With many options at your fingertips, selecting the right influencer marketing platform can be overwhelming. This article will give you a checklist for evaluating influencer marketing platforms so you can make an informed decision.
Essential influencer marketing platform features
Selecting a great influencer marketing platform is dependent upon your goals, program, and team size. For example, larger organizations need tools that help them optimize workflows, standardize processes and reporting, and manage hierarchy and permissions across various teams.
Smaller organizations tend to optimize for features that enable affiliate programs and gifting campaigns. Regardless of your team’s size, there are a few features that are essential:
1. Influencer search
You must be able to find influencers that fit your brand. A great way to evaluate whether an influencer marketing platform can help you with this is by evaluating the breadth and depth of its database:
- How many influencer profiles does the platform have? Is it an opt-in network (limited) or does it collect public data?
- Are the profiles vetted for quality and aggregated to provide a 360 degree perspective?
- Which social platforms are tracked?
- Is the database global?
- How far back does its influencer data go? And when was it last updated?
As most influencer marketers know, finding the right influencers can be time-consuming without an influencer marketing platform. Make influencer discovery more efficient with an influencer marketing tool that offers the ability to layer parameters like:
- In-depth content. Find influencers based on mentions of your brand, competitors, topics of interest, and hashtags.
- Influencer attributes. Find influencers by job title, gender, location, language, platform, follower count, and engagement rate.
- Audience criteria. Filter your search by specifying audience gender, age, family status, interests, brand affinity, location, occupation, and income level.
2. Influencer statistics for vetting
It’s essential for an influencer marketing platform to provide you with influencer statistics and audience insights, so you can determine whether their followers will resonate with your brand.
Having access to the right influencer data helps you intelligently grow your influencer community. A great influencer marketing platform should give you the ability to search by various qualities, for example:
- Performance across social media channels. Does the platform give you a full view of the creator’s influence across all their social profiles?
- Audience breakdown by platform. If the influencer is on multiple platforms, what are their followings and audience demographics for each?
- Content reach and resonance. How many folks are likely to see the influencer’s content, and how many will interact or engage with their content?
- Audience credibility. Is the influencer’s audience real? Or do they have a high percentage of bots and suspicious accounts?
- Average engagement rate and video view rate. Does the influencer’s content perform well, relative to their audience size?
- Audience and engagement rate growth. Has the influencer had consistent performance and growth over the past few months?
- Brand safety. Does the influencer represent the values and qualities that you want associated with your brand? Or have they talked about sensitive topics that could damage your reputation?
Customer Story: Check out how BFGoodrich used Traackr’s influencer marketing platform to find and successfully work with a whole new category of influencers.
3. Influencer gifting management
Product seeding campaigns are an essential strategy for brands of all sizes. Planning this type of campaign can be difficult because there are so many moving parts. You’ll want an influencer marketing tool with capabilities designed to save your team time, while also making all of their activities as efficient as possible:
- Organic influencer discovery. In addition to having a powerful influencer search feature, your influencer marketing platform should help you discover influencers who are mentioning your brand organically on all social platforms. The best influencer gifting campaigns are the ones towards partners who have organic brand love!
- Relationship management. Communication with influencers for gifting campaigns can also be optimized by influencer marketing platforms. For example, Traackr helps marketers conduct outreach and manage inbound partnership inquiries with branded landing pages, easy-to-share briefs, and email invites to influencers for opt-in campaigns.
- Real-time content tracking. An influencer marketing platform should track influencer posts in real-time, allowing you to focus on evaluating the quality of the content, engaging with your community, or following up with other folks from your mailing list.
- In-depth reporting. Campaign reporting is one of the more difficult tasks to do without a proper influencer marketing platform. The right tool should analyze the performance of the campaign as a whole and each individual influencer’s contribution. How many times did they post? What kind of engagement or video view rate did they get? When you cross reference performance metrics with the cost of sending product, how efficient was the campaign?
Customer Story: Check out how Bite Toothpaste Bits used Traackr’s influencer marketing platform to power their successful gifting campaign!
