Blogging Wizard

Blogging Tips That Work

7 Powerful Influencer Research Tools That Get Fantastic Results

Top Influencer Research Tools

There are people in your niche that have influence over your target audience.

You can leverage that influence to grow your own blog, increase your traffic and your authority.

But first you need to know who these influencers are.

You could hop from social network to social network, doing manual research.

Or you could take the easy option and use a tool that is designed to do influencer research and get the insights that you need to leverage the power of influence.

In this post I’ve put together 8 of the best, with a range of different features and a lot of them are affordable or can be used for free.

Influencer research tools that work

Authority Spy

Authority Spy

This is a really straight forward and easy to use influencer research tool that also has helpful features for those doing blogger outreach or guest posting (more on that in a moment).

The main difference with Authority Spy is that it is a software based application, rather than a cloud based tool.

This isn’t a complex data mining tool, but it’s perfect for those getting started with influencer research or those who are looking to run a quick search to get some surface level data.

You can get quite specific with your list, so rather than just searching for topics, you can expand your query to include what these influencers do.

So for example, rather than just searching for an influencer in the marketing industry, I could expand this to include authors, consultants and journalists with the following queries:

  • Marketing+author
  • Marketing+consultant
  • Marketing+journalist

Another important factor; It’s cost effective too.

What about this blogger outreach and guest posting thing?

I mentioned that Authority Spy had more uses, specifically for blogger outreach and guest posting – here’s why.

In addition to searching for influencers, you can also use it to search for influential blogs.

It also pulls in data from Alltop and Google Blog search, while pulling in the extremely important contact information you will need to contact these blogs.

I reviewed Authority Spy a while ago, click here to read my review.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Klout.

Price: Starts from $27.

More Details


Twitter Research With Twtrland

This tool allows you to search Twitter profiles and filter them by skill, location and name.

Twtrland then allows you to filter them further them by specific types of influencers.

Results for free accounts are limited to 50, upgrading will lift this limit but you can still glean some valuable insights using a free account.

Platforms supported: Twitter.

Price: Starts from free, paid accounts start at $19.99/month.

More Details

Note: since writing this post, Twtrland was renamed Klear and has a far more substantial feature set.

Manage Twitter With is more of a Twitter management tool, but it will make leveraging relationships very easy.

As well as being able to setup monitoring for particular phrases, you will be able to identify the Twitter users which are valuable to.

These are broken up into 3 categories:

  • Influencers
  • Supporters
  • Engaged members is a straight forward platform to use, immediately after logging in you will be greeted by a ‘quick actions’ page which will display users for you to consider unfollowing, following, thanking and tweets to retweet.

The only downside to the free account is that you are limited to 20 engagements per week.

Platforms supported: Twitter.

Price: Starts from free, paid accounts start at $40.99/month.

More Details


Identify Influencers With BuzzSumo

I primarily use BuzzSumo to help me identify which posts are getting the most shares for my competitors, or for certain topic areas.

Aside from content planning, BuzzSumo can also be used for influencer research.

You can search based on topics/keywords or Twitter usernames, filter by type of user (e.g. bloggers, influencers, journalists etc) and then sort your results by various metrics.

You can also follow users, add them to lists or view their shared links from within BuzzSumo.

Platforms supported: Twitter.

Price: Free.

More Details


Twitter Research Using Followerwonk

This is another tool that focuses on Twitter and goes beyond influencer identification.

One thing in particular that I like about Followerwonk is that you get access to their ‘social authority’ metric – this can be very useful when it comes to identifying a Twitter user’s influence.

You can also monitor the growth of your profile and your competitor’s profile, as well as analysing the followers of any account (or users they follow).

This can give you some incredible insights including; location data, most active hours (Buffer integration provided for easy scheduling) and lots more.

Platforms supported: Twitter.

Price: $99/month (included with a Moz Pro subscription)

More Details


Research Influential Blogs With Inkybee

If you want to find influential blogs within your niche, Inkybee is incredible.

