Some would say that it’s much harder for B2B marketers to source the right influencers than it is for B2C marketers.
I would argue the contrary. As I recently experienced firsthand, creating a highly targeted list of 60 Microsoft Inspire Insiders, it is a surprisingly straightforward process.
To help you quickly identify the top voices in your industry, here’s a list of six tools that can help you to focus your Influencer Marketing efforts.
1. Little Bird
We used Little Bird to quickly compile a list of top Microsoft Inspire Insiders (using the hashtags #MSInspire and #MSInspire18). We weren’t aiming to rank the list either by influencer or by channel, but we were able to filter the list based on the number of industry insiders following them, their total number of Twitter followers, their centricity in the conversation, and their overall reach. Little Bird’s ability to analyze historical data is especially useful when you’re short on time.
Thulium.co’s Rachel Miller describes BuzzSumo as “a fantastic content analyzer tool that allows you to quickly research topics and identify popular content, as well as who specifically is sharing it. You can also find out how questions in your areas of interest and expertise are most commonly phrased online. These features streamline the processes of creating content ideas, collaborating with influencers, and identifying the best keywords for your content marketing projects.”
Magda Urbaniak (Brand Manager at Brand24 uses her company’s own tools to build lists of the top 100 micro-influencers in a given industry. She then publishes the results in a series of eBooks which mutually benefit the influencers, Brand24, and its customers. Unlike other options on this list, the tool offers nuanced results using filters to identify the most frequently mentioned influencers, both in the overall conversation and by channel. You can also analyze the conversation based on location and filter the results based on sentiment scores.
Upfluence is Lilach Bullock’s favorite influencer research and outreach tool: “I especially love the research options; you have so many different filters, including the channels used, the engagement they get, whether they have an email address available or not, and many others,” she says. “But my favorite part is the fact that you can search for influencers based on their demographic – their ages, gender, and location.”
Hands down, GroupHigh is MM+CO CEO Marcy Massura’s favorite B2B influencer marketing identification tool. “I have been utilizing their technology since their origin, and have watched as they continually improve accuracy and scale. With the push of a button, I can both identify and assess my influencers, while creating engagement reports on each.”
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) has been a consistently useful tool for Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing & Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment. He uses HARO to find influencers or thought leaders to develop content for the blog or other various publications.
“Sending out a HARO query, especially if it’s on a popular topic such as artificial intelligence or blockchain, usually yields upwards of 50 to 100 (mostly!) highly qualified experts on the topic of interest,” he says. “Not only does this increase the legitimacy of a blog post or article in, say, Forbes by featuring an expert, it usually bumps the exposure of the piece since whoever you quote in the article will be happy to share it with their own followers on social media. Unlike a lot of high-powered marketing tools, HARO is free, so you get a ton of value for no money whatsoever.”
Of course, all these tools are just a first step in the Influencer Marketing process. Because B2B Influencer Marketing is all about relationship building, companies like Brand24 and GoDaddy use these identification tools in conjunction with Nimble in order to cultivate long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with influencers, at scale.