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Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
The   Bazaar   Voice
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
influencer marketing platform

The creator economy is booming. As brands seek the power of authentic voices to reach their target audiences, there’s a rising demand for effective influencer marketing platforms.

That’s mainly because the right influencer marketing platform saves time, reduces overhead costs, provides you with metrics extending beyond just brand awareness, and streamlines your end-to-end campaigns. Emerging AI functions can also keep you from drowning in a sea of tedious manual outreach. 🤖

But with so many platforms available, choosing the right one can seem pretty daunting. Here’s everything you need to know about finding the perfect solution for your brand’s unique needs.

Chapters: 

  1. What is an influencer marketing platform?
  2. Key features of a great influencer marketing platform 
  3. How to pick the right influencer marketing platform 
  4. The best influencer marketing platforms to get you started
  5. Scale your campaigns with influencer marketing platforms‍

What is an influencer marketing platform?

An influencer marketing platform is automated software that helps you find relevant influencers, facilitates campaign management, and provides analytics to measure campaign performance.

Considering the sheer volume of influencers and content generated on social media, finding, filtering, and connecting with influencers of your choice can be a challenge. Not to mention managing them and evaluating their performance. 

Influencer marketing platforms are a powerful tool to streamline this process. They’re a centralized hub for everything influencer marketing-related to help you run a data-driven campaign effectively and efficiently. 

Key features of a great influencer marketing platform 

A specialized influencer marketing platform addresses solves for the above pain points head-on, ensuring you spend less time on execution and measurement and more time on overall brand strategy.

‍1. Find on-brand real creators in less time 

Influencer marketing platforms provide a range of filters such as age, gender, location, language, interest, and follower range. These options allow you to select creators that best suit your preference. 

For example, you’re a vegan makeup brand looking for a niche beauty creator whose content resonates with your target audience. All you need to do is apply filters and generate a list of influencers that fit your requirements within seconds. 

Some platforms may claim to have a massive database. But here’s a piece of advice: for many traditional influencer marketing approaches, a large database can pose problems. Their search functionality is often limited, clunky, not intuitive, and ineffective. Therefore, the database’s size isn’t crucial. What matters most is the ability to search and discover the best fit.

Some platforms let you dig deeper by showing you a content creator’s brand affinity, the growth in their follower count over the years, and the number of paid and organic posts they have shared. These filters are pivotal in selecting the right influencer for your campaign.

2. Global reach

Gone are the days when influencer marketing was confined to regional boundaries. Today, influencer marketing platforms provide access to a global community of content creators. It enables you to engage influencers beyond your regional confines, facilitating international campaigns tailored for targeted audiences concentrated in specific regions.

Consider this scenario: If you’re a US-based brand seeking content creators in Dubai, utilizing the location filter on these platforms allows you to swiftly compile a list of those based in Dubai. This effortless global outreach helps you reach a wider audience.  

3. Spot fake followers

How can you identify those who have authentic, loyal, engaged followers from those who have mainly fake or ghost followers? Influencer platforms have a vetting process, employing advanced algorithms to identify and filter out suspicious accounts.  

They can spot fake influencers by analyzing their follower growth, engagement timeline, and fake or ghost follower profiles in their follower list. You can also evaluate on your own if you see rapid spikes or irregular patterns in follower acquisition over the months.

4. Streamlined campaign management

After helping you finalize the list of influencers, an influencer marketing platform works as a centralized communication hub connecting brands, influencers, and other stakeholders. You can consolidate all your influencer management needs into a one-stop solution:

  • Easily distribute campaign briefs and track all conversations with individual influencers in one place, saving time and resources
  • Save time using recommended email templates and automate email scheduling and other repetitive tasks, such as sending reminders and managing contracts
  • Manage product gifting by integrating the platform with your e-commerce stores on Shopify, Magento, and more. Easily create gift/sample orders and manage payments from one dashboard without creating a spreadsheet to track your product deliveries

5. Real-time monitoring of content 

Influencer marketing platforms can actively monitor influencer content across various social media platforms in real time — eliminating the need to manually scour through individual influencer profiles on different channels to keep track of content. 

