Table of contents
  1. 1. What is an influencer network?
  2. 2. History
  3. 3. Advantages
  4. 4. Disadvantages
  5. 5. Why are influence networks important?
  6. 6. Using an influencer network

What is an influencer network?

An influencer network is designed to aid in influencer marketing and influencer management activities, amplify influencer efforts, and improve the effectiveness of campaigns. It's an online platform where businesses can connect with influencers and vice versa. The term is also used to refer to a network of influencers that a business gathers. 

Some influencer networks focus on a specific niche or demographic, such as fashion or women. Others are more broad, allowing a wide range of influencers and businesses in the network. Four types of influencer networks are Instagram influencer networks, multi-channel networks (MCNs), blogger networks, and influencer marketing platform networks. 

 

History

YouTube MCNs and blogger networks were the first types of influencer networks created. Although they were once popular, Instagram and influencer marketing platform networks are now favored. Machinima, Vevo, and StyleHaul are examples of major YouTube MCN. The purpose of YouTube MCNs is to make it easier for popular channels to monetize, receive advertising opportunities, and manage rights. 

Contractual controversies at Machinima and cutbacks at MCN Maker Studios played a role in MCNs losing popularity. Influencer management agencies sometimes put together a network of influencers. Some also directly manage influencers to make it easier for them to help clients connect with influencers. Because influencer marketing is growing each year, becoming a multi-billion dollar industry, we expect the number of available influencer networks to increase as well.

 

Advantages

  • Saves Time: Finding and connecting with influencers on one's own is time-consuming. Influencer networks save time by attracting influencers to the platform where they can create profiles that help marketers and businesses make decisions on who is the best match for their brand. 
  • Search by Different Metrics: Although each influencer network is organized differently, many enable search based on different categories to help brands quickly narrow down their options to those that are most relevant. 
  • Streamline Influence Marketing: Some platforms offer tools and analytics that make it easier for businesses and marketers to track the progress of their influence marketing campaigns. 

 

Disadvantages

  • Less Control: Brands will have less control over the terms and conditions when working with influencers through a network because the platform usually has its own guidelines in place (depending on the platform's policy). 

 

Why are influence networks important?

It's important for companies to have access to influence networks because they can sometimes find a great influencer they wouldn't have otherwise. One can work on creating an in-house network of influencers to have more control over the terms. But checking an influencer network every once in a while would be beneficial. For small businesses, the included tools and analytics help them save money on influence marketing because they don't have to buy the software separately. 

 

Using an influencer network

Brands must first choose a good influencer network. Factors to look at when making a choice are the range of available features, social media platforms allowed, scalability, and industry experience. Most importantly, businesses need to investigate whether or not the influencer network prevents fake influencers from joining the platform. Bad networks don't put effort into screening its influencers or removing fake ones. Before choosing a network, businesses can also ask the site for a demonstration. Some networks will provide demonstrations, so businesses can help determine if it's the right match for them. 

Businesses can create an opt-in hub for attracting influencers too. It's recommended to have an opt-in hub even when one is using influence networks because some influencers who become interested in the brand on their own will check the company's website to apply. Create a vetting process based on what the brand needs in an influencer. Also, ask for links to their social media profiles and blogs in the application form. One can ask why the prospective influencers like the brand as well.