Learn the Best Influencer Tools and How to Use Them for Campaigns

This post is an excerpt from our Authentic Marketing Conference in Los Angeles. The conference was a rich environment for brands and influencers to openly discuss tactics for authentically building a strong following. Here are the experts who contributed to this blog:

Drip email outreach tools help target hundreds of Influencers at once.

Q: What are the best influencer tools you could not live without?

A: As a social media influencer, the influencer tools I use are heavy on photography, so I use VSCO, I use Facetune, and Snapseed. Another good one is Crowdfire. If you want to post on Instagram at a certain time, it’s going to alert you. I don’t use Facetune to change my appearance, I’m not different on Instagram than I am in real life. I use Facetune to accentuate different details of outfits, shoes, hair, to isolate things that are aesthetically pleasing, it pops the details. –Thania Peck, Influencer

A: In terms of email outreach, if you're in the fashion industry, one of the best tools is Fashion Monitor. This tool reaches out to a lot of people in the industry, all around the world, from magazine editors to photographers, to fashion brands. It's a great investment if you're trying to reach influencers in the fashion industry. For photography tools I use Snapseed to lighten up my photos, with this tool I can select parts of the image I want to lighten as opposed to lightening the entire image. I also like Lightroom and Facetune. –Rosa Crespo, Influencer

A: For brands, we see them using drip email outreach tools to target hundreds of influencers at one time. Reply, Outreach.io, a lot of brands say that it saves them tens or hundreds, of hours writing individual emails. They are able to customize templates and customize auto follow-ups and follow-ups on the follow-ups. Obviously, you can't build the whole campaign that way but to get the initial touchpoint, it's a good way to save some hours. Reply or Outreach.io and there are others. –Jesse Leimgruber, NeoReach

Email Hunter is a great tool for finding email addresses

Q: So, the brand would need to know who they were reaching out to. They would need to find the email addresses. Do you know any tools for that?

A: We really like Buffer. It's slightly better, in my opinion than HootSuite. Buffer is great, they have analytical tools. If you're looking to create premium content at the best peak times, Buffer is awesome for you. We also like using Slack as far as communication is concerned with team members and just adding brands and clients, social influencers. Twitter Engage is awesome, if you’re a Twitter influencer, so you can see what your value proposition is. We do take advantage of Instagram Analytics as well, and Email Hunter. That’s good to find the e-mail addresses of people who may be trying to hide that information. –CJ Johnson, Influencer

A: Email Hunter - hunter.io, is a little button you add to your Chrome browser and you are able then to run around the web and find people's email addresses. It listens to signals like “Hey did this website ever have an at sign, @, with a .com at the end?” And if it did have an e-mail like “info@medialeaders.com” which trackers find all the time, you can then reach out to that person. You can go on a Twitter or a LinkedIn or something else, and it says, “We think with a likelihood of 73%, that this person’s e-mail address is this.” We figured out a way to find their Instagram then go find them on LinkedIn and find out where they’re currently working. There are multiple e-mails that have different likelihoods and even if one isn't 100%, if they are currently working at that company, use that email address to get in their inbox. –Josh Ochs, MediaLeaders

A: There is HYPR. Traackr is another option. If you used NeoReach, we have a solution for it but it’s very expensive. FollowerWonk by Moz. I like BuzzSumo. It's $150 a month. It's a good hybrid, there’s obviously better ones, but in terms of getting started, it's pretty good. It’s a pretty cheap way to tap into it. –Jesse Leimgruber, NeoReach

A: The tools we use every day are a little more enterprise-friendly. One is called SocialEdge. It's like a Salesforce.com for influencer’s lists, that really help you work through, track, make reports for companies. It's very agency focused; its enterprise-level. SocialRank is probably my favorite though. It's an awesome tool because it gives you insights into your followers. A brand can use it and influencers can use it. If someone is following you, there's a good chance that they like you and so those are the places you want to look for first. We use Socialrank all the time to find affinity by something as obvious as they are following a brand. I really love SocialRank. –Scott Paul, Maker Studios

A: I have one thing to add for really tricky influencer campaigns. Keyhole is a hashtag tracker. You can put in a hashtag, let’s say there's a #SaveSyria, you can put a hashtag in Keyhole, it will show you which are the biggest influencers that are talking about that hashtag, and then you just go reach out to them. Then, you find influencers who have already become brand advocates for that particular topic, or perhaps if it's a new topic you're trying to raise awareness around, find a similar topic and you can see who's already talking about similar things as opposed to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. –Jesse Leimgruber, NeoReach

A: Just search hashtag tracking. Hashtracking is another one, NUVI is a really big one but there's a handful of them. –Scott Paul, Maker Studios

If an influencer has already talked about their products or their brand, that’s one of the ways brands can know they’ll be a good fit. –Brian NickersonA: Brands look for whom to collaborate with. If an influencer has already talked about their products or their brand, that's one of the ways brands can know they'll be a good fit. –Brian Nickerson, MagicLinks

What's your best B2B tactic?

