Online reviews from everyday consumers are incredibly important for small business owners, but the impact from an anonymous review is far outweighed by what can happen when an influencer mentions a business or product. So-called “digital influencers” are people with large online followings who post regularly on their own blogs and social media accounts. According to a recent survey by the marketing solutions provider Linqia, nearly half (48%) of marketers plan to increase their budgets for “influencer-focused campaigns” in 2017, as consumer trust continues to evolve.
Without million dollar marketing budgets, many small businesses are unsure of how to launch their own influencer campaigns. Even those merchants who do have money to spend can still be confused about how to reach out to influencers in their own communities and how to launch successful online campaigns. Here are five examples of influencer marketing platforms that these small and mid-size businesses can try.
1. Intellifluence: Connecting merchants with trusted reviewers
Intellifluence works regularly with smaller businesses, offering a way for up and coming brands to connect with influencers, share their products, and generate more high-quality reviews online. For the most part, Intellifluence’s “influencers” are willing to share content about products on their blogs and social media accounts in exchange for free products or giveaway rewards for their blog readers. Businesses can filter influencers by country and keyword, and merchants in most metro areas should have no trouble using Intellifluence to find locals to promote their products. Merchants can then communicate with those influencers and ultimately manage their campaigns through Intellifluence’s web-based dashboard. Intellifluence’s pricing starts at $19 per month for small businesses.
2. Klear: Pinpointing local social media influencers
Klear is a social analytics and influencer marketing platform that makes it easy for businesses to find influencers in their communities. Merchants who use Klear’s free social media analytics tools can search for influencers in their cities. With a paid plan, businesses can then filter those results by social network, level of influence, gender, and influential skills. Each influencer has a profile with key details like audience demographics, top content, and engagement levels, which helps businesses decide who to work with. Businesses can interact with the influencers who seem like a good fit and manage those relationships through Klear’s own CRM. Klear offers free plans, with Basic pricing starting at $249 per month.
3. Tomoson: Software geared toward micro-influencer outreach
Major brands have the funds to run campaigns with well-known influencers, but local companies can still find success by running less expensive campaigns with “micro-influencers.” Tomoson helps smaller businesses pinpoint micro-influencers—defined as “real people with honest opinions” who typically have a social reach of 500 to 5,000—and then invite those people to collaborate on content for a pre-determined price. Businesses can filter influencers in Tomoson’s database by demographic, category, and reach, and they can view the total exposure for their influencer campaigns using Tomoson’s own analytics tools. Tomoson also offers a “smart recommendations” tool that finds relevant influencers based on the previous work they’ve done. Tomoson’s Starter plan costs $99 per month.
4. Awario: Find people with an opinion on your brand
Although Awario is primarily a tool for businesses that want to know what’s being said about them on the web, the platform can easily be adopted to help smaller firms find relevant influencers who might be interested in generating branded content or reviewing their products on their blogs and forums. Awario monitors the web for keyword mentions in real-time, with advanced features to keep results as relevant as possible. A business owner who sees that an influential local has been tweeting about the products he sells, or writing about his company on a personal blog, can reach out to that person through Awario with an invitation to collaborate on a campaign. Awario’s Starter plan, which is designed for individuals and small businesses, costs $19 per month.
5. Revfluence: Tools for managing customized influencer campaigns
Revfluence connects businesses with digital “creators” who have large followings on social platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Although Revfluence is marketed mainly towards brands working with agencies, the company does have a self-service platform that can be utilized by smaller firms without the need for a middleman. A proprietary matching algorithm helps businesses find and connect with relevant influencers, with the ability to build customized campaigns designed around location, industry, and content type. Businesses can reach out to influencers and they can negotiate prices for various forms of content directly through the Revfluence platform.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.