Influencer marketing is a growing strategy. By using content generated by relatable people within a target demographic – so-called influencers – companies can expand their reach and get more bang for their marketing buck.
Influencer marketing helps businesses engage with the target customer at every level of the sales funnel. The audience is already there on social media; it’s just waiting for a strategic partnership to connect them to the products and services they need.
Several benefits exist to leveraging influencer marketing:
- It builds trust quickly, as influencers already have established credibility with their followers. Audience members already trust their taste and recommendations.
- It improves brand awareness. Influencer marketing is a great way to expand reach online, simply by leveraging another person’s social media network.
- It enhances your content strategy. You can fill the gaps in your content marketing calendar by reaching out to influencers and keeping your campaigns fresh.
- It reaches your target audience. By reaching out to influencers within your niche, you get your content in front of people who are already interested in what you have to offer. No need to invest money on target research or testing – your influencer has already done this for you.
- It provides value to your customer. Delivering valuable content is the key to any inbound marketing strategy, and influencer marketing makes the process easy.
Tracking Your Influencer Marketing
At the same time, knowing the exact ROI of any content marketing campaign is essential. An influencer marketing platform gives companies the opportunity to track their key influencers and make the most of their brand marketing.
Specifically, influencer marketing software helps organizations connect with and track key influencers within their demographic. By accessing searchable platforms, organizations can perform tasks like curate influencer-generated content, track campaign performance and create branded material.
Influencer marketing software helps brands create and manage their marketing campaigns while leveraging the power of social influencers. However, not all of these are created equal. Some of the best influencer marketing platforms include:
Intellifluence emerges as the dominant leader in influencer marketing platforms. It differentiates itself with its straightforward approach and transparent pricing structure. Currently, it works with influencers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and even Amazon. A Starter plan costs $99 a month, while enterprise-level plans cost $999 monthly. This makes it a viable option for businesses of all sizes.
Businesses use Ninja Outreach primarily for lead generation, cold calling and emailing, blogger outreach, and content marketing. Companies have the option of choosing from influencers in every niche imaginable via a proprietary database. Start with a free trial, then choose from several tiers of plans starting at $52 a month for a single user.
Upfluence is an attractive option for small- and medium-sized businesses, prized for its affordability and scalability. It uses a massive database where companies can have access to over 500 million pieces of content spread across several social media platforms. It also offers campaign management services. Plans start at $795 a month.
Aspire IQ integrates with popular platforms like YouTube and Instagram to deliver a database of more than 150,000 influencers who agreed to join the system. To be considered an influencer on the database, joiners must have at least 500 Instagram likes or 2,500 YouTube views. Think of it as Tinder for influencers and brands. Plans range from basic to enterprise.
Hypr exists primarily to help brands connect with influencers via a massive search engine of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest users. With 10 million influencers available, it prides itself on using data, not opinions, to determine the best influencers for each niche. The website does not publish pricing, but has plans ranging from Pro (1 user) to enterprise.
Instabrand strives to differentiate itself from the competition by being a “mobile first” company. Its main focus is mobile-specific platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but they also work with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Its database of influencers comprises around 100,000 influencers, but it also helps brands devise and track strategies. Plans start at $50 per month for a basic subscription.
Klear is aptly named, because it strives to make working with influencers both simple and transparent. Their scalable services include compatibility with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. The small business/startup plan is $250 a month, while the pro plans are more expensive. The platform is popular with big brands such as Microsoft and Coca-Cola.
Julius got its start as Thuzio, a web talent agency for athletes. Over time, other industries joined the pool and an influencer search engine was born. Now, the Julius talent database connects companies to over 50,000 influencers in social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, YouTube, and Snapchat. Campaign management tools help businesses achieve their goals at a scalable price point – and unlike other tools, businesses pay an annual fee based on the number of users.
Brandbacker is a less common breed of influencer marketing platform, in that it features an opt-in format. Its focus is beauty, women’s fashion, motherhood, lifestyle, and food. Brands have access to insights such as who is talking about them, and how their content performs against the competition. Subscription pricing and compatibility is not listed on their website, but interested businesses can request a free demo.
Exposely is a self-service program that connects brands with influencers with a high level of engagement. The opt-in format allows influencers to sign up and connect with brands to share content and pursue paid opportunities. It’s a good option for small businesses and startups, as campaigns start at $100.
Content BLVD started their company on the notion that consumers don’t want advertisements – they want access to informative content. As such, the platform helps companies connect their content to the right influencers, so they can reach their target demographic with ease. The company only works with businesses that offer physical products and primarily focuses on YouTube.