You can manage each part of the process, right from identifying blogs with influence to the outreach process, which includes relationship tracking.

One feature that I particularly like is ability to run your Twitter account through Inkybee’s system to identify influential bloggers you’re following, or those which are following you.

Platforms supported: Twitter.

Price: Starts from $79/month.

More Details


In Depth Social Intelligence Gathering With Littlebird

Littlebird is a tool for those that are serious about social intelligence and have some budget to play with.

A large variety of social networks are supported and you will instantly be able to find rich communities and get detailed information on the influencers in those communities.

You can also find and share relevant content from those influencers.

Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, YouTube, Google+ and Slideshare.

Price: Starts from $50/month.

More Details

Over to you

Have you found any particular tools useful for influencer research?

I’d love to hear more about your experiences in the comments below.

About Adam Connell

Adam used to run a team of marketers. Now he shares what he’s learned about growing blogs and businesses here on Blogging Wizard. He’s a fan of Firefly and Chinese takeaways. Click here to join the Blogging Wizard newsletter; you’ll get our best content & 15+ guides to grow your blog like magic.

Blogging Wizard Resource Library
  • Hey Adam,

    Great post. I’ve heard of a few of these tools like Authority Spy, Followerwonk, Buzzsumo and Inkybee but the rest are foreign to me. As I’m starting to grow as a blogger and understanding the importance of promotion of blog posts, I’m also understanding the importance of having a great blogger outreach as well and one of the things that could really help improve that is connecting with influencers in your niche.

    Thankfully, you’ve provided a wide variety of tools for me and anyone else to use to find those infuencers and connect and engage with them.

    Great stuff Adam.

    Have a great week

    – Andrew

    • Hey Andrew,

      Thanks buddy!

      Connecting with influencers is a great way to go, you’re already doing a great job so now is the time to scale up your approach.

      Let me know how you get on and I look forward to seeing how your blog grows!

      Thanks – have a great week too, Andrew!


  • Great set of tools for finding influencers Adam. Littlebird and Inkybee are new to me, so I’ll have to saunter over and see how they compare to Buzz and Wonk and

    • Thanks Neil.

      I’ve seen a lot of new features rolled out to Inkybee lately, while you can’t find individual influencers, it works very well for finding influential blogs. The metrics are focused on activity and engagement.

      It’s handy for tracking campaign progress too.

      Littlebird really helps to unearth communities and the individuals that influence them.

  • Awesome 🙂 I’ve been starting to look into this strategy more so this post is super helpful, Adam. I’d taken a quick look at Littlebird early on but it looks like there have been some updates. I like how it includes a number of platforms instead of just one or two.

    Need to mention Buzzstream! Plus once you find them, you can manage your influencers using this tool.

    • Thanks Tia.

      It works incredibly well, it was the key strategy that I used to grow Blogging Wizard early on and I used the same for the marketing agency I used to manage.

      I can’t wait to see the impact that it has on Unbounce!

      Big fan of Buzzstream myself, Paul and the team have done an incredible job developing it. Managing relationships is almost effortless.

  • Jeff Domansky

    Adam, thanks for an excellent synopsis of influencer tools. A great starting point for those new to influencer research and outreach.

    • My pleasure, Jeff. Thanks for checking out the post.

  • Hi Adam,

    Awesome list here. Outreach takes time, real time, doing it manually, so I see how tools can help you save precious time and energy to reach influencers. Super smart share Adam.

    I’m new to virtually all the tools. I think one key would be zeroing in on influencers from your niche. In the past I spent too much time trying to build bonds with folks outside of my niche, but then hey, I barely had a niche for many years 😉

    Now I’m connecting with you Adam, and commenting here, because I’m all about the blogging tips bit, and networking with the pros in my niche. That’d be you of course.

    As for the investment, some are free and others, well, pay for themselves many times over when you make inroads connecting with the top bloggers or pros in your niche. Imagine the big picture. Your small monthly investment now can yield gold, in the form of a 1000 fold return on your investment.

