Working with influencers is a hot topic for marketers everywhere. But how do you find the right influencers? How do you manage those relationships and how do you scale programs?

According to the 2023 B2B Influencer Marketing Report, 53% of respondents agreed identifying, qualifying and engaging with the ideal influencers was the most significant challenge in their influencer marketing program.

Tools to help you with your influencer identification are becoming more sophisticated, and are now using artificial intelligence (AI); 42% of marketers surveyed in our report are using AI for identification and selection. 

What influencer marketing tools can help you? 

The following is a collection of social media and influencer marketing tools you might find useful whether you’re a B2B or a B2C marketer. But definitely if you work in B2B.

Outside of the promotional tools you might use for the content marketing that goes along with most influencer marketing programs, there are three general areas of opportunity to scale with technology when it comes to working with influencers.

1 – Identification, qualification and recruiting

Finding the right influencers based on social data among other sources is much easier with a tool made for that purpose. Followers can be faked, so digging into more details to validate influencers is just as important. Finally, collecting enough information to initiate a relevant and personalized recruiting effort is made much easier with certain tools.

2 – Monitoring and engagement

Once you’ve identified and engaged with a group of influencers, you can use tools to monitor their social media activity and get alerts for opportunities to engage. Maintaining relationships with B2B influencers in between campaigns is key if you want to keep the brand relationship alive for long-term value.

3 – Measurement and reporting

How you measure depends on your goals but being able to track shared URLs and report their reach, engagement and contribution to conversion is essential. Measuring the influencer’s activity is important, and so is measuring the impact of the influencer on their network – as well as that network’s impact on their networks. Then you can wrap it all up in a nice report.

As far as types of influencer marketing platforms, there are many. To simplify, let’s say there are two general categories for B2B (specialty and platforms) and we’ve included a few examples for each. This is not a comprehensive list, but a collection of tools that we have used or reviewed. 

Specialty tools

It helps to start with research to get a lay of the land. Here are some social listening and social media monitoring tools that are great for researching and engaging with influencers. 

Social media listening tools:

  • Meltwater – A comprehensive listening tool reviewing most of the social media platforms and news sources. AI integration to make it easier to create searches with customer service to back it up. 
  • Sprinklr – This enterprise tool is powered by AI with comprehensive social media monitoring. Note there are two versions, depending on if you have their Sprinklr Social tool or the full enterprise compression version. 
  • Agorapulse – Instagram, Facebook and X are the supported networks for this monitoring tool, which suggests using it to look for influencers on their homepage.
  • Brand24 – Offering a free trial, they can get you started quickly. To help you pinpoint key influencers, they include an influencer score that calculates an authority index.
  • Brandwatch – Another comprehensive monitoring tool that incorporates AI to help you find just the right influencer content. 
  • Talkwalker – Now a part of Hootsuite, this tool boasts visual searches and monitoring of 30 social networks. 
  • Mention – Touts itself as a web monitoring tool, not just as social media monitoring.  

As a B2B marketer, you should be aware that LinkedIn is rolling out their API to a select few of these listening programs. If it is your main channel, you should ask what channels are monitored when you evaluate your next listening tool. 

Influencer marketing measurement:

While many of the tools above offer some element of tracking and reporting, here are some additional options for measuring social influencers and influencer marketing efforts:

Unified influencer marketing platforms

For some companies, a single solution is a better fit, where you can research, engage and report all in one place. There are several comprehensive influencer marketing platforms, and here are four we have researched for use in B2B. 

  • Meltwater Klear – From discovery to in-app workflows to reporting and payment, Klear gives you an end-to-end experience for managing influencer campaigns. You will have access to 30+ million profiles using AI-powered search technology to help you find the right thought leaders and creators. 
  • Traackr – From finding and validating to monitoring and engaging to tracking and reporting, this platform includes it all. A great user experience makes it easy to use all aspects of this platform yourself.
  • Onalytica – Offers influencer identification, engagement and measurement capabilities. One unique feature is the ability to upload content for analysis which then makes influencer recommendations based on the content. 
  • Tagger by Sprout Social – Build your influencer strategy, starting with Signals, Tagger’s social intelligence engine. This platform includes discovery, campaign optimization and reporting for a comprehensive tool. 

It is good to note that no influencer platform has comprehensive LinkedIn monitoring, so, for B2B marketers, you will most likely need to add in some human-powered research into the mix to find key creators and thought leaders posting to the platform.

Your virtual influencer assistant: AI

We would be remiss if we didn’t call out the advantages of AI tools like ChatGPT. With good prompts, it can create a list of influencers, share basic information about them, rank them and share links to their profiles for reviewing. Be warned that if you are using the free version of ChatGPT, your data is not the most current. But, it could still give you a good start. 

Many of the influencer tools and platforms, like Klear, are now incorporating AI into their solutions to help you find the right influencer more quickly. As you evaluate which tools are best for your use case, you may want to evaluate each tool’s AI capabilities.Of course a tool or technology is only as effective as the expertise of the person using it. If you’re looking for that kind of expertise with, the team at TopRank Marketing is here to help.

About the author

Debbie Friez is the agency’s Associate Director of Social and Influencer Marketing. Her 9+ years at TopRank Marketing, plus her diverse background in public relations and business development helps her lead our social media and influencer marketing teams. Debbie works closely with our robust network of B2B influencers across a variety of industries, providing influencer marketing program management and consulting for our top B2B tech and enterprise brands. She also is one of the best friends you can find, who is always in the know on the best restaurants, and happenings around Minneapolis.

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