Using influencers to market a product or service is nothing new. However, the internet has presented exciting opportunities for businesses to explore influencer marketing. And as it turns out, there’s never been a better time to start thinking outside of the traditional marketing box.
PageFair found in its 2017 report that more than 600 million devices globally are using an adblock tool. That number is growing 30 percent year over year. What does that mean for business owners? Your customers are trying (and succeeding) in blocking out the white noise of your advertisements.
If that’s not daunting enough, consumers think digital advertisements negatively impact the user experience. Millennials in particular are increasingly losing trust in brands and looking to each other for referrals and recommendations.
Enter influencers. These brand advocates individualize your marketing efforts and connect with your target audience in a personal way. And more businesses are hopping on this train now than ever. Take a look at this jump in Google searches for “influencer marketing”:
It’s grown by 19x, an astonishing rate. But the internet is large, and the avenues to get started with influencer marketing are numerous. Where, and how should you get started?
Thankfully, there are several tools at your disposal, whether you’ve got an entire marketing team behind you; or you’re a small business looking to start out. Let’s dive into the world of influencer marketing and find the right tool for you!
Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business
Influencer marketing is not without its own set of challenges. Companies find it difficult to find the right advocates, effectively manage campaigns, or even get started with influencer marketing.
We identified 13 platforms designed to help businesses of all sizes. To help you determine the best platform for your own business’ needs, we’ve categorized them according to experience, team and budget size, and specific needs:
- Type 1: Companies who are new to influencer marketing
- Type 2: Marketers primarily targeting YouTube reviews and influencers
- Type 3: Companies looking for basic influencer campaign automation
- Type 4: Companies that just want powerful influencer search and discovery features
- Type 5: Companies with small budgets who just want to try out influencer marketing
- Type 6: Companies with an influencer marketing a team and a large budget who want a full service platform
Check out how these established influencer marketing tools can work for your company.
Type 1: For Companies New to Influencer Marketing
A turn-key influencer marketing service, IZEA is an established platform with 250,000+ active influencers. Businesses can explore a wide range of influencers by listing opportunities or using the search feature to find the right fit. All of the influencers have profiles highlighting performance data and previous campaign experience.
If you want to put more emphasis on original content shared by influencers, check out Brand Backer. Through a network of 20,000, this platform leverages content in the health, beauty, fashion, food, and travel arenas.
A full-service platform, Brand Backer helps businesses find and communicate with influencers, craft original content, ship samples, and manage payments. This platform creates unique opportunities for influencers to introduce your products. These include blogs, vlogs, contests, surveys, and live events. For a hands-on approach without a steep learning curve.
Tomoson is a marketplace for brands to list product campaigns and find influencers of all sizes and price points in a database of nearly 50,000. Tomoson is great for influencers who are just starting out and for brands looking to push a high volume of content.
The platform offers a great selection of micro-influencers that start at a reasonable price. If you’re just starting out and looking to get your feet wet, this is a good place to start.
With over 100,000 influencers, Linqia is an end-to-end CRM for tool for medium to large companies. Linqia matches you with influencers who deliver the best results, analyzes influencer content, and optimizes future campaigns based on feedback. They specialize in power middle influencers with 10,000 – 250,000 followers.
What helps make Linqia attractive for those just starting out is their pricing model. Most services will charge per post. Linqia charges per click (taken by the potential customer). This is a great way to maximize your investment and make sure you’re only paying when customers take the action you want.
Tapinfluence hosts 50,000 vetted, opt-in influencers in the food, fashion, beauty, and lifestyle verticals. It’s one of the most well known platforms on the market. Their software has robust tools for influencer discovery, audience intelligence, and easy marketing automation. You also get a real time ROI data and analytics rollup for revenue and performance.
For a good all-around platform, Tapinfluence is an excellent option to explore.
Type 2: Companies Primarily Interested in YouTube Influencers
Starting on one social channel is a good strategy for smaller brands promoting a specific product. YouTube is ideal for this purpose. Check out these YouTube specific influencer platforms.
