It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway: influencer marketing works and there’s every reason to invest in it. Influencer marketing works due to many reasons, not the least of which is influencers beat celebrity endorsement and traditional advertising. The reality of digital marketing today is that growing reach and customer base is done best organically, which requires a special kind of connection only relatable influencers can build and foster.
Meanwhile, investing in influencer marketing is doable because influencers vary greatly depending on their follower count. You don’t have to sacrifice all of your marketing budget, especially if you opt for working with multiple micro-influencers as opposed to one costly macro-influencer. Plus, there are many ways to cut down on the overall expenses by going with a cheaper or totally free influencer marketing tool. Below is a list of such software.
Seeing how Instagram is the most important channel for influencer marketing, I put together a list of 12 cheap-to-free tools used for finding Instagram influencers. Each tool belongs to one of the 3 groups of tools depending on the perspective and scope of influencer research. Still, each item is a viable influencer marketing option that can be used to find and connect to your future brand ambassadors.
Social media analytics tools
Designated influencer tools
6. Influence & Co
7. Post For Rent
Awario is a social media listening and analytics tool, which means it’s built to search social media (and the web) 24/7 to find mentions of whatever you’re tracking. While searching all of the Internet, Awario also fetches all kinds of social data analytics: from influencers to hot leads. Essentially, the tool delivers full-on market analysis — opinion leaders, key publishers, and influencers very much included.
Because you can set up social media monitoring for any keyword you have in mind, you get to discover Instagram influencers in 3 ways: 1) by tracking mentions of your brand name/products, 2) by tracking mentions of your competitors/their products, 3) by tracking mentions of your industry/product category. On top of that, you can benchmark influencers from different monitoring alerts using Awario’s reports.
Although the tool is not free, it offers a 7-day free trial to help you get started. Moreover, Awario is flexible in a way that you can narrow influencer discovery down to Instagram alone and pay as little as $24/mo if you go with an annual payment option.
Buzzsumo is another social media monitoring and analytics tool, so in addition to Instagram influencers, it offers a whole lot of social data insights and analytics obtained from searching the Internet for all content relevant to the topics you put in.
BuzzSumo is a solid influencer marketing tool as it empowers you to not only assess follower counts but also measure the engagement and potential impact any given influencer personality is going to give to your brand. Similar to other social media analytics tools, Buzzsumo will scan your competition, market, and industry and deliver brand ambassadors based on these insights.
To experience all of the perks of a social media analytics tool, grab Buzzsumo’s 7-day free trial. If you decide to go with a paid subscription, the tool will cost you $79+/mo when billed annually.
Crowdfire is a 360-tool for social media management: researching to publishing. It’s designed for teams managing social media, sourcing content, analyzing performance, and searching for key personalities behind best-performing posts along the way.
Crowdfire works by scanning social networks for content relevant to your seed keyword — typically a brand, product, industry, or trend. While scanning, the tool sources top content delivers industry publishers and helps you organize a steady social media presence using the scheduling and posting features. As part of its influencer workflow, Crowdfire identifies opinion leaders and best content creators, as well as helps you measure the efficiency of influencer collaborations once they’re underway.
The tool offers a free version that lets you source influencers and key publishers via content curation. The cheapest paid option comes at $7.48/mo when billed yearly.
Socialbakers is an SMM toolkit that has you covered on every aspect of your business activities carried on by means of employing social media: content planning to customer support. Similar to other social media analytics tools, Socialbakers offers influencer marketing functionality that empowers companies to find their perfect brand ambassadors.
The tool boasts AI-powered influencer discovery, laser-sharp risk assessment and verification, as well as a really smooth influencer marketing workflow. Socialbakers makes organizing influencer collaborations a breeze with its cross-department feature set and reliable performance metrics.
Socialbakers provides free access to its Instagram influencer search tool. It requires a region and an interest to fire up the search for your next Instagram influencer collaboration.
Scrunch is an influencer marketing platform built to help you go all the way with your influencer marketing campaigns: discovery to analytics. The tool offers extensive filtering options to make sure the influencers it fetches match the requirements of specific campaigns. Once the influencer collaboration is underway, Scrunch is there to supply you with analytics for data-driven reporting on campaign efficiency.
Being a freemium solution, Scrunch gives brands the option to use it free of charge to run influencer campaigns with certain limitations to the feature set. If you choose to go with a paid option, you’ll need to start a subscription for $99+/mo.