Advowire is another self-service platform that connects businesses with influencers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, and blogs. It uses a credit system commensurate with subscription level – the higher the subscription level, the more credits the business has to work with. Subscriptions range from $99 to $1399 a month, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.
Famebit got its start promoting video content, working primarily with YouTube. This is still where the platform shines, but it also now coordinates with Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Rather than focusing on the company, it helps influencers find brands. They charge 10% of whatever the transaction is between the influencer and the brand.
This YouTube-specific platform focuses on matching creators with brands that are looking to promote content on that platform. Anyone who has a YouTube channel can opt-in to Grapevine, but participants need 10,000 subscribers to gain access to the Marketplace where they can connect with brands offering paid opportunities. Plans range from quarterly fees of $5,000-$10,000.
Find Your Influence is a technology-driven platform that connects a database of 100,000 influencers across blogs, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, YouTube, and Pinterest. They focus on making the process automated and offer analytics for businesses to gauge their success. Small businesses can subscribe for $300, while enterprises can access unlimited campaigns for $1,500.
Blogmint expands beyond the United States and is one of the biggest influencer marketing platforms in Asia. It currently reaches more than 40,000 influencers and partners with hundreds of brands. It follows an opt-in format and each influencer gets a score based on their relative reach. As the name implies, it works solely with bloggers and vloggers. Interested parties can contact them to learn more about pricing.
InNetwork is another opt-in social influencer program. However, the company is careful about who they let in as “influencers.” Each prospective candidate faces a vetting process that includes not only the number of followers, but how engaged those followers are. The platform works with Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook.
InkyBee is not an opt-in program; it aims to serve professionals within the digital marketing sphere. Its proprietary suite of web-based tools helps marketers manage the influencer marketing process. It not only has the capability to find influencers, but measure the ROI of campaigns. They focus on blogs and prices range from $79 to $249 per month.
IZEA serves as a SaaS platform for both brands and marketing agencies. It started with blogging influencers, but now services Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. It has an extensive platform for subscribers to peruse, and each creator/influencer gets a score based on reach. Pricing information is not readily available on their website but interested marketers can contact the company for more information.
Adly is a software provider that connects both marketing agencies and businesses with influencers, including celebrities. It caters to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest networks. The platform gives customers access to a variety of tools that help them connect with appropriate influencers and measure the success of their campaigns. Pricing depends on the services customers choose to use.
Mustr focuses on the blogosphere – specifically, it helps companies and marketing agencies make sense of their network of journalists and bloggers. In that sense, it serves to make and maintain PR connections, rather than a traditional influencer marketing platform. Think of it as a CRM system for blogs. They don’t publish pricing information, but a free 15-day trial is available.
Onalytica is an SaaS platform that charges a monthly subscription fee for its services, which includes discovery, managing relationships with influencers, reporting and analytics, support, and even a dedicated service manager. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, WordPress, and blogs. Monthly subscriptions start at $500.
Traacker focuses primarily on helping medium to large businesses build and maintain relationships with influencers. Creators can opt-in, but the system also computer generates suggestions. It offers relationship management and discovery via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, and blogs. Subscriptions are annual or multi-year, and companies will have to contact Traacker directly to discuss pricing.
NeoReach makes use of an algorithm to search social media networks for data and identify influencers for each niche. With a database of over 3,000,000, this tool is intended for large businesses. Each solution is customizable and packages range from $50K to $500K.
Influencer marketing is only part of what Zoomph does, so it might be a good option for those who want more comprehensive services. It prides itself on deep analytics and measurements of engagement. With plans starting at $2000 a month, it’s best for medium-sized businesses and enterprises.
Webfluential focuses on the social media stars themselves, connecting them to brands and agencies. It works through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, and Instagram. Influencers pay nothing to join the site, and brands can view and connect with influencers with a subscription plan, which starts around $50 a month.
Niche.co is a social media community for social media influencers. It gives creators a chance to monetize, and brands the ability to create mutually beneficial partnerships. It was recently acquired by Twitter but services other networks, including blogs. Pricing information is available by contacting the company directly.
Influencer marketing is not a passing fad; it’s here to stay as long as social media remains prolific. In order to monetize on relationships with social media creators, brands need a comprehensive system that allows them to connect with influencers within their niche a co-create branded campaigns. Analytics available in many of these platforms help marketers determine the ROI of their campaigns and help them cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships with influencers worldwide. Use this guide to find the perfect influencer marketing platform for your brand’s size, goals, and preferred method of social media networking.