As we’ve said, the influencer approach to marketing is a slow-and-steady one. Unlike traditional marketing, businesses need to be willing to invest the time to develop honest and authentic relationships with their influencers. And, often, the results aren’t measured in dollars and cents, but in the acquisition of new brand loyalists. It can be difficult to gauge success without a bank statement to back it up.
While the actual marketing requires time and personal attention, managing campaigns and influencer relationships doesn’t have to be. Finding the right people to work with, monitoring campaigns, measuring success (or failure)—these are all important tasks. But that doesn’t mean they have to make big demands on your time. That’s what software is for. In the same way that accounting tools save you time in counting your money, leaving you free to focus on earning it, influencer marketing platforms reduce the time-suck of the administrative tasks that can distract you from reaching your goals.
Here, we list eight of the top influencer marketing software platforms. If you’re new to the Influencer Marketing world these apps can serve to ease your entry, helping you to build solid campaigns without getting in over your head. If you’ve been at the game for awhile now, you’ll appreciate how much easier your life will become using these influencer marketing platforms.
Influencer Marketing Platforms
The influencer marketing firm TapInfluence launched its automation software—called TapFusion—in September of 2015. They bill it as an Enterprise solution, and their customer list features some pretty big names: Target, Volvo, Lego, Coca-Cola, and The Gap, to name a few. It’s an impressive list that serves as a kind of proof of their website’s boasts about the platform’s effectiveness. Campaigns managed through their software show an annual ROI of 11x greater than traditional advertising, and 3x more than with other platforms.
As the campaigns go on to live their lives in the feeds of social media users everywhere, TapFusion collects any and all relevant data to feed into its analytics and reporting engine. You can view the performance of your campaigns across multiple social channels, and filter the reports any way you like. This gives an at-a-glance look into how well your campaign is working (or not), as well as deeper dives into how your content fared with each influencer’s audience.
TapFusion is an incredibly robust platform to work on, more than can be explained in a brief overview (be on the lookout for a full review here, coming soon). That said, this isn’t a platform for small businesses or agencies. They’re very upfront about this, too. Sign up for a demo, and an automated email is sent your way saying they require an investment of $25K per quarter for customer enterprise solutions. If that sounds like a lot, then this isn’t the solution for you. But if your marketing budget meets or exceeds this requirement, prepare for that $25K to be very well spent.
The Revfluence platform takes a more hands off approach than previous entries on this list. The company describes it as a self-service platform that offers access to over 150,000 influencers across major social media platforms. This makes it a good fit for agencies, or brands that create their own marketing campaigns in-house.
Keeping with the all-in-one goal of the platform, Revfluence also has a solid focus on the actual creation of content. Called the Creator Collaboration Toolkit, the platform streamlines the process of working with influencers. Roles and tasks can be assigned, while built-in tools assist with the creation and management of each piece of content. You can then track each campaign’s progress, monitoring its reach and the ensuing engagement with audiences.
Revfluence’s customers tend to be those that occupy the space between SMB and big business. Companies such as Quest Nutrition, Birchbox, Dermalogica, and Scopely may not be household names yet, but Refluence is helping to push them to the next level.
No IM platform would be complete without a deep analytics engine and a vast network of influencers. Traackr does not disappoint on either of those fronts, even if they don’t put that front and center in their marketing materials.
Instead, Traackr’s platform focuses on what they call Influencer Relationship Management, one of the few companies that acknowledges influencer marketing’s selling point: trust. With other platforms, finding influencers to represent a brand is a strict monetary transaction. A brand is paired with people who are authorities in a given space, and then it’s up to either an algorithm or one-on-one negotiation to set fees for sponsored posts. And there’s nothing wrong with that for short term campaigns designed to raise awareness of a single project or sell a product.
Traackr can do all of these things, but its primary focus is on the brands it works with earning “lasting influence.” The platform allows for social listening of its influencers, allowing brands to engage with them and their audiences in meaningful ways that foster familiarity and build trust. This focus, along with scores of data that can be used to visualise your influence network, can open up doors to still more influencers, upstream and down. You won’t just connect with audiences, but also the people who influence your influencers, opening up entirely new connections and networks you might otherwise have missed.
Companies like HP, Forbes, EMC, Intel, and Travelocity have all successfully expanded their reach using Traackr.
Speakr is less a software platform and more of an agency that pairs brands with influencers. But that doesn’t mean technology is an afterthought. Software is at the heart of what they do for they’re clients, and is the driving factor in how it represents its influencers.
Speakr’s influencer network exceeds over 20,000 social media stars—people who not only have large followings but show consistent engagement with a fiercely loyal audience. Having an audience is only part of the requirement to one of Speakr’s influencers; they also need to be authorities in their area of interest. This means that an Instagrammer who amasses 2 million followers on the strength of beautiful images might not be as valued as another person with half the audience and twice the knowledge on all matters photographic. By grouping influencers into categories, Speakr offers brands the opportunity to connect with and develop content with hundreds of people at a time. A single post distributed through an entire category has the potential to reach audiences in the hundreds of millions.
It should be said that Speakr isn’t interested in “potential.” The platform itself is built on years of data—using analytics based on the kind of demo- and psychographic information that’s the lifeblood of marketers. All this data is used to drive campaigns that harness the power of social media, and the company claims it’s able to “predict performance with a near crystal ball level of accuracy.” That’s a bold claim, to be sure, but Speakr’s got the numbers to back it up: of the top 100 most impactful influencer campaigns this year, the platform was the engine behind nearly 40% of them.