6. Influence & Co
Influence & Co is an influencer marketing platform designed to help brands discover and connect to their perfect brand advocates — and vice versa. The tool works as a job posting board to take all the hassle away from influencer discovery. Once you’ve specified all the relevant details about your company and campaign goals, the announcement goes to all the right creators who can then get in touch with you via Influence & Co’s neat interface.
Essentially, the platform is an upgraded influencer database, with the option to see detailed influencer profiles, organize influencer communities, and set up a workflow that allows you to measure your campaign progress and share results with your entire team.
Influence.co offers a free plan that lets you use the tool’s basic search and messaging functions. A paid option starts with a demo and a subsequent cost assessment.
7. Post For Rent
Post For Rent is a full-circle dedicated influencer software designed for brands and creators to meet. It lets companies use the tool’s own database to find the right influencers, see engagement forecast, and detailed audience reports to understand exactly what kind of customer base they’re diving into.
Post For Rent, being an all-in-one influencer marketing tool, offers advanced filtering, laser-sharp performance forecasts, and even an in-house X-Ray — a complete analytics report that includes influencers’ engagement rate, credibility, demographics, estimated fee, audience interests analysis, and much more.
You can try Post For Rent for free, but if you decide to get a subscription, the cheapest one will cost you $99/mo.
Dovetale is an influencer marketing platform that provides steady technological support on every step of brands’ influencer journey. It lets companies build creator databases for smooth management of all collaborations, automate tasks related to outreach and tracking, and sort out reporting to make sure every important metric is carefully calculated and counted in.
Dovetale offers plans for businesses of all sizes and provides a 14-day free trial to allow brands to test-drive the full feature set before investing. Then, the cheapest paid plan that includes unlimited influencer campaigns comes at just $99/mo.
Modash is an influencer database that facilitates influencer discovery and delivers precise follower data to help brands pick the absolute best fit for their campaign needs. Modash offers simple filters for companies to sort out potential brand advocates, checks influencer profiles for fake followers, and even empowers marketing teams to analyze their current influencers and make sure they deliver the expected results.
On top of that, the tool provides you with the option to organize creators in neat databases based on laser-sharp scans of engagement rates and audience data. You can use Modash’s free plan to access 3 reports and try the tool out; paid plans start at $32/mo and cover 200+ searches, 40+ profile summaries, and 20+ full reports.
NinjaOutreach is an influencer marketing platform that you can use as a creator database for free. By activating the filter drop-down, you get to specify influencer search criteria and assess the metrics that help you make informed influencer decisions and collaborate with maximum output.
NinjaOutreach offers a steady flow of influencer leads and supplies you with crucial performance metrics such as audience engagement, follower count, and estimated budget. Using the tool’s CSV export feature, you can keep your influencer prospects organized. Meanwhile, using the CRM feature, you get to track all relevant conversations and develop a personalized approach to each Instagram influencer persona.
inBeat is a spam-checked database of influencers that relies on seed keywords and metrics to deliver relevant results and fruitful collaboration opportunities. The database works by instantly scanning influencer bios and post descriptions which makes influencer discovery speedy and on-point.
Using inBeat, you get to source influencers by putting in a hashtag, brand names of your competitors, or simply seed keywords. Either way, the tool will offer additional filters and let you pick prospective brand ambassadors one by one or in bulk — all to make sure you enjoy a smooth influencer discovery process.
You can try inBeat for free by taking its 7-day free trial. After that, you need to pick a subscription option starting at $54/mo when billed yearly.
Moju is an influencer discovery tool that boasts a database of over 1 million creators that help brands grow their visibility and customer bases. Potential brand advocates discovery starts with a seed keyword. Then, to further refine the search, Moju offers filters by engagement rate, followers, gender, country, etc. Finally, it provides the option to reach out to influencers right away, saving you time and ensuring a smooth influencer discovery workflow.
Moju offers a free trial to help you assess the tool’s potential and decide whether you’re ready to invest. If you are, the cheapest subscription that covers unlimited influencer database searches will cost you $99/mo.
There’s a perfect Instagram influencer out there for every brand. The challenge is to find your brand advocates quickly and build a fruitful collaboration that speaks to your current Instagram audience and expands to new audience segments organically. I hope my list of 12 best, affordable influencer tools inspires you to go on a creator discovery journey and build your perfect influencer relationships with minimum effort.