Table of contents
  1. 1. What is an influencer marketing platform?
  2. 2. Why do brands need an influencer marketing platform?
  3. 3. Features of an influencer marketing platform

What is an influencer marketing platform?

An influencer marketing platform is a marketing tool or piece of software that can assist marketers with influencer marketing activities. Influencer marketing platforms can help with finding influencers, analyzing influencers, drafting influencer marketing campaigns and managing influencer relations. These platforms are different from influencer marketplaces, which allow influencers to actively create their profiles, share their information and look for collaboration opportunities with brands. Influencer marketing platforms, on the other hand, collect the data directly from social media channels (e.g. Instagram, YouTube, Twitter), analyze the data and transform them into useful information for marketers. The marketplaces are limited because they build their databases from their registered influencers. The platforms, on the other hand, use real-time data that are unlimited by the number of participants.

Nowadays, an influencer marketing platform usually comprises many features relating to social media marketing, data science, information management and campaign management. Different SaaS (software-as-a-service) vendors have been trying to modify and develop their platforms to serve different purposes. For instance, some companies have created platforms with large databases and in-depth analytics, while others have focused on relationship management and campaign management applications. With so many possibilities, it’s no wonder that more than 50 influencer marketing start-ups have opened their doors in the past two years, and some of them are still going strong.  

influencer-marketing-platforms-2018

Influencer marketing start-ups have opened their doors recently

 

Why do brands need an influencer marketing platform?

Influencer marketing can be difficult to do manually. It’s not impossible, just much harder and more complicated than it should be. With more than 700 million active users on Instagram per month, not to mention the other social media platforms, it’s a real challenge for influencer marketers to identify who among these users are real influencers, much less who the best-in-class influencers that your brand should collaborate with are. 
At first glance, it seems like the more data you have, the easier it will be to make a strategic decision. In this era of data science, we have more information than ever--but it turns out that having too much data can be a problem if you don’t know how to interpret it. Not every marketer is a data scientist, and that’s where influencer marketing platforms come in. An influencer marketing platform can support your brand in four key ways: 

  1. Support for identifying and analyzing influencer profiles
  2. Give marketers an overview of the whole market
  3. Keep track of new trends and changes in the influencer marketing industry
  4. Back up your strategic decisions

This article describes these benefits in detail. 

 

Features of an influencer marketing platform

An influencer marketing platform should be able to help you in both searching and managing social media influencers. These are the main goals of every current IM platform on the market. In order to achieve these goals, the platform should have the following fundamental features: 

1. Influencer database

The larger the database is, the better chance you have of identifying your perfect-fit influencers. Most of us are familiar with celebrity influencers like Selena Gomez and Kim Kardashian. However, while less well-known, micro-influencers are actually hidden treasures for your brand. According to this article, micro-influencers usually fit your brand better and have a much higher return on investment (ROI) ratio than celebrities, because they usually have better audience quality and their followers are well clustered. As a result, brands with small marketing budgets usually rely on small- to middle-scale influencers. That‘s the reason why a good influencer marketing platform should have a large enough database to be able to find you those micro-influencers. The data should also be updated frequently to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the given information. 

2. Influencer identification

In addition to having a large database, an influencer marketing platform should enable users to navigate through the data and make finding influencers one of the easiest tasks of the process. The best-in-class platform will gather the content of Instagram influencers, analyze it and put the profiles into various categories (sports, beauty, music, lifestyle, tech, etc.) for you. This helps narrow down queries and saves a lot of time. Furthermore, most IM platforms on the market are designed with demographic filters (gender, country, age, language, etc.), but for social media platforms like Instagram, the most critical filter is #hashtag. Influencers frequently use hashtags to explain their content and connect with an audience who has common interests. Thus, a hashtag filter, such as the one offered by InfluencerDB, should be one of the core features in any influencer marketing software solution:

How to use hashtag filter to find influencer © InfluencerDB premium software

 

3. Influencer analysis

Influencer marketing software should be able to analyze an influencer’s profile based on fundamental social media metrics (number of likes, followers, reach, engagement, etc.). However, a good IM platform analyzes not only the influencer’s profiles but also their audience. The audience quality describes the value of followers and lists other Instagram channels that are exposed to an influencer’s content. With influencer marketing software that can measure the audience quality of an influencer, brands will be able to answer the following questions and select the best influencer accordingly: 

  • What is the quality of end customer I am reaching through this influencer? 
  • Will this influencer have a strong impact on these consumers? 
  • Can the influencer transmit the brand message to the majority of his/her audience and will the audience become aware of my brand?

4. Campaign management dashboard

After compiling an influencer wish list, marketers need a place to manage those influencers and keep track of their performance. An influencer marketing campaign consists of different stages, so it’s crucial for the brand to know which stage their target influencers belong to. This feature is especially useful for brands collaborating with a large number of influencers or who have team members in different locations. Currently, InfluencerDB is one of the few IM platforms with this feature, which offers support throughout the campaign and relationship management process.

Influencer campaign management feature is explained in detail here.  

5. Report generation

While many marketers love reading reports, few enjoy creating them. Due to the huge number of users on social media, influencer marketing reports may range from a couple of slides to a 100-page deck. The ultimate goal of the software is to help you make a decision, and a beautiful report with deep analysis of an influencer profile can give you all the information you need. The ability to generate a report that presents the necessary information in a clear and readable way is an essential feature for an influencer marketing platform.


List of influencer marketing platforms 

1. InfluencerDB

InfluencerDB is Europe’s leading influencer marketing platform. Unlike other solutions in the influencer marketing space, InfluencerDB offers brands a combination of data, software, and educational content all in one place, helping them to not only organize their internal efforts but also to help them make the most educated decisions for long-term campaign success.

The platform’s tools currently include:

  • Discovery database – Search among all the influencers in the world in our database
  • Analytics – Analyze influencers and their audiences, especially to avoid falling for fake influencers
  • Influencer Management – Manage all your contacts and relations across multiple departments to consolidate your knowledge and data in one centralized system
  • Campaign Management – Execute your campaigns without being charged extra for it with any influencer you like, get deep reporting on your campaigns
  • Monitoring – Monitor the whole influencer universe in regards to your brand and your competitors

2. Traackr

Founded way back in the prehistoric days of 2008, Traackr is as old as the industry itself. Like any creature that has survived through eons, the capacity to evolve is at the heart of its staying power.

Currently, the company specializes in influencer relationship management, and they’ve built out an online platform towards that end. It includes a wealth of campaign management tools, but the real focus is on the relationship side of things. Traackr’s approach to influencer marketing is one that doesn’t promise quick results—instead the goal is lasting relationships with influencers that increasingly pay dividends over time. 

3. Onalytica

Onalytica was founded in 2009, which in influencer marketing years puts the company in on the ground floor. Getting into any next-wave kind of industry from the outset, before it’s even an industry, is the kind of thing that speaks well of a company. With a stable of big-name clients like Microsoft, Canon, VMWare, and the British Heart Foundation, it looks like Onalytica will be around for quite some time.

The downside of being in the game this long is that the rules sometimes change under you, and we can see this with their software platform, which they bill as an Influencer Relationship Management solution. But, mostly, what Onalytica offers does not fit the current mold of IRM software. Today, Influencer Relationship Management is strongly related with Campaign Management—a central suite of tools designed to track and monitor your working relationship with each influencer you’ve signed. It’s a way to keep contact information, performance stats, communications, content collaborations, and more all accessible from a single interface. That’s not really what Onalytica does.