Interest in influencer marketing is skyrocketing. After bumping along at a low level for several years, searches for the term increased by a factor of seven over the past 18 months according to Google Trends.

Best influencer marketing tools for research and outreachRecent stats reported by Onalytica explain why marketers are rushing to incorporate influencer research and outreach:

  • 84% of marketing professionals now use influencer marketing as a tactic.
  • 59% of marketers planned to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2016.
  • 31% of high-growth firms now have a formal employee advocacy program in place
  • Why? Because “influencer marketing is more cost-effective than paid advertising and leads to more credible brand recommendations, which 92% of consumers are more likely to trust.”

But influencer marketing can be a waste of resources, or worse—actually damaging to a brand—if done wrong.

Influencer marketing tools can help marketers identify the most relevant and engaging bloggers, journalists, and media outlets in their specific industry segments; reach out to them more effectively; automate low-level, repetitive tasks; and track and monitor results. Here are 28 of the best tools for influencer research and outreach.

1) Klout
Google Review Count: 217,000

Get suggestions for shareable content, track the results of your social sharing activity, monitor your own influencer score and see the scores assigned to other influencers of interest.

Sample review: “Klout allows you to track the impact of your opinions, links, and recommendations across your social graph. It collects data about the content you create, how people interact with that content, and the size and composition of your network. From there, it analyzes the data to find indicators of influence and helps you interpret the data.” — ViralBlog

Pricing: free, or API data by quote

Showcase reviews: InNetwork, ViralBlog

2) Kred
Google Review Count: 55,200

Track and increase your own online influence, and connect with other influencers through the influence network and Kred communities. Use their inbound marketing platform to organize your most influential customers into communities, encourage engagement, and monitor results.

Pricing: individual tool is free; marketing platform is $999 to $10,000 per month

Showcase reviews: InNetwork

3) Newsle
Google Review Count: 46,800

Newsle has now been acquired by and integrated into LinkedIn as a new feature, “Connections In The News.” It lets you see when your connections and companies you follow are mentioned in the news.

Pricing: free

Showcase reviews: Buffer Social

4) Buzzstream
Google Review Count: 26,200

Buzzstream helps you research, prioritize, and find contact information for top influencers on any topic. It also tracks your conversations and follow-up with influencers and supports team collaboration.

Sample review: “BuzzStream enables you turn a website or blog post into a contact record in their database. Bookmark an article by an influential journalist, for example, and BuzzStream will automatically pull in any email addresses and social profiles associated with that journalist. You can even email influencers directly from the platform. ” — PR Daily (PR Tools)

Pricing: $24 to $999 per month

Showcase reviews: Online Marketing Institute, Social Media Today, BuzzBlogger, PR Daily (PR Tools), StoreYa Blog, Robbie Richards

5) Onalytica
Google Review Count: 22,400

Upload or link any piece of content and let Onalytica’s algorithm find the top related influencers. Identify key influencers, engage them, and measure the results and impact of your influencer marketing activities. Onalytica demonstrates the capabilities of its tool by producing data-based lists like the top 100 B2B marketing influencers.

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: ViralBlog

6) Little Bird
Google Review Count: 11,100

Find influencers for any topic, explore their ecosystem to build additional connections and engagement, monitor activities, and spot trends.

Sample review: “Little Bird is a great tool for building influencer lists by topic. You feed it a few keywords, and it suggests powerful people to reach out to. It uses advanced data to help you find the perfect influencer. You can pinpoint specific geographic locations and languages. You can also find two (or more) networks with similar interests, and influencers that appeal to both. If influencer marketing is your main mission, it’s a great tool.” — Patrick Whatman on Mention

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: Mention, RazorSocial (World)

7) GroupHigh
Google Review Count: 9,750

Search, sort, and filter by a number of criteria to create focused lists from a database of more than 15 million active bloggers, then conduct outreach and monitor results.

Sample review: “Grouphigh is a really powerful blogger research tool. It has a very large database of bloggers with powerful search criteria. Search through the database, identify a short list of bloggers and then analyze each individual blogger. When you want to analyze a blogger you’ll be able to find their contact details, latest blog posts, social profiles and much more.” — RazorSocial (World)

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: RazorSocial (World)

8) Crowdfire
Google Review Count: 8,620

Find relevant users to follow on Twitter and Instagram, keep track of how your social media updates affect your follower/unfollower stats, and check relationships between accounts.