4. Paid influencer campaign management
Unlike gifting campaigns, which are often said to be budget-friendly, paid influencer collaborations can be pricey. An influencer marketing platform should help you make confident decisions about your paid campaigns. Consider looking for an influencer marketing software that has features like:
- Historical influencer data. Data on historical engagement, video view rates, and audience demographics to evaluate whether your potential partners are worth the investment. You should be able to see if the influencer has worked with competitors or mentioned your product category, and gauge whether their audience is receptive to sponsored posts.
- Content performance analysis. You should keep an eye on how content is performing as your campaign runs (and after). An influencer marketing platform should provide you with info on total mentions, total engagements, engagement rates, number of impressions, video view rates, and more.
- Track your spend. Stay on top of your influencer program spend across influencers, tiers, campaigns, brands, and markets and understand who is driving the greatest impact.
5. Social commerce and affiliate program management
When running social commerce and affiliate campaigns, there are specific capabilities that you’ll want in an influencer marketing platform to drive sales with your influencer partners (and track attribution).
- Ecommerce integration. In order to track conversions, you should be able to embed your influencer marketing platform’s code on any ecommerce site.
- Link and conversion tracking. In order to enable affiliate and conversion campaigns, your influencer marketing platform should allow you to create, assign, and share tracking links with your influencers.
- Attribution modeling. You should have the ability to define attribution models and commission structures.
- Commission payment. Your influencer marketing platform should be able to calculate influencer commissions and allow you to send payments to partners (in any currency you need).
6. Influencer relationship management
A lot of successful influencer marketing programs get their power from loyal influencer communities. An influencer marketing platform can help you by acting like a customer relationship management tool (CRM), providing historical documentation of every relationship in one place. Some features include:
- Relationship documentation. Much like a CRM, it’s important to be able to have one place that records the history of interactions. Which teammate owns the relationship? Which campaigns has the influencer been a part of? Has the influencer stated certain preferences (products, campaign types, communication style, etc.)? Having this available in one place removes guesswork and manual work.
- Optimized collaboration. A good influencer marketing platform is built to make your team more organized and aligned. Your platform should allow you to set custom workflows for organic, paid, and affiliate campaigns, and track relationships with notes, tasks, and custom data.
- Influencer groupings. It is likely that you will be working with cohorts of influencers, not just one at a time. A great influencer marketing platform will give you the ability to group influencer partners by campaigns, and by interests, location, and more.
- Streamlined influencer communication. Wish that you could cut down on back-and-forth emails? An influencer marketing tool that provides relationship management can streamline campaign coordination with influencers at scale where you send personalized emails to your influencers in bulk and track ongoing conversations for visibility across your teams.
Customer Story: Looking for examples of brands that have done a good job of building an influencer community? Check out IMAGE Skincare’s story.
7. Influencer marketing spend, ROI and campaign analytics
Last but not least, you need to know the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns, track your spend and predict the impact of your campaigns with an influencer marketing platform that has comprehensive measurement capabilities.
Understand ROI. Get the full picture for performance and investment efficiency by:
- Measuring apples to apples across campaigns with transparent KPIs for reach, engagement, conversions, and more.
- Measuring the cumulative impact of all campaigns and organic activations and comparing brands and regions.
- Analyzing the performance and efficiency of your investments using KPIs like cost-per-view, cost-per-engagement, cost-per click, and more to guide future budget allocation.
Calculate your budget. Confidently negotiate influencer compensation with suggested fees based on past performance and allocate campaign budgets accordingly.
Spend tracking and budget optimization. Influencer marketing platforms that help you track spend and analyze performance across influencers, platforms, and campaigns will help you optimize your ROI and invest in the right strategies. Your software should calculate spend efficiency metrics like CPP (cost per post), CPE (cost per engagement), CPVID (cost per video), CPV (cost per video view), and CPSV (cost per story view).
Competitive benchmarking. Your influencer marketing platform should give you a way to measure the performance of your brand against your competitors.
Downloadable reports. Your platform should have downloadable Excel and Powerpoint reports to reduce the time it takes