several accounts against each other.
You can see, at a glance, how many followers they have and the quality of their followers, how active there are, how much engagement they’re getting and what the quality of their engagement is like (i.e. average interactions per tweet – the more, the better).
Ideally, choose influencers with higher engagement rates even if they have fewer followers.
A tool to help you collaborate with influencers more effectively: Buzzstream
You’ve learned about Buzzsumo, but Buzzstream is a little different. Sure, it can help you draw up a shortlist of possible influencers just like Buzzsumo, but it also helps you nurture and manage these relationships, automatically saving emails and tweets and setting reminders for you to follow up on.
What’s more, BuzzStream helps you gain a deeper insight into your influencer outreach campaigns, team performance and even link placements, with fully customizable reports. If it all sounds a little complex, don’t worry: Buzzstream is easy to get to grips with and provides plenty of templates to help you get started.
Tools to help you measure results/ROI: Google Campaign URL Builder, Traackr
Measuring ROI from influencer marketing campaigns can be a bit tricky. But since most influencers cost a pretty penny, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re earning enough from the collaboration to cover your costs and turn a profit. Alternatively, that you’re attracting a sufficient number of followers to set the stage for conversions later on.
Google Analytics’ Campaign URL Builder is a terrific tool that helps you add campaign parameters to URLs, the better to track campaigns in your Analytics. In other words, you’ll be able to see exactly how many click-throughs you’re getting from your influencer’s social account: just fill in the marketing medium, campaign name and term (paid keywords, if relevant) and you’ll get a shiny, auto-generated custom URL. Honestly, it couldn’t be easier.
Another tool you might consider using is Traackr. This impressive online platform combines influencer discovery, management and analytics, giving you a full marketing suite to handle all your influencer campaigns.
Traackr is particularly useful for helping you build meaningful, long-lasting relationships with influencers in your niche. Find your ideal brand advocate by filtering by keyword, location, language, age, gender, brand affinities and social channel, then set to work nurturing a union that will get you where you need to be. The great thing about Traackr is that it analyses data to give each influencer in their vast database a score based on two metrics, Reach and Resonance. As such, you can be sure you’re getting exactly the right fit.
So, seven valuable tools to add to your marketing toolbox. With such tools at your disposal, there’s no excuse not to knock your influencer marketing campaign out of the park and successfully leverage the follower base of your brand advocate for the benefit of all involved. Now all you have to focus on is making your campaign aesthetically pleasing. Word of advice: let the influencer have some input. Thank me later.