Letting the word out about your brand can be a challenge when you have a limited budget for marketing or advertising. Of late, influencer marketing has grabbed brands' and marketers' attention, and so has the automated way - influencer marketing platforms - to execute campaigns.
A SaaS (Software as a Service) platform streamlines the entire campaign, from providing a database of influencers across social media platforms to calculating their reach. Ultimately, enabling large or small scale companies to save time searching for relevant influencers and reduce other overhead costs in managing the campaign.
But investment in any SaaS platform requires a lot of internal deliberations for any brand. Perhaps, this makes it more critical to understand what is an influencer marketing platform and how it can help achieve the desired objective.
An influencer marketing platform is an automated software that helps brands and agencies find influencers while managing and measuring the overall campaign. Platforms have a database of influencers, and by using multiple filters like demographics, interests, and audience, you can evaluate the right social media talent for your brand. These filters also allow you to spot fake followers and detect suspicious activities.
It efficiently manages the payment process, gifting products and real-time tracking of posts by selected influencers. To quantify the individual and aggregated performance, it calculates shares, clicks, impressions, reactions, referrals, direct sales, etc.
Notably, not all platforms will give you the same additional features. Some restrict themselves to finding the influencers and do not support the entire campaign management, from product selection by influencers to product shipment.
Most brands search for influencers manually or onboard an agency with an in-house team that searches for content creators on social media channels using relevant hashtags.
The agency can have a network of influencers that may or may not be a perfect fit for your brand. For this reason, several agencies also use influencer marketing platforms or have developed their proprietary tools.
The influencer marketing campaign's success depends on achieving a brand's objectives like product awareness, increased traffic, conversions or sales. What comes in handy here is an influencer marketing tool that can identify those people, a.k.a influencers on social media, who have your targeted customers as their audience or subscribers.
Influencers can create an online conversation around your brand to reach a more significant market segment and help you achieve the objective. Various leading brands like Johnson & Johnson, Airbnb, Amazon, Vogue, Subway, etc., have been executing campaigns through influencer marketing platforms for quite some time now.
Here's how the tool helps,
Influencer marketing platforms have a database of global influencers so that you can connect with creators outside of your regional boundaries and run international campaigns by targeting a wider audience.
Platforms provide filters like engagement rate, followers, audience demographics, interest, and brand affinities to help you understand and choose suitable influencers who fit your brand style.
If you want to hire influencers in hundreds, you can use a filter search to look through the platform's database of vetted influencers. Shortlist the ones you want to work with and then import their contact information in one place to message in bulk.
You don't have to create excel sheets for product gifting anymore. Influencer marketing platforms automatically send products to the influencers by integrating with your eCommerce store.
Some influencer marketing platforms allow you to create discount codes for each influencer. Whenever someone purchases your product using that code, you'll know how much sales have been driven by influencers during the campaign.
Platforms have advanced metrics that help you track performance by collecting data from creator profiles. Platforms display metrics like shares, reactions, comments, purchases, impressions, revenue, etc. You can easily track how well the campaign is performing.
Platforms let you manage and control the campaigns on your terms. For example, if you want to communicate with influencers directly, see real-time data, and establish relationships with influencers, this is possible with platforms.
Hiring an agency or employees can be an additional burden on the marketing budget if you're a small business. So, platforms are an affordable option for small businesses, and you can pay for the features you use and avoid the hiring costs.
With these many advantages, now let's understand how brands and agencies can use influencer marketing platforms to solve various problems.
Influencer marketing platforms suit global brands by giving them a data-driven insight about the campaign. Teams across multiple countries can collaborate and quickly overview the campaign for a transparent functioning.
Likewise, Influencer marketing platforms help the D2C brand by integrating with their eCommerce stores on Shopify.
It carries out easy product gifting by allowing influencers to choose the product for review, manages its shipment and conducts real-time tracking of the stories posted about the product. The tool also creates unique discount codes to track sales driven by influencers.
Not only this, platforms allow you to do a lot more. Such as:
Managing campaigns and influencers for multiple clients and simultaneously ensuring quality results can be challenging for an agency. You either hire more employees to manage campaigns or work with fewer clients, and both options are costly and prevent you from growing as a company.