Sample review: “If you follow lots of prospects and people who might be interested in sharing your content, you will find some will follow back. Others won’t. Crowdfire helps you painlessly ditch the ‘won’t”s.’ Just be careful not to also ditch people you want to follow for other reasons (Sorry, mom.)” — SmallBusinessNewz

Pricing: free to $19.95 per month

Showcase reviews: SmallBusinessNewz

9) Muck Rack
Google Review Count: 7,890

Muck Rack helps PR pros and marketers find relevant journalists and bloggers, receive alerts, and build media lists. It also helps journalists, bloggers, and editors showcase their work, track shares, and grow their following.

Sample review: “If you want to maximize your media outreach, Muck Rack Pro is a great addition to a PR toolkit. The paid version of the online tool that helps journalists and sources connect also enables you to receive alerts, organize media lists, send pitches, and conduct unlimited searches. It also provides priority customer support. ” — PR Daily (PR Tools)

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: PR Daily (PR Tools), PR Daily (Digital Tools)

10) Inkybee
Google Review Count: 3,110

Find targeted industry influencers, manage your influencer engagement, track coverage, and measure and report on results.

Sample review: “This social-media tool provides a way for you to locate those influencers who can elevate your brand and attract more potential customers. It provides a way for you to search for bloggers and social media celebrities interested in your industry, so you can connect with them.” — Entrepreneur

Pricing: $79 to $249 per month

Showcase reviews: Social Media Today, BuzzBlogger, Entrepreneur, StoreYa Blog, Rebekah Radice

11) Impactana
Google Review Count: 2,940

Discover compelling content for sharing, identify key influencers (blogs and video), analyze social signals to determine what works best with your audience, and measure user engagement.

Sample review: “Impactana is the ultimate in content research with a focus on SEO. Instead of just showing content based on social sharing popularity, you can find content based on high number of backlinks, views, and comments. That can come in handy for outreach purposes when you are looking for relevant in-content links.” — Kristi Hines / Robbie Richards

Pricing: $99 to $699 per month, with enterprise pricing by quote

Showcase reviews: Robbie Richards

12) Gorkana
Google Review Count: 2,730

Owned by Cision, Gorkana offers one of the most comprehensive databases of media contacts in the U.K., along with media monitoring and filtering, social media tracking, and analysis.

Sample review: “The majority of the work we do is on the digital PR and content strategy and creation side and we would be lost without access to (#journorequest and Gorkana) as they make it much easier to find the right influencers to pitch ideas into.” — Simon Penson / Robbie Richards

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: Robbie Richards

13) Contactually
Google Review Count: 1,960

An influencer CRM tool, Contactually helps connect your work email to automatically create a relationship database, categorize your contacts so you know who to contact and when, craft messages using relevant information, and follow up on schedule.

Sample review: “Contactually is a handy tool that sends you automatic reminders to contact people on your media list to whom you haven’t reached out in a while. The tool also provides contextual information such as social updates and recent conversations, as well as email templates to help you know what to say.” — PR Daily (Digital Tools)

Pricing: $29 to $99 per user per month

Showcase reviews: BuzzBlogger, PR Daily (Digital Tools)

14) Pitchbox
Google Review Count: 1,930

Find influencers with contact information and social profiles, craft personalized outreach messages, automate follow-up, and track results. Includes an integrated email client.

Sample review: “I love this tool for pitching article topic ideas to high authority sites. It syncs with your Gmail account, and sends up to 2 automated follow-ups per campaign. It’s also great at tracking responses and can differentiate between an out of office reply versus an actual response.” — Kelsey Reaves / Robbie Richards

Pricing: $95 to $1,500 per month

Showcase reviews: Robbie Richards

Google Review Count: 1,930

Find influencers and monitor mentions. This toolset also lets you schedule and send personalized outreach emails via your Google account, using pre-built templates and automated follow-up sequences.

Sample review: “If you’re a regular visitor here, you have probably heard me mention Content Marketer a few times. It’s a browser-based tool that’s designed to help marketers streamline their outreach efforts by offering a quick and easy way to find and contact relevant industry influencers. ” — Marketing Insider Group (Content)

Pricing: $9 to $66 per month

Showcase reviews: Express Writers, Marketing Insider Group (Content), Marketing Insider Group (Strategy), Robbie Richards

16) BlogDash
Google Review Count: 1,910

BlogDash offers both a tool to help find, filter, sort, and pitch relevant bloggers individually or in collaboration with a team, and a service that performs custom blogger outreach on your brand’s behalf.

Sample review: “Connect your brand with bloggers with BlogDash. The tool allows users to search for content marketers based on target specifications such as demographic and influence. After connecting with a blogger, you can pitch them your new product or service to get others talking in the blogosphere. ” — Social Media Today

Pricing: free to $199 per month for the tool; outreach services by quote

Showcase reviews: Social Media Today, Viral Blog

17) Prezly
Google Review Count: 1,470

A “PR CRM” system, Prezly lets you create rich influencer profiles, organize and segment contacts, track engagement, craft custom multi-media emails, and build an online newsroom for your brand.