Imagine eliminating the need to constantly hop between platforms, piecing together the puzzle of influencer activity. Instead, you gain access to a comprehensive view of influencer content across social media channels with a single click. Platforms can scan for mentions of your brand or campaign hashtags, providing instant insights into how your campaign performs and how influencers represent your brand.

The significant impact of real-time monitoring is that you can tweak your strategy midway through the campaign, allowing for better campaign targeting and messaging.

6. Track and monitor sales

To monitor conversions driven by creators, influencer marketing platforms incorporate a built-in feature that generates distinct custom codes and links (affiliate links) for each influencer engaged in a campaign. These links are used to identify the traffic and sales generated from each influencer’s audience.

You can also create custom promo codes unique to each influencer, allowing seamless sales tracking attributed to their promotional efforts.

7. Evaluate overall campaign performance 

Utilize sophisticated metrics such as earned media value (EMV), estimated reach, impressions, sentiment analysis, and others to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign, as influencer marketing platforms come with these in-built features. 

You get access to downloadable reports for in-depth analysis of campaign performance. You can leverage the data to evaluate consumer feedback and make informed, data-driven decisions for upcoming campaigns. 

8. Manage creators’ payment effectively and securely

Eliminate manual invoices, multiple spreadsheets, and chasing payments — influencer marketing platforms do everything. Payments are automatically triggered on campaign completion or have flexible payment options as performance-based incentives. Plus, you can easily set up recurring payments for ongoing collaborations. 

Since many platforms facilitate global influencer collaborations, they have features boasting global payment capabilities and secure payment gateways. Transparent transaction records are also provided, allowing for easy payment tracking.

This transparency fosters trust and confidence between the brand and influencer, potentially paving the way for long-term partnerships.

How to pick the right influencer marketing platform

With so many influencer marketing platforms out there, each offering unique features and functionalities, it can be tricky knowing which is right for your needs. What key questions should you ask before choosing an influencer marketing platform?

Evaluate platform features

Strength of influencer search engine. Evaluate the platform in helping you identify influencers that resonate with your target audience:

  • How many influencers does the platform have in its database? 
  • Are the influencer profiles vetted? 
  • What social media channels does the platform cover?
  • Is the platform easy to use?
  • What type of features does the platform provide?

Ability to vet content creators and their audience. Focus on in-depth insights about influencers so you can make informed decisions and grow your roster of influencers accordingly. Check if the platform can help you find the following information about influencers:

  • Does the platform provide data like audience location, age, interests, etc., to match with the potential customers? 
  • Do I get an influencer’s follower breakdown on each social channel? 
  • Can I check the creator’s influence across all social media channels?
  • Does the engine have measures to identify influencers with inflated follower counts or inauthentic engagement?
  • Can I get detailed performance metrics for potential influencers (engagement rates, reach, audience demographics)?
  • Can I track the influencer’s follower growth and engagement timeline over the last few months?

Ease of influencer relationship management. Ask about built-in features in the CRM to easily connect with shortlisted content creators and how it can help manage a large number of content creators in one go or if you plan to run multiple campaigns simultaneously with different sets of content creators:

  • Does the platform offer built-in messaging tools for seamless communication with creators?
  • Can I share campaign briefs, assets, and content guidelines with creators within the platform?
  • Can I send personalized messages or broadcast messages to groups of creators?
  • Can I create and manage contracts directly within the platform, including standard terms and custom clauses?
  • Does the CRM integrate with other marketing or social media management tools you use?
  • Does it offer robust security measures to protect your brand data and influencer information?
  • Does the platform provide training resources or tutorials on using the CRM effectively?
  • Does the provider offer dedicated customer support to assist you with questions or issues?