Influencer marketing platforms can help you eliminate all of these challenges. Here's how:
Before you invest in a platform, you should know its features. You can ask the following questions to understand your needs and determine if you should invest in a particular platform.
The platform you pick should have a database of authentic influencers who have some credibility and expertise to align with your brand's voice. Also, these influences have genuine target audiences overlapping with your ideal customers.
Each social media channel targets a different type of audience. So, if you want to reach your audience on Twitter, then the influencer marketing platform should cover the twitter audience in its database. An ideal software should cover all the social media channels like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
If you're unable to understand if the platform will be a good choice for you, you can find out which other companies use the same platform. Read reviews or case studies to understand how the platform has helped other brands and what are features they like and dislike about it.
The platform you pick must be easy to use and understand, or you will spend additional time understanding the platform before you can start running a campaign.
Many platforms offer distinguishing features like tracking competitor campaigns, integration with eCommerce stores, content discovery tools, running multiple campaigns simultaneously, and more. You need to figure out the platform's features and if that will help you achieve the objective.
To know whether the platform calculates accurate ROI, you can review the quantity and relevancy of the platform's data, such as clicks, impressions, and shares. Also, check if you can create customised discount codes to track sales.
Here's a list of 4 leading influencer marketing platforms to pick the best one that suits your needs.
Founding Year: 2017
Affable.ai is an influencer marketing platform that helps D2C companies, enterprises, and agencies hire social media talents, simplify management, and measure the campaign's effectiveness. Its advanced features like image recognition, exclusion search, and sentiment analysis let you discover the right influencers and identify audience emotions by tracking their comments.
You can skim through the platform's database of 6M+ influencers using 20+ filters like brand affinity, demographics, interests, audience, engagement rate, standard fee, and more such metrics. The platform also features tools like competitor analysis, content discovery, influencer look-alike, fraud detection, negative keyword search, and more to help you run a safe and efficient campaign.
Clients: Ogilvy, Pomelo Fashion, Blendjet, Sensatia Botanicals, Huawei, Wipro, Lenovo APAC, Vivo Inc.
Pricing: Affable.ai offers a customised pricing model where each business can get a personalised quote and pay for only required features. You can go to the demo page of the company and get a free trial to begin.
Founding year: 2013
Upfluence is an influencer marketing platform headquartered in New York. E-commerce brands can discover influencers, manage campaigns, carry out payments, send products, and analyse campaigns with the platform. The platform also allows you to connect other tools like CMS, mailing software and more to their dashboard.
Clients: Zappos, ASUS, Amazon, Farfetch, Universal.
Pricing: Uplfuence follows a fixed pricing model with five services package, namely startup, small business, professional, and enterprise. All the price packages feature different services based on individual requirements.
Compared to affable.ai, Upfluence lacks sentiment analysis, image recognition, and exclusion search features.
Read here how Affable.ai is a better alternative to Upfluence.
Founding year: 2014
GRIN is a creator management platform that can manage influencer campaigns, customer advocacy, branded content, athlete marketing, affiliate marketing, etc. It allows you to find influencers, handle payments, send products to creators, and analyse their performance as an influencer marketing platform.
Clients: Organifi, Lorna Jane, MVMT, Moxielash, Macy's, Tonal, Brooks.
Pricing: The platform follows a customised pricing model
Compared to affable.ai, GRIN does not allow you to track the audience's sentiment, search while excluding competitive influencers, and more.
Learn why affable.ai is a better option compared to GRIN.
Founding year: 2018
Aspire is one of the leading influencer marketing platforms headquartered in San Francisco. The platform features all the functions of an influencer marketing platform like finding influencers, communicating with them, relationship management, content creation, and measuring the ROI. The platform has created numerous content resources for customers and a course for influencers and brands.
Clients: SKINN, Ruggable, Tria Beauty, FUTURE, Ovation Hair.
Pricing: Aspire features three pricing plans, basic, pro and enterprise. Each package has a different level of services included.
Aspire does not provide a customised pricing plan and lacks image recognition, sentiment analysis, and more features.
Let's understand how affable.ai is a better choice than Aspire.
You now have the answer to what is an influencer marketing platform. You are ready to go platform shopping and create world-class campaigns to persuade your audience.
If you're still confused, though, we can help you. Get a product tour with affable.ai to get a clear understanding of how an influencer marketing platform works. Request a free trial!
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