    Thanks Adam, tweeting this bad boy through Triberr.

    Excellent post!


    • Hey Ryan,

      Good to see you here and thanks for the kind words!

      So true, it’s crazy to think that this type of thing had to be done manually, not only was it time consuming but the results weren’t so great either!

      I completely agree, you’ve got to focus on folks in your niche but on some occasions it makes sense to go outside of your niche, providing it’s a more top level topic area that’s still very relevant!

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂 Yeah, that’s what it’s all about – helping is the new currency for sure.

      It’s crazy to think of the return from just the free tools here and so true that the investment can yield gold!

      My pleasure, thanks for sharing and commenting 🙂

      Talk soon,

  • Thanks @adamjayc:disqus for this list.
    At Elokenz (set of tools for bloggers, using the G+ authorship), we plan to offer a list of similar bloggers for a given user.

    Say you are registered on the application, then we will show you a list of other bloggers people in your social neighbourhood are talking about. That will help to find influencers in your niche (but not to look for a new niche yet).

    • No worries – thanks for the comment.

      Sounds like you’ve got quite a cool thing going on!

      • Well, thanks a lot. Let’s see how it goes… we are pretty young and I hope it will help many bloggers / influencers 🙂

        Jean-Christophe L. (Founder)

        • No worries, Jean-Christophe – let me know how things progress 🙂

  • Hi Adam,
    Yet another amazing post from your page. 🙂
    To tell you the truth these tools are really new to me.
    I want to try it out one by one.
    Thank you for sharing these connected links.
    Keep informed.
    May you have a great day. 🙂
    Best Regards
    ~ Phil

    • Hi Philip,

      Thanks for the kind words – I’m sure you will find these tools useful!

      Thanks, you too 🙂


  • Hey Adam!

    Great roundup filled with helpful info. Considering how long I’ve been at this blogging thing, it’s a little sad how so many of these tools are foreign to me. It’s as if I was blogging in my own little bubble, oblivious to who the influential bloggers might be. 🙂

    I’m going to start with BuzzSumo since it’s free (and I’m frugal), but I’ll look into the others as well.

    Thanks for the tips, Adam.

    • Hey Kevin!

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I don’t think it’s too bad, a lot of these tools are relatively new and for some, we could say they’re in their own bubble. Some are pitched as tools more for marketers than bloggers, but they can work so well for anyone who wants to grow an online presence 🙂

      BuzzSumo is a great tool to start with!

      My pleasure, Kevin.

  • I’m looking forward to the day you mention my tool (currently in development)

    • Can’t wait to try out your outreach software, Dave. Exciting times. Keep me in the loop!

  • Kerry Russell

    Hi Adam.
    I new here, and I have to say that I’m loving your content. 🙂

    Glad I stopped by. I’m currently in the process of blogger outreach and guest blogging, so I’ll definitely be taking a look at Authority Spy.

    Thanks for the introduction!

    • Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for the kind words – it’s awesome timing, I was just reading through a post on your blog as the notification email for your comment came through!

      Glad the post was useful! Another tool that could help on the outreach/guest blogging front is – that was the key tool we used at the agency I used to manage. It streamlines everything from finding blogs to contacting and monitoring post progress.

      My pleasure – feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions about the tools.


  • Can we add Link Assistant from SEO Powersuite in this list?

    • I’m a fan of SEO Powersuite but Link Assistant doesn’t really fit as an influencer research tool. It’s good for prospecting but doesn’t have much in the way of engagement metrics. Some features can be useful in the outreach stage though.

  • Atish

    Hello Adam,

    Nice tools. To be honest, I never used any of these but its time to do something new. I will start with the free tools initially. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Hi Atish, glad you have found this useful 🙂

  • Thanks for this collection Adam. I am recently using Buzzsumo and Follwerwonk quite a bit. I find Buzzsumo to help me with lots of things like finding recent posts to link to, to come up with blog post ideas and also to find influencers in my niche.