FameBit connects brands with 65,000 influencers that are active on YouTube, some with more than 1 million subscribers. This is a good platform for brands targeting millennials and gen z. FameBit is a self-service platform that acts as a marketplace where brands build campaigns and influencers submit proposals to create content to distribute to their following. It’s a little hands-on, but remarkably easy to use.
On Octoly, brands give influencers free products in return for video reviews on YouTube. Octoly’s 2,400 influencers focus mainly on beauty, fashion, and lifestyle brands and have smaller audiences of at least 1,000 followers.
The platform keeps it simple with its entirely free marketplace, yet there is a subscription fee for the service. If your product falls into one of the above categories, you can do a lot worse than try out Octoly.
Type 3: Companies Looking for Influencer Campaign Automation
You need the platform to automate influencer marketing campaigns. These are perfect if you have a team and budget assigned to influencer marketing.
Traackr emphasizes relationship management by helping brands manage, grow, and scale their influencer marketing. It’s a CRM tool used by larger brands to communicate, measure performance, validate influence, and listen to conversations about their brand.
Revfluence makes processes more efficient by managing campaign life cycles, contracts and terms, brand guidelines, and product shipping. With over 500,000 influencers, it has quite the expansive network.
Relationships are easily controlled with built-in CRM tools. Revfluence is known for its analytics and comprehensive tracking of engagement, clicks, conversions, and audience demographics.
Type 4: Companies That Just Want Powerful Influencer Search Features
Influencer discovery platforms behave like search engines. They work best if you have a strong influencer marketing program, but need new advocates in your portfolio.
Klear is a giant database of social media influencers. Their catalog includes 500 million profiles in over 60,000 categories, so you can find any type of influencer here, big or small. In fact, their directory is one of the largest around and includes everyone from celebrities to micro-influencers.
Aside from finding and analyzing influencers, Klear features CRM tools to manage your program and real-time tracking for performance monitoring.
There are over 3 million people in the Neoreach database; searchable by keywords, performance, and demographics. This platform is ideal for large brands that want sophisticated data on key channels, influencer performance, and campaigns. Its suite of campaign management tools simplifies communication, contract management and negotiation, and building influencer relationships.
Hypr provides drilled-down data on 10 million influencers through an enhanced search feature that crawls the web. They boast access to influencer audience demographic, psychographic, and geographic data as part of the discovery process. The tool features direct contact information for many well-known influencers.
Type 5: Companies With Small Budgets Who Just Want to Try Out Influencer Marketing
Many of these platforms are ideal for entering the influencer marketing space. Even if you lack internal resources, these tools are easily managed and scaled to produce effective campaigns.
Shoutcart is an Instagram influencer marketplace. Buy and sell Instagram shout outs from quality influencers and get post traffic and statistics to optimize your campaigns. This is a very straightforward, simple way to find influencers and post content. Shoutcart is a low barrier to entry platform to get your feet wet.
Famebit or Octoly
You’ve already learned that these two single platform marketplaces are used to find YouTube influencers. They’re great for cost-effectively testing influencer marketing and finding advocates with modestly sized audiences.
Brandbacker or Tomoson
These full-service platforms aren’t daunting to inexperienced influence marketers. Their end-to-end services make finding influencers and managing campaigns a controllable task for teams of all sizes.
Type 6: Companies with an Influencer Marketing a Team and a Large Budget Who Want a Full Service Platform
You need a robust discovery, SaaS, or full-service tool to add to your arsenal. Here are a few to consider.
Klear, Neoreach, or Hypr
These influencer discovery tools are like Google for influencers. Each one returns millions of profiles so you can find the right brand advocates on the right social networks.
Linqia, TapInfluence, or Izea
These full-service tools help you find influencers, build relationships, and manage your entire influencer marketing campaign – all in one place. Think of it as a one-stop shop for contacting influencers, managing contracts, sending samples, facilitating payments, and monitoring results.
Traackr or Revfluence
These software as a service platforms automate influencer marketing and manage existing influencer relationships. If you’re well versed in this channel and have a list of influencers, the advanced CRM features to take your campaigns to the next level.
About the Author: Michael Quoc is the CEO of Dealspotr, a new shopping ecosystem connecting lifestyle influencers with up-and-coming brands around today’s best exclusive deals and promotions.