Content approval and monitoring. Content tracking in an influencer marketing campaign is crucial for measuring success and optimizing future efforts. Ideally, find a platform that reduces lengthy email chains and minimizes the risk of miscommunication:

  • Does the tool give you access to send campaign briefs? 
  • Can I evaluate the mail open rate? 
  • Does it allow influencers to submit draft content for review? 

Product gifting management. Product gifting is one of the activities that can consume a lot of your time if not automated: 

  • Do I get to integrate my e-commerce store like Shopify to send influencers products of their choice? 
  • Can I send gifts to influencers without hopping between platforms for timely product delivery?

Affiliate program management. An affiliate influencer program is one where you pay the creators based on their performance in sales, leads, conversions, engagement, or reach. When running such a campaign, there are capabilities that you must check for in a platform:

  • Does it create unique affiliate links for individual creators?
  • Is the tool equipped to track sales through affiliate links?
  • Can it be integrated with an e-commerce platform to track purchases?
  • Does it streamline the process of attributing sales to the influencers?
  • Is the process to automate the payment in-built? 

Analytics to measure ROI. Lastly, you must be able to evaluate the impact of the campaigning and prove the ROI in terms of revenue generated:

  • Can I measure the impact using KPIs like reach, engagement, conversions, leads, or more?
  • Does it track the content creator’s performance and the campaign performance?
  • Can I analyze audience sentiments (positive or negative) toward my campaign? 
  • Does the tool give a wide dashboard view and downloadable reports in Excel or PowerPoint formats to share with the team? 

Research and compare platforms

Tailor your selection process by identifying influencer marketing platforms that align with your specific needs. Begin by shortlisting a handful of platforms for a thorough evaluation. Delve into G2 reviews and case studies, extracting valuable insights into how diverse brands have successfully leveraged each platform.

Make the most of free trials and demos to experience the platforms firsthand. This hands-on approach allows you to gauge user-friendliness and assess whether the features meet your requirements.

Additionally, pay close attention to the platform’s customer support options. Understanding their onboarding process and the assistance provided can be crucial to your decision-making process. 

Prioritize user interface

Opt for a platform featuring an intuitive interface that is effortlessly navigable for you and your team. Evaluate whether the platform extends mobile access, enabling convenient management while on the move.

Verify that the platform offers ample training resources and provides continuous support, ensuring you can optimize its full potential over time.

Transparency and security 

Choose a platform that prioritizes data security and complies with relevant privacy regulations. Verify that the platform provides clear, precise data on campaign performance and influencer activity to ensure transparency. Scrutinize the platform’s contractual terms.

Future scalability 

A platform that provides flexibility to adjust to evolving campaign needs and strategies, allowing for the addition of more influencers as per your campaign requirements, can make your influencer marketing game stronger and adaptable.

The best influencer marketing platforms to get you started 

Upfluence

influencer marketing platform

Upfluence is an influencer marketing platform headquartered in New York. The platform enables you to discover influencers, manage campaigns, carry out payments, send products, and analyze campaigns with the platform. You can connect the software with other tools like CMS, mailing software, and more. 

GRIN

GRIN is a creator management platform that helps 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.

Aspire (formerly AspireIQ)

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, managing relationships, creating content, and measuring the ROI. The platform has created numerous content resources for customers and a course for influencers and brands.

Bazaarvoice affable.ai

influencer marketing platform

Bazaarvoice affable.ai is redefining influencer marketing with an AI-driven platform that scales creator marketing efforts, saving up to 80% of the time spent on campaign management. This all-in-one solution empowers brands, retailers, and agencies to seamlessly source, manage, track, and measure creator and ambassador programs, using groundbreaking Generative AI-powered search, stands out.

PSA: The platform also integrates with the Bazaarvoice Social Commerce solution, enabling brands to maximize the ROI of creator marketing by strategically repurposing influential content across marketing, e-commerce, and retail channels. 

Scale your campaigns with influencer marketing platforms‍

You now have the answer to what an influencer marketing platform is. 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 out. Get a product tour with Bazaarvoice affable.ai to clearly see how a creator marketing platform works.

Get started
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