Services Offered: Influencer Discovery, Relationship Management, Campaign Management
Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogs
If the history of influencer marketing could be measured on a geological timescale, Traackr is a company that’s been around since the early Paleozoic. Founded way back in the prehistoric days of 2008, Traackr is as old as the industry itself. Like any good prehistoric beast that’s somehow survived through eons, a little adaptation (or a fullscale evolution) is at the heart of its staying power.
Back in 2008, Traackr emerged with a product that might even have seemed utterly pointless at the time: a way for users of various social media channels to measure the reach of—and response to—their posts. It might seem obvious to us in the present what a service like that is good for, but back then? Not so much. This CNET post from 2008 goes into detail about what Traackr did, but the author never mentions why it might be useful. The closest the piece comes to a reason is the inclusion of Traackr’s logo at the time, along with its tagline, “Promote Yourself.”
By the end of 2009, however, there was a much clearer reason for all of this, when Traackr released something called the Online Authority List. A precursor to influencer search platforms, the OAL allowed marketers to find and track social personalities with big followings in the hopes of recruiting them for marketing campaigns. This article refers to such people as “influential online voices,” because no one had thought to refer to them as influencers yet. This is how long Traackr’s been at it: they’ve been providing tools for influencer marketing before it even had a name.
And here we are, eight years later. The industry has steadily evolved to the point where we can call it an industry, and Traackr’s grown right alongside it. Or, rather, right in front of it. Currently, the company specialises in influencer relationship management, and they’ve built out an impressive online platform towards that end. It includes a wealth of campaign management tools, but the real focus in 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. With this kind of long-term vision as the foundation of its software’s benefits, the promise of Traackr is that it makes creating and maintaining these relationships easy, no matter how many influencers a company might be working with at any given moment.
Summary: Quick Jump Menu
Access to the platform is granted through annual or multiyear subscriptions. For specific pricing, you’ll need to talk to Traackr directly, but in general the platform is a good fit for medium to large sized companies.
There are three different subscription levels on offer, each tailored to different needs:
- Agency — This is geared to marketing firms that already have internal systems in place to manage talent and campaigns. It includes the ability to search for influencers and get access to all the data stored about that influencer’s content (reach, engagement, etc.). Social listening tools are also included to monitor and participate in influencer conversations.
- Enterprise — For companies with their own marketing departments, this has everything the Agency plan has, plus everything else you need to run your influencer marketing campaigns. It comes with a full suite of tools for managing influencer relationships, centralised communication, performance measurement, and collaboration between internal and external teams.
- Premium — This is everything included in the Enterprise plan, but on a global scale. For large multinationals, it enables unified collaboration and governance across the entire organisation. Premium subscribers also get Advanced Analytics & Insights, and access to other premium services (more on that in the details).
The focus with Traackr is the influencer relationship, so searching for influencers on the platform doesn’t end with you organising favorites into a list. Searching on the platform does begin with a pretty comprehensive search through Traackr’s database of influencers, though. The influencer discovery function offers a dizzying number of options to search and filter by: topic keyword, locations, languages, influencer age and gender, brand affinities, and social channel. Using their new Audience Analysis tool you can also filter by those same criteria (and more) for the influencers’ followers.
As for the influencers themselves, the database isn’t an opt-in network, but it’s also not entirely automated, either. Humans are involved in its curation, and there’s an algorithm that goes out and gathers all the data. If there’s an influencer you want to work with who isn’t in the database, you can manually enter their username from one service, and Traackr goes out and finds all of their social channels, then indexes posts and statistics. Influencer data is also analysed so that each person in the database gets a score on two metrics—Reach and Resonance—ranking them relative to everyone else on the platform.
Once you’ve added influencers to your network, Traackr gives you plenty of ways to organise them. You can group them according to topic, tier, and brand affiliations, among others. When you’ve created campaigns on the platform, you can group influencers into these, as well—and as you’d expect. But Traackr offers another way to organise your influencers: relationship stage. This is a unique feature, in that it makes it easy to segment your influencers based on, essentially, how close you are. If it’s someone you’ve just interacted with a couple times, you’d put them in the “Aware” group. Have you developed a rapport? They’re “Engaged.” Have they posted on your behalf or mentioned you positively? “Advocate.” What’s great about this is how much it simplifies collaboration across the marketing team. Anyone in your organisation can know at a glance where you’re at with an influencer, and adjust her approach accordingly. The goal, or course, is to move everyone over to “Advocate.”
In addition to the standard performance data about influencers’ social profiles, Traackr offers plenty of space to customise the data you store about them. Team members can add notes about interactions, and store any other relevant information—maybe their shirt size, if you’re sending samples to them. All communications—and I mean all communications, like emails and social interactions—are stored on Traackr, too, so no one misses anything.
There are two other standout tools for managing influencer relationships: one is a social listening tool that lets you track influencer content in real time. You can filter by keywords, hashtags, platforms, and more, so that you’re presented only with the conversations are of interest. If you want to add to these conversations, you can do it right from Traackr, making quick work of staying meaningfully engaged. The other tool is the network visualisation map, which shows you how influencers are connected to other people both in and out of your network. I’ve seen tools like this before, but Traackr’s is easier to make sense of and work with. Using the map, you can get a feel for both those who are influencing your influencer, and those who are just under the influence. In either case it’s an opportunity to expand your own network and make contact with people who are already established, or those who are are on their way up.
With that kind of attention to detail on the relationship management side, it’s no surprise that the campaign tools are as thorough as they are. Campaigns are easily organised, and Traackr’s collaboration tools simplify communication and ownership among team members. For each project, it’s easy to track influencers’ progress with their campaign content. Once content goes live, you can monitor its performance and track which influencers are getting you the most value. Post performance can also be tracked by keyword, to give you an idea of how much your campaign is influencing the conversation. You can see the Traackr approach in the anayltics you get, where the goals they’re measuring are your actual influence, rather than just a collection of numbers of showing reach and engagement.
All of these details describe the full suite of tools available with the Enterprise plan. With Premium, all of this can be done globally with more complex and distributed teams. At that level too, even big companies with huge marketing departments might want some help. This is where Traackr goes steps outside the realm of self-service platform and into professional services, helping develop strategies, define goals, and create workflows to “operationalise your influencer platform.” And that’s my one problem with Traackr. “Operationalise” isn’t a real word.
The Traackr database, and the platform of management tools they’ve built around it, is the result of the company’s slow and steady growth over the last decade. At the heart of it is a vision of what they think influencer marketing is supposed to be. Traackr hasn’t shifted its focus away from the slow and deliberate dance of growing an influencer network that makes brands more influential. They’ve never tried to create a marketplace of content, nor have they tailored a solution to companies looking to do quick-hit sales campaigns. With Traackr, influencer marketing is about marketing to the influencer, with the goal of earning influence with their audiences. As a brand grows its network, and creates campaigns to build awareness, they can start more conversations with greater reach—all while having a huge part in those conversations. That’s the kind of influence that reaps long term rewards, like better and more loyal customers.