Services Offered: Influencer Content Amplification
Channels: Facebook, Instagram
There’s a basic, four-stage lifecycle that brands go through when they get into the world of influencer marketing:
- Curiosity: What is influencer marketing?
- Interest: How can I get in on that?
- Commitment: Let’s do this.
- Assessment: Well, that went well. How do we scale?
At stage 2, they may find themselves here, at this website, looking at reviews of IM platforms. Whichever way they go, they’ll navigate through their first campaign, and the next, and the next, until after a while they’ll hit stage four. What now?
This is where Lumanu comes in. Founded in 2016 by Paul Johnson and Tony Tran, Lumanu aims to fill a niche that the industry as a whole is now starting to adopt. As influencer marketing began to explode, Johnson and Tran noticed something: while brands were stumbling over one another to get in the game for real, they still hadn’t abandoned paid ads on the same social platforms. On the one hand, they had a fully functioning marketing team sourcing images, or paying designers/photographers to create them, while writing fresh copy and targeting unknown audiences. On the other, they were collaborating with influencers, who’d create images and copy at a fraction of the price for broadcast to a loyal group of followers.
Companies started figuring out on their own that they could use influencers as a kind of ad hoc creative department, reusing the content they’d created for their paid social ads, but deploying them without the same level of data intelligence they had on the influencer side. There just wasn’t any software out there designed for these Phase 2 campaigns—this was a big hole Johnson and Tran intended to fill.
And fill it, they did. To their credit, Lumanu’s creators made sure not to create a product that competes with other influencer marketing platforms and then does this one other thing. Instead, it’s designed to act as a standalone, purpose-built tool that complements whatever platform brands are currently using. You won’t find any influencer discovery tools, and the software isn’t going to manage your campaigns. What it will do is act as a dashboard for all your influencers and their content for the purpose of allowing you to convert your influencer content into Facebook and Instagram ads (aka dark posts). And, OK, it doesn’t just do one thing, because it acts as frontend for deploying all these ads—you can create the ads, set your budget and push everything through your influencer accounts to Facebook and Instagram directly from within Lumanu.
Facebook recently validated this theory with the launch of the Branded Content Tool which is also now supported on Instagram to give marketers a capability to boost content. Lumanu allows marketers to do more than they are able to with Facebook’s Branded Content Tool, for example targeting influencer audiences, making edits to influencer copy, running A/B tests between different headlines. In other words, the Branded Content Tool is a good place to start and Lumanu can serve as the advanced version to drive more performance for ROI driven marketing teams.
In designing Lumanu, Johnson and Tran employed the “Do one thing, and do it well” philosophy. Now that you know what it does, the question is: does it do it well?
Pricing is relatively straightforward: pay a flat, monthly access fee and start using Lumanu. The rate is customised to each client, with plans starting at $500. Agencies are billed per client along the same lines.
Working with Lumanu is a simple proposition, with just two sections to navigate between. The first section you’ll deal with is the influencer manager. This is where you add all the influencers you’re working with into the Lumanu database—unlike IRM or Discovery tools, all your influencers stay that way: your influencers. You’re not loading them into some collective database to be found by other brands, you’re adding them to your dashboard so they can grant advertising permissions required for you to target their audiences and amplify & optimise their content.
Adding influencers can be done in bulk through a CSV import, or one at a time if you’ve got an intern you want to punish. Lumanu then spot checks the file and ensures there are no errors in the sheet—things like invalid URLs and deleted FB/IG pages, among others. After resolving any errors, influencers are uploaded to the platform.
From the influencer manager section, you can then get some basic data about the influencers you’ve just loaded. This is also where you invite your influencers to authorise Lumanu to get at their more advanced data. The way Lumanu does this is also different than your average influencer platform, where an influencer is asked to create an account and the platform sucks in all their data and makes it available to everyone. With Lumanu, any influencer you are working with can grant your brand advertising permissions with one click when they join your “SocialCert” network. Lumanu is a Facebook Marketing Partner so everything is secure and vetted, and done via OAuth so it’s trusted by influencers. Your influencers don’t form the relationship with Lumanu like a typical influencer network, rather they grant you, the brand, a one-to-one connection between their account in Facebook/Instagram and your business manager and ad accounts via Lumanu. Once this is done, Lumanu is able to pull in all their content from Facebook and Instagram (including Stories!)—along with the stats covering each post’s performance and engaged audience. This happens through direct API connection, and because your influencers have authenticated it all still works with the recent Facebook data restrictions.
Once your influencers complete the one-click permission granting process, all influencer handles (identities) and content will flow directly into your ad account so your performance marketer can create and optimize influencer dark post ads. Or you can keep using Lumanu to identify content and create and run ad campaigns through their interface.
If you want to run ads for top of funnel objectives, you can use Lumanu to decide which content is ripe for boosting to maximize results—which you’ll do in Lumanu’s other section, SmartBoost Manager. From there, you can search through your influencer content based on many different criteria—including keywords, hashtags, mentions, and more.
SmartBoost Manager is where the amplification magic happens: transforming organic influencer content into paid ads. Once you find the particular piece(s) of content you want to boost, you can set that up right from the dashboard. You don’t need to dive into Facebook Ads Manager to configure campaigns, ad sets and ads. You can simply select the posts you want to reuse along with your target audiences, including the ability to target followers of your influencers as well as lookalikes built of influencer audiences, and you’re done.
One cool feature is the ability to make edits to content - Lumanu lets you do things like stitch together and reorder Instagram story frames along with editing the post copy when setting up ads. All changes and ads are are shown to influencers in their dashboard as well in a “trust & verify” process.
The rest is taken care of by the SmartBoost Manager, which optimizes the distribution of your media based on your objective, taking into account the data you already scrutinised when to select that influencer in the first place. This means finding lookalike audiences for each influencer and advertising directly to them. You can also provide additional targeting guidance by defining filters (audience geography, gender, age) and adding additional Facebook interest audiences. But, if you did your homework the first time around, your best bet is to let SmartBoost do its thing: you like your influencer’s audience when you first contracted her, so you’ll also like these new audiences that share common demo- and psychographics.
Content can be boosted according to your objectives: Reach, Engagement, Link Clicks, and conversions. Unlike an organic post, Lumanu allows you to attach a call to action button (Learn More or Shop Now) to your influencer’s Instagram, Instagram story, and Facebook posts when boosting. You can add a URL to your call to action, along with bit.ly links and UTM parameters to allow you to track performance internally. There’s so much more potential in each of your influencers’ posts, and Lumanu helps you tap into it with incredible efficiency.
Lumanu has no competitors among the many platforms we’ve reviewed here, which isn’t meant as some figure of speech. They literally have no competitors—for now. All good ideas eventually get copied, refined, maybe even improved upon, and it likely won’t be long before Lumanu no longer stands alone. But you shouldn’t check out Lumanu simply because it’s the only platform doing what it does. You should check it out because it’s worth it: you can choose to redeploy content you already know resonates with certain audiences, and the software doesn’t just ensure that more people get to see it. It ensures that more of the right people see it. It does that one thing, and it does it well. And they get bonus points for coming up with the idea in the first place.
Services Offered: Influencer Content Amplification
Channels: Facebook, Instagram