    I haven’t heard about the other tools! Thanks for listing them here; I’ll check them out!

    • My pleasure, Jane.

      I’m a big fan of them both, especially BuzzSumo. I love that you can find exactly what’s working just by typing in a topic or a domain name.

  • Hi Adam,

    I’m really excited about your post and digging into these applications. I have not even thought about this level of research at this point.

    I can see where determining who has the real influence is valuable in order to build the bridge long term for relationships that can help us grow our businesses. Many of us realize that we cannot build our target markets on our own, but don’t expect others to just do it for us either.

    It’s up to us to create the great content and comments for them. But, we have to find them. Thanks so much for this very practical, insightful, and helpful information.

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Hi Don,

      Thanks for your comment – great to see you here.

      I can see these working really well for you – let me know how you get on with them.

      Definitely, the thing I love about leveraging the influence of others is that it’s really a win win for us and the influencers that we connect with.

      A lot of people often use this type of thing as a means to get in the lime light for a few moment but the real gains come through long term relationships and the mutual gains they come with.

      Very true, sometimes finding the right people is the challenge which these tools solve.

      Glad you’ve found this useful!


      • Hi Adam,

        You’re welcome. It really is and ought to be a win-win for both parties involved. I try hard to offer not just a lot of value but also value for others. If someone is writing about something I planned to write about this week or next week and it fits well I will quote them and put a link in my blog and let them know via social media that I did it.

        Any way I can create value for another is a reason for them to see what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and that I’m giving them access to my audience.

        But it’s hard finding the right people. I’m blessed to have found a number of them recently, but I know these tools can help me connect with even more.

        Thanks again Adam!
        ~ Don

        • Hi Don,

          I love your approach to building relationships, it’s all about the mutual benefit and you let them know about it – so many times people do all the right things and end up forgetting to let people know they were mentioned.

          The value that you offer is huge!

          Definitely, once you find the right people – that’s when the magic happens. Rising to the top, together.

          My pleasure, Don!

          • Adam,

            Thank you. I have tried everything over the last five years and some things work and most don’t. The only fail proof method I know is give and take relationships where trust is fostered and valued and people over time value one another.

            I appreciate your kind words and I’m excited to be learning more about you and creating a long-term relationship. I expect nothing from you and it’s my blessing to read, share, and learn from your experiences. Everything in life is earned if it’s to be treasured. Right?

            ~ Don

          • No worries, Don.

            I’m with you – creating and fostering relationships is the best way to add value.

            Same here, Don. I’m sure we’ll be able to learn from each other and help each other out. I’m big on helping too.

            I completely agree!


  • Rob Montgomery

    Hey Adam,

    Authority spy is my favorite but I am excited to try out other tools too. You never fail to provide useful content! Thanks a lot for this post!

    • Hey Rob, glad you’ve found some other tools to try out and thanks for the kind words 🙂

  • Hey Adam, how are you today ? I’m just starting out learning about how to word my ad’s to know how to advertise my business to get actual paying clients who I would enjoy working with, but I’m not experienced at blogging or marketing at all ! I need to know which tool you would suggest to use would be best for me to use in order to gain the clients I need to actually make a big profit concerning the landscaping & tree work I do for a living ! Thank you ! Sincerely Robert Danaher from Liberty Arbor !

    • Hi Robert, good thanks you?

      There’s not really a single tool that would help you get clients. The idea is that you figure out who your ideal customer is, then find out who influences them and build relationships with those influencers in order to recruit them as brand advocates.

      Based on the nature of your work, there’s probably a great deal of local marketing work you could do for this as well as some offline bits and pieces. The same principles apply; understand who your target customer is, find out who influences them and leverage that influence.

  • Megan Kellar

    Thanks for the great list of tools, I have been meaning to test out some and now I have a list to go through! I’ve seen BuzzSumo mentioned by quite a few people lately think I will start there!

    • My pleasure, Megan. BuzzSumo is the perfect place to start 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing your useful tools in blogging. These will make the blogging experience more enjoyable.