Like TapInfluence, Speakr is geared towards some of the biggest companies and brands around. Verizon, Sony, Ford, Nissan, Disney, Microsoft, and Universal Studios are just a few of the huge brands that have seen results using the Speakr platform.
NeoReach is still a small startup, and they do give the appearance of trying to fully define themselves. One the one hand, they present their platform as self-service influencer marketing software. On the other hand, they offer an option for “Managed Campaigns”; they design and run full campaigns on behalf of their clients, who are free to hop on to their dashboard and see how things are going. Their website also makes liberal use of images of YouTube’s most influential and recognisable star, Feliz Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie). Kjellberg has been pretty vocal about limiting his brand partnerships, and when he does do them he certainly doesn’t need a middleman to find him this kind of work.
That said, none of this should prevent you from taking a look at NeoReach. The company’s garnered a lot of press attention for their platform, attracted millions in investors, and—most important—some very big names to their growing client list. Wal-Mart, NBC/Universal, Fanduel, and The Travel Channel have all used the platform to forge and manage influencer relationships.
NeoReach’s focus is on this type of management. It maintains a database of over 3 million influencers across major social media platforms. While competitors provide access only to influencers who’ve signed on to work through those platforms, NeoReach puts no such exclusivity limits on the talent pool. Instead, its powerful search engine allows for brands to filter searches across multiple criteria, including any established brand affinities, social performance, and their followers demographics. Companies can then manage all their influencer relationships through NeoReach, including the negotiation of rates, creating campaign briefs, approving posts, and managing payments.
With a focus on bloggers, Upfluence changes the way companies can plan, create, and deliver on their content marketing strategies. The platform actually consists of two different products that can be used separately or together: Reachr and Publishr.
Reachr is the way brands find influencers to to create their content. Thousands of bloggers representing over 200 industries all over the world have registered with Upfluence’s database, and companies can filter their searches with over 50 criteria to find just the right authoritative voice. Reaching out to those who seem like a good fit is just a couple of clicks; contracts can be negotiated and finalised directly through the platform. After briefing bloggers on the scope of the content, all that’s left to do is wait for them to complete the writing and approve it.
Companies that want to go a step beyond content marketing and delve into the world of native advertising can use Upfluence’s Publishr platform. Here, the particulars of the campaign are already defined and submitted to the community of bloggers to apply for. By using Publishr, companies can work with as many writers as they wish simultaneously. These are writers who’ve already got longstanding relationships with news outlets publishing sponsored content. Collaborating with each writer is centralised on to the platform, streamlining the process of reviewing and annotating each piece. As articles are published, brands can track and analyse performance.
Victorinox (makers of Swiss Army products), PayPal, Nestle, Citroen, AirFrance have all used Upfluence’s platform to drive their content marketing and native advertising campaigns.
From the moment you land on Famebit’s website, it’s clear they’re going for a younger audience. Or, at least, trying to attract brands going for a younger audience. With bright colors, a modern looking font, and pictures of attractive 20-somethings having loads of fun, Famebit does not look any other solution listed here. Which is perfect, because they’re doing things a little differently than all the others.
When a creator submits a proposal, Famebit provides a little background information brands would want to know about potential collaborators—total followers on each social platform and audience demographics. The analytics aren’t as deep as with other options, but with Famebit the goal is to get entertaining content out to as many people as possible. And chances are you’ll spend a lot less money: with Famebit, you pay only per project, with a $100 minimum.
This looser vibe and lower cost of entry should appeal to small businesses who want in on the influencer marketing game, but that doesn’t mean Famebit should be relegated to a smaller role. Canon, Adidas, Activision, and Office Depot are among the many brands who’ve found their voice through the platform.
It’s an oft-repeated aphorism that you can’t be all things to all people. At least in the world of influencer marketing, Webfluential is proving that wrong. Yes, the platform offers matchmaking services for brands looking for its ideal influencers, as well as the tools to facilitate creative collaboration and post-campaign analytics. What differentiates Webfluential from its competitors, though, is the amount of thought they’ve put into the influencer side of the equation.
Most of the platforms listed here will vet their pool of influencers thoroughly, with the best ones getting through the application process and receiving a listing in their database for their troubles. Webfluential goes several steps further, furnishing influencers with tools to be proactive in finding opportunities instead of sitting back and waiting for a knock on their virtual door. They can use their profile page on the platform to show their rates and a portfolio of past works. Webfluential also offers creatives access to their own analytics and reporting, and to use the stats gleaned from this as part of their profile. Quote building tools allow them to send detailed proposals to any brand searches, but this isn’t limited to any specific campaigns already in the works.
An influencer with an established presence in any niche might have ideas of her own on the kinds of content she can produce. Even if no brands are looking for something that specifically fits that mold, Webfluential makes it possible to find the right companies to pitch ideas to. Traditional advertising agencies might spend years trying to get their feet in the door of a large company like Samsung or Coca-Cola (both customers of Webfluential), but any 20-something with a good idea and an impressively sized audience can give it their best shot and be assured that the right person will actually see it. Even in the new frontier of influencer marketing, this is a game changing equaliser that puts creatives in the driver’s seat.