Influencer marketing has taken over the digital marketing industry and changed the way businesses promote their products and services. But while influencer marketing may be on the brink of entering its golden age, it is also becoming more fragmented and complex as it continues to develop.

The success of an influencer campaign is reliant upon finding the influencer that is most relevant to your niche. To do this, one must utilize the proper tools that support brands in both discovering and managing influencers, while also giving organizations the ability to evaluate the results of its campaigns. One way to do this is to implement the use of an influencer marketing platform.

 

What Is an Influencer Marketing Platform?

An influencer marketing platform (or influencer marketplace) is a software platform that helps brands discover influencers, while also helping to connect with, hire, and pay them as well all in one place. Influencer platforms represent an invaluable asset for brands that wish to manage multiple influencers within a single campaign. Many of these platforms automate certain processes associated with managing influencers, which makes it easier for brands who may be less experienced or lack the manpower to properly implement and monitor an influencer campaign.

But while there are many popular influencer marketing platforms, a majority of them share many of the same pitfalls. So what are the 5 key features of an influencer marketing platform?

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5 Key Features of an Influencer Marketing Platform

A majority of influencer marketing platforms all share many of the same essential features. But as the popularity of these platforms grows, many of them are attempting to differentiate themselves by offering something unique. Let’s summarize some of the key features of an influencer platform.

1. Search and Discovery Engine

Influencers come in many forms; from makeup artists, fitness gurus, video game streamers, and beyond. The leading platforms offer massive databases of influencers. There truly is a niche for nearly every conceivable product or service. However, the challenge lies in knowing which influencer to select for your campaign.

A search and discovery engine is one of the core functions of any effective influencer marketing platform. It assists marketers in finding the most relevant influencers for their products or services by providing a searchable database of potential influencers with automated suggestions on the influencers who are the most relevant to a particular campaign.

Influencer searches are based on specific criteria that characterize both the influencer and their audience segment. There are several different filters for analyzing influencers’ profiles, like performance metrics, engagement, demographics, rating, post frequency, and audience overview.

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2. Relationship Management

Effective influencer marketing platforms allow brands to automate all the tedious tasks that come with an influencer campaign; like messaging influencers, negotiating prices, signing contracts, and submitting payments. In turn, it also allows brands to more effectively track their relationships with influencers.

When a relationship with an influencer has been established, an influencer platform works a lot like a CRM. It groups every influencer relationship automatically and guides brands through the subsequent stages, from outreach to payment.

3. Campaign Content Management

Campaign content management allows brand marketers to manage both the ad creatives, brand mentions, hashtags, deadlines, giveaways, and all the other ad campaign features that are pertinent to effectively managing a campaign. By using an influencer platform, brands can receive the creative content from the influencer directly, which allows them to preview, analyze, accept, reject, or negotiate content accordingly. On the flip side, influencers can use platforms to expedite the process of receiving assets crucial to creating their content; like images and videos to use in the campaign.

4. Influencer Contracting and Compensation

Campaigns typically operate on a CPM pricing model, whereby a specific amount is paid for every 1,000 views of an advertisement. Comparatively, campaigns such as affiliate marketing operate more commonly on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) model. Additional pricing models like cost-per-click (CPC) can also come into play.

The amount of money that influencers actually end up making will depend on multiple factors. This includes the specific social media platforms where they are most relevant, the size of their following, engagement rate, audience demographic, and a few other additional factors. Effective influencer platforms also typically have features in place that allow brands to manage payments to multiple influencers, all in one place. They also typically include easy to use features that help expedite the process and make it easier for brands to contract influencers for a campaign.

5. Data, Analytics, and Reporting

What good is an influencer platform if it doesn’t allow brands to analyze the actual impact of an influencer ad campaign? Data, analytics, and reporting are crucial if you wish to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for an entire campaign. We don’t know a single organization that isn’t interested in that.

The reporting capabilities of many of these platforms are very similar to the onsite data that is typically provided through platforms like Google Analytics. A good influencer platform helps brands track information like views, engagement, reach, real-time analytics, ROI, and even URL tracking through affiliate links. Some platforms even utilize their own customized tracking pixels or affiliate links that influencers can put in their content when promoting a product to help measure these statistics more accurately and with greater detail.

 

Final Thoughts

Influencer marketing is an appealing proposition for brands looking to capture the attention of their target audience. But with all the programmatic advertising that exists today, coupled with the growing challenges surrounding privacy regulations and ad-blockers, banner blindness is becoming more and more prevalent by the day. Though influencer marketing has already proven to be an effective marketing channel for brands both big and small, it must be implemented with tact and precision to produce optimal results.

The benefits that make influencer marketing so powerful for brands – the ultra-detailed targeting and high conversion rates that produce ROI – are incentivizing brand marketers to allocate larger parts of their marketing budgets for influencer campaigns. Is your brand next on the list?

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