Sample review: “Building a multimedia press release is hard. Making it responsive and email-ready is even harder…Prezly solves this problem by combining multimedia email distribution with custom online newsrooms. Create a multimedia press release in your own custom-branded newsroom, and Prezly automatically generates an email version that you can pitch to journalists. Both the newsroom and the email are responsively designed to look great on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, and every email includes analytics to help you track response rate.” — PR Daily (Digital Tools)

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: PR Daily (Digital Tools)

18) FullContact
Google Review Count: 1,420

Control your social, email, and mobile contacts from one dashboard. Manage contacts, keep track of activity, and view extended information about your contacts from within Gmail and your calendar.

Sample review: “If you have a list of influencer email address, but no social profiles, you don’t have to make a long date with Google search to enrich your data. Do it quickly, easily, and automatically with FullContact instead. Using it feels almost magical. Enter an email address or Twitter handle, and get back a list of all the social profiles associated with that email or handle.” — PR Daily (Digital Tools)

Pricing: free to $10 per month

Showcase reviews: PR Daily (Digital Tools)

19) Social Crawlytics
Google Review Count: 1,270

Identify key influencers in your market segment, discover where your competitors’ content is being shared and promoted, and monitor your social sharing metrics.

Sample review: “Looking to spy on competitors’ blog post analytics? Social Crawlytics runs a crawl report of a website and tracks which content is shared on which social channels. This is a useful research tool to see what blog post topics are working and which aren’t. Apply this data to your own content calendar. Was a blog post about Twitter chats successful? Construct your own.” — PR Daily (Digital Tools)

Pricing: free

Showcase reviews: RazorSocial (Technology), Social Media Today, BuzzBlogger

20) eCairn
Google Review Count: 881

Find key influencers, identify trending topics, engage with your community, conduct targeted influencer outreach, and measure results for your brand.

Sample review: “eCairn is a blogger and influencer outreach tool that has some robust collaboration and monitoring features. Community mapping and pre-populated community data sets are available at a Pro price.” — ViralBlog

Pricing: contact vendor

Showcase reviews: ViralBlog

21) PeekAnalytics
Google Review Count: 571

Sample review: “If you have a PeekAnalytics account, you can get a social pull score which measures how influential your Twitter audience is across 60+ social networks compared to the average Twitter user (this is a measure of the AUDIENCE, not the INDIVIDUAL – much better metric).” — InNetwork

Pricing: free to $200+ per month

Showcase reviews: InNetwork

22) Personapp
Google Review Count: 229

Sample review: “This app essentially puts a face to all those followers and friends in the social-media world. You can also create specific personas that then interact with this audience. Together, social media becomes more personalized and human.” — Entrepreneur

Pricing: free

Showcase reviews: Entrepreneur

23) Discoverly
Google Review Count: 175

Instantly see detailed, visual social media influence and demographic information for anyone in your social network while browsing.

Pricing: free

Showcase reviews: Mention

24) Outreachr
Google Review Count: 153

Find key influencers on any topic across more than 40 countries, share content, and track results.

Pricing: free to $145 per month

Showcase reviews: Social Media Today

25) Cision Media Database
Google Review Count: 132

Identify influencers from Cision’s database of more than 300,000 social media contacts across 50 platforms and more than 1.6 contacts in traditional media. Fine-tune outreach with pitching tips and by scanning editorial calendars.

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: Robbie Richards

26) Journalisted
Google Review Count: 76

Specific to the U.K., find articles by subject, search profiles of journalists, compare and find similar articles, and set up alerts to know when selected journalists have published something new.

Pricing: free

Showcase reviews: B2B PR Sense Blog

27) eGrabber Account-Researcher
Google Review Count: 37

Find influencers and decision makers, capture contact information from social profiles and append email addresses and phone numbers, research conversation-starters for smarter outreach, and track your email conversations.

Sample review: “Here are 5 little-known tools every business should try…eGrabber’s Account-Researcher: One of the reasons LinkedIn works so well is that it tells us exactly how we’re related to the people in our network and the best ways of communicating with them (messages, invitations, introductions and InMails, in that order). LinkedIn’s limitation is with the folks who fall outside of our network; especially if we don’t have $10 for each InMail we want to send. ” — Nikki Woods

Pricing: $49 to $295 per month

Showcase reviews: Nikki Woods

28) JournoRequests
Google Review Count: 18

Another U.K.-specific tool, JournoRequests helps PR professionals find coverage opportunities through daily emails (similar to HARO in the U.S.), and helps journalists find expert sources for stories they are researching.

Pricing: contact the vendor

Showcase reviews: Robbie Richards

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