Here’s my biggest B2B tactic. You do know it’s ridiculously hard to find B2B influencers. Like, good luck finding somebody that knows how to find B2B influencers. You have to know each industry and it turns out to be ridiculously hard to know each niche industry. So, it turns out that the other B2B companies probably know the industry and they probably have found the thought leaders in the industry and so if you go to Google and you search “sponsored by _____”, in quotes, and it's a competitive company, you'll find all the influencers that they have already sponsored and they’ve already done the work of finding them for you. –Jesse Leimgruber, NeoReach

Influencers need to collect emails, phone numbers and create websites for the future.

Q: What is the future? What is the next biggest social platform to hit? What is it going to look like 5 to 10 years from now?

A: I think part of the future, where it's going is, brand ambassadors. Someone that really cares about your product and they're going out of their way to make videos. You need to find that person. We've been talking a lot about bloggers and celebrities and micro-influencers, I think we all understand what that looks like. But that regular average Joe, or Jane, who are going to use your product and make a video of it and the video goes viral, that is what you are really looking for because you do know that that translates to sales. You see the virality aspect of it. Daniel Wellington is a really great example on Instagram, of people, using their products, who really like the product. –CJ Johnson, Influencer

A: For influencers, your future is your blog. You are the creator. I know, for me, I have so much fun with my blog, I love it. If you are an influencer, you want to have a blog that’s aesthetically pleasing in case Instagram is no more, you will still have this blog. It is where you can make your mark in this industry so people know who you are and they are going to come to you because they know what they are going to get. So, making your brand authentic and recognizable, again, branding yourself. –Thania Peck, Influencer

A: Collect e-mails, phone numbers, and make a website, because algorithms won't change that, you own that. If you are an influencer, I would start figuring out how to make money elsewhere so you have a long-term play. Create a product, invest in companies, do something with your money, don't go spending it all. Make sure you own your audience. No one should own your audience. Right now, you guys are owned by Instagram. You work for them. I'm sorry, but that's the truth. At the end of the day, the algorithm could change tomorrow and it would be like what Facebook did a few years ago and you have nothing. Bloggers have blogs, that’s good. If you have e-mails, phone numbers, blogs, you can always work with those. So, the future, we don’t know. But a way to hedge for the future would be to create an off-platform audience that is not owned by the changing algorithms, or Instagram or Facebook and the rest. –Scott Paul, Maker Studios

A: So, back to the future, we have--own your blog, right? Kind of, own your own piece. I would never have thought that in a “what's the future” scenario, we are going to go back to telephone numbers and blogs. –Brian Nickerson, MagicLinks

Facebook, Instagram, and Augmented Reality are the future.

I think YouTube and Facebook are here to stay. I think when you look at the social media market, everyone always looks to see what Facebook is doing and now they own Instagram. A technology that’s going to, I think, play a very much larger role is obviously augmented reality. So, you need to pay attention to whatever Facebook is doing, and YouTube because videos are such a huge deal. So, if you have your own website and you have full control of that, you have control of your brand. –CJ Johnson, Influencer

The biggest thing you can do is Facebook lives. If you have a brand, put somebody behind the brand and do Facebook Lives. That's the first thing that pops up in everybody's Instagram stories, it's up there first like Insta lives. So, if you want to get a lot of views and get a lot of traffic back to your site, do the Facebook lives. Talk for ten minutes about whatever, your brand, whatever, just talk and it will be the first thing everyone sees. –Thania Peck, Influencer

The future of Influencer Marketing is more integrated, less of blatant sponsored posts.

I think the future is going to look like a lot more things like MagicLinks. I think there's going to be a lot less of the traditional sponsored posts that we see. We will see much more in the way of more integrated endorsements. We see Amazon rolling out things kind of similar, so I definitely see a future where it’s far more integrated, far more native, far more natural ongoing endorsements, whether it's micro-influencers or solutions like MagicLinks or Amazon's affiliate-style system. Much more integrated, less of blatant sponsored posts. –Jesse Leimgruber, NeoReach