What Is An Influencer Marketing Platform?
Updated on June 5, 2023
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.
Here is a detailed guide on influencer marketing if you're new to the industry.
Influencer marketing platform, a powerful tool
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.
Influencer marketing platforms work on AI technology and machine learning to efficiently manage the payment process, product gifting, and real-time tracking of posts by selected influencers. To quantify the individual and aggregated performance, they calculate 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 activities like end-to-end campaign management, in-app product shipment, or more. affable.ai is one such influencer marketing platform. Book your demo today!
What are the key challenges influencer marketing platforms solve?
Brands face multiple challenges in influencer marketing, like hiring influencers in bulk, manually executing end-to-end influencer campaigns, and assessing influencer performance, calculating the correct ROI. The right influencer marketing platforms help face such challenges by offering automated solutions.
Earlier, most marketers relied on manual search to find talented influencers on social media channels using relevant hashtags.
Or businesses collaborated with influencer marketing agencies with a roster of influencers in their network, helping brands to reach influencers and execute campaigns. These agencies are not always the right fit for your strategies, due to lack of direct communication with influencers and expensive collaborations. In such cases, influencer marketing platforms can be your best bet!
How influencer marketing platforms help in running successful campaigns?
An influencer marketing campaign's success depends on achieving the brand's objectives like product awareness, increased traffic, conversions or sales. What comes handy here is an influencer marketing platform 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, L’occitane, etc., have been executing campaigns through influencer marketing platforms for quite some time now.
Here's how the tool helps,
1. Access to global creator profiles
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.
2. Numerous metrics to vet influencers
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.
3. Bulk hiring is manageable
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.
4. Automated product deliveries
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.
5. Easy to track sales
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.
6. Easy performance tracking
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.
7. Complete control of the campaign
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.
8. Budget-friendly investment
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.
How can brands and agencies use influencer marketing platforms?
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:
- Platforms generate real-time insights that help you make quick and informed decisions.
- With platforms, you can automate various tasks and work with minimal team members, hence avoiding the costs of hiring employees.
- Platforms enhance your return on investment as they cost less and drive more sales. You can run campaigns on tight budgets and get excellent results.
- They help you find the right influencers and maintain your brand reputation with authentic content.
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:
- Platforms organize all the campaign activities and content on one dashboard, allowing you to manage multiple campaigns for multiple clients from one place.
- Platforms reduce time spent on each campaign hence increasing your efficiency and productivity. This way, you can book more clients and manage more work with fewer people.
- You can use platforms' data and insights to ensure that your clients receive quality results enabling you to build a name for your company and attract better clients.
How to pick the right platform for influencer marketing?
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.
1. Does the platform have reliable and authentic influencers in its database?
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.
2. What social media channels does the platform cover?
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.
3. Which other brands have taken the platform's services?
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.
4. Is the platform challenging to use?
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.
5. What type of features does the platform provide?
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.
6. What metrics does the platform use to measure performance and ROI?
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.
Top 5 influencer marketing platforms worldwide
Founding Year: 2017
affable.ai is an influencer marketing platform that helps D2C, 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 customized pricing model where each business can get a personalized 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. Ecommerce 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 analyze their performance as an influencer marketing platform.
Clients: Organifi, Lorna Jane, MVMT, Moxielash, Macy's, Tonal, Brooks.
Pricing: The platform follows a customized 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.
4. Aspire (formerly AspireIQ)
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 customized pricing plan and lacks image recognition, sentiment analysis, and more features.
Let's understand how affable.ai is a better choice than Aspire.
5. Klear (acquired by Meltwater)
Founding Year: 2012
Klear is an influencer marketing platform helping brands and agencies identify, analyze, and collaborate with influencers for their marketing campaigns. It provides a range of tools and features to streamline the influencer marketing process and maximize campaign effectiveness.
Operated by the parent company Meltwater, Klear also offers free tools and features for enterprise, eCommerce brands, and agencies. The platform offers a robust influencer database on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.
Clients: IMG, Kayak, adidas, Microsoft
Pricing: Klear offers 3-tier pricing—Professional, eCommerce, and Enterprise to suit the needs of different clientele
Klear lacks the follower detection feature, image recognition, and other features offered by affable.ai.
Discover how affable.ai platform can be your best bet!
Scale your campaigns with influencer marketing platforms
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!