Influencers are powerful forces that can help propel your blog towards significant profitability. Should someone like Tony Robbins re-tweet you, expect a torrent of traffic and more re-tweets. When Kim Kardashian promotes a product, the suppliers of the product better be ready for huge increases in sales. Top influencers have the power to increase your online lead generation and revenue to great heights.
So how do you connect with influencers? How do you even find influencers? Fortunately, there are tools to automate influencer discovery and even influencer outreach. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways of finding people to promote your blog.
Ninja Outreach (NO) is the go-to tool for finding influencers. This practical multi-functional tool helps bloggers discover highly-shared content and influencers with a large internet reach. NO makes contacting the influencers and bloggers easy through its Outreach mode. Managing multiple templates for multiple campaigns, clients, or URLs is also a breeze.
Use the Content Prospecting section to discover great content based on the topics of the article that you want to promote. NO finds and sorts content based on the supplied keywords. The software also displays the Alexa rank, the number of social shares, and SEO metrics such as Domain Authority and Page Authority.
Pick any result and click the View Sharers button. The next screen displays a list of sharers of that content along with their social media stats and the SEO metrics of their website. This information would take hours to find manually.
The tool displays email addresses associated with each website and the category of each result. Maybe you want to focus on bloggers rather than big publications such as Forbes magazine. You can either browse the category tags or filter them in the search. Save your prospects to a list to be used for quickly contacting influencers later.
The Social Prospecting tab is for searching for bloggers, influencers, executives, companies, or journalists based on your keyword terms. Let’s imagine you want to find a journalist in Boston, with at least 50,000 Twitter followers to promote your latest blog post. NO makes this an easy process. Key in your search terms and add filters.
Once you’ve found your list of high-potential influencers, save them all to a list or save individual ones to the list.
BuzzStream is one of the best-known blogger outreach tools. With a clean and easy-to-use interface, it makes the business of finding influencers and reaching out to them, as simple as pointing and clicking.
Once you’ve created a new project, the app gives you three options to get started. The first option “find influencers & bloggers” is straightforward. Click the button and you’ll enter the discovery page, which displays a free-text search engine. Enter a key phrase that describes the topic or focus keyword of your blog post. In most cases, we want to find influencers to promote a new content post that we’ve created.
For example, try “podcasts for entrepreneurs”. When I ran this search, BuzzStream found 155 influencers. You can browse individual influencers and add promising ones to the project you started. The content tab displays the influencer’s latest posts on their website. Read through the titles and see if the blogger’s posts are in line with your brand and blogging topics.
You can also take a look at a complete profile of the influencer and get some pretty detailed information. Average Shares Per Post is a good indicator of someone’s ability to influence the masses.
Going back to the main discovery page, we can filter down further by selecting a minimum or a maximum number of twitter followers. You might wonder why selecting a maximum is important but remember that Twitter users with hundreds of thousands of followers are less likely to respond to outreach than bloggers with fewer followers. The higher up the food chain you go the less chance of a positive result (unless you’re already a Twitter superstar). Connecting with less ‘powerful’ bloggers might not get you the massive exposure you want but if you add the results of several lower level outreach campaigns together you can make up the numbers.
Filter by last activity if you prefer influencers that are sharing regularly. Filter by location if you are involved in local outreach or building a local SEO campaign.
Once you’ve collected a list of candidates, the next step is to go to Outreach mode and contact the bloggers directly. BuzzStream is an all-in-one outreach app. It allows bloggers and businesses to not only find influencers but to streamline the process of contacting them through sophisticated templates and processes. The software even tracks email open rates and alerts you if a blogger hasn’t replied within a set period of time.
This influencer discovery tool is owned by Moz, a pioneering SEO research companies on the Internet. Followerwonk is an excellent app for finding active and engaged influencers in your niche. It’s limited to searching Twitter, but this social network is a great place to start.
Use the Search Bios tab to search Twitter profiles using keywords. Search for “travel blogger” to find people that use that phrase in their profile. Followerwonk will return a list of bloggers initially sorted by the number of followers they have. You can also sort by Number of Tweets, Number Following, Account Age, and Social Authority. The last column is a Moz-specific scale (of 1 to 100) that can be used as a type of combined metric to sort by. The higher the Social Authority number the more influential the user is on Twitter.
A good way to search for users with a minimum number of followers and tweets so you know they are pretty active. Once you’ve filtered out the low potential users you can then use the Analyse tab to take a look at potential influencers followers or people they follow. This is a great way of branching out and finding power users on Twitter that you might not find through the traditional Twitter search methods.
Marketed as the smartest influencer discovery tool out there, this platform (formerly known as Twtrland) helps you filter and find by influence tier, channel, audience, demographics, niche topics, and more.
The last tool is actually two free plugins combined. Hunter.io works in a similar way to Ninja Outreach’s Email Finder. But it’s an easier process. Hunter is a plugin for your web browser which pulls all of the email addresses from a website. Go to any website, click the plugin icon and you have a list of the most important contact email addresses.
SEO Quake is an excellent SEO tool that also plugs into your browser. SEO Quake adds details of domain metrics to every result in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This invaluable information about the authority and quality of each of the domains helps filter the important domains from the rest.
This method focuses more on finding highly influential websites with proven backlinks, traffic, and social shares. From there you can extract details about the influencers who contribute to the sites.
Use the tools as follows:
Open Google.com and search using your keywords as you normally would. SEO Quake shows you the metrics of each of the domains in the search results. Using this information, select a domain that looks promising and click the SEO Quake icon in the toolbar again. An overlay box will pop up displaying information such as the number of Facebook likes, Alexa Rank, total backlinks and estimated traffic.
If the website looks like an important one click the Hunter icon in the toolbar and a list of email addresses for that website will appear. From there you can substitute the email addresses into a template for email outreach.
The Hunter + SEO Quake method is a little more time consuming and can’t really be automated, however, it’s a completely free way of finding influencers.
Keep learning about emerging trends and tactics in our Social Media Marketing course.
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(Updated June 2021)