Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity, with 86% of marketers planning to allocate budget to influencer campaigns in 2023 according to Influencer Marketing Hub. With predicted spend of up to $20 billion by 2028 globally, it‘s clear that influencer marketing delivers compelling ROI.
But the key is identifying and partnering with the right influencers that align to your brand. That‘s where leveraging a top-notch influencer marketing platform pays dividends.
As a social media marketing expert who has managed over $2 million in influencer campaigns, I‘ve compiled the definitive list of the 20 best free influencer marketing platforms for 2023 based on hands-on experience and performance benchmarks.
Why Invest in Influencer Marketing?
When executed effectively, influencer campaigns can:
- Increase brand awareness by associating your products with influencers their engaged communities love and trust
- Expand your reach to highly targeted, relevant audiences that may be harder to access via traditional ads
- Drive higher conversion rates given endorsements from influencers often more authentic than branded ads
- Achieve greater engagement and sharing via influencers‘ unique ability to tell brand stories
- Deliver compelling ROAS, with Nielsen finding it can generate $5.78-$10.17 per dollar spent
With the average Instagram influencer post generating 3-4X more engagement than brand posts, the power of tapping influencers is undeniable.
Choosing the Best Influencer Marketing Platform
With over 100 influencer marketing platforms out there, selecting the right one for your brand can be overwhelming. Here are key criteria to evaluate when making your decision:
Influencer Database Reach and Quality
The broader the influencer pool to choose from, segmented by detailed filters, the better. Leading platforms provide 300K+ influencers across major networks.
Level of Free Use
Look for unlimited access to core tools versus rigid caps on searches or outreach. Unlimited free use de-risks getting started.
Ease of Use
Ensure the platform and workflows are intuitive. If overly complex, it will hamper influencer relationship building.
End-to-End Campaign Management
Be able to manage the full influencer lifecycle – discovery, outreach, collaboration, publishing, tracking results – from a centralized dashboard.
Robust analytics around campaign performance and influencer metrics are essential for optimizing towards key KPIs and calculating true ROI.
Secure Payment Processing
Fraud protection and mediation around payments is table stakes, ensuring you get what you pay for.
Armed with these criteria, let‘s explore the 20 best free influencer marketing platforms for 2023.
Ainfluencer tops this list given its unique 100% free platform access for unlimited use cases. With no paying subscription required, it de-risks getting started with influencer marketing for SMBs while still providing sophisticated discovery and analytics.
I‘ve used Ainfluencer for numerous brand campaigns generating 500K+ impressions, and continue to be impressed by the breadth of micro and macro influencers on their 500K+ person database.
- Unrivaled free use without any paywall restrictions
- Managed end-to-end campaign execution
- 500K+ influencers across Instagram and TikTok
- Segmented profile filtering (location, followers, etc)
- In-platform chat for easy communication
- Campaign performance analytics
- Entirely free to use with no tricks
- Huge influencer marketplace across niches
- Discover both marco and micro-influencers
- Robust analytics and campaign management
2-20 Additional Top Free Platforms
While the rest of the platforms on this list offer certain free capabilities, most limit search volume or conversations without a paid subscription. However, they can still provide value discovering influencers.
- Famebit – Free YouTube influencer discovery and campaign creation
- Tribe – Content-first influencer platform with select free tools
- Influence.co – Entry-level Instagram influencer marketplace
- Hypr – Free trial for Instagram influencer matching
- Buzzsumo – Analyze competitor influencer content performance
- Upfluence – Browser extension supplements Core free tier
- Tagger – 6M+ influencer profiles but limited free access
- Influencity – Powerful AI matching with free intro tier
- Gatsby – Instagram influencer identification
- Intellifluence – Broad cross-channel network with free trial
- Pitchbox – SEO-based influencer targeting and outreach
- Dovetale – eCommerce focus with select free features
- Audiense – Free social listening and audience analysis
- PitchBoard – Entry-level campaign creation and tracking
- Storyclash – Identify influencer brand mentions
- Captiv8 – Robust analytics in 14-day free trial
- Affable – Campaign management features in free version
- IMAI – Demo available across 5+ platforms
- Traackr – Powerful paid tool with free trial
Best Practices for Running Influencer Campaigns
While leveraging the right software platform accelerates success, effectively navigating the end-to-end influencer marketing process remains imperative:
Set Clear Goals and KPIs
Define what campaign success looks like – brand lift? Website traffic? Sales? Engagement? Get alignment on target KPIs.
Map Content to Buyer‘s Journey
Sync gifted products and content direction to each stage – awareness, consideration, purchase – for maximum impact.
Give Creative Freedom
The less prescribed the better. Enable influencers to craft authentic content leveraging their unique voice and style.
Have Clear Deliverable Expectations
Leave no room for confusion on content types, quantity, captions, hashtags, timing, approvals expected.
Build Long-Term Relationships
View engagements as partnerships rather than one-off transactions to maximize lifetime value.
While the platform, offers the technology, only you can foster the human connections with influencers that drive performance. Leverage these tips for exceptional results.
The Future is Bright for Influencer Marketing
As platforms enhance discovery and analytics capabilities while more brands onboard influencer marketing, the industry forecast looks robust:
- Global spend predicted to reach $15B by 2022 and $29.7B by 2028
- New platform features like livestream shopping and affiliate commissions expanding capabilities
- 72% of consumers make purchases based on influencer recommendations
I hope this comprehensive guide supports your influencer marketing initiatives in 2023. Don‘t hesitate to reach out if any questions arise while leveraging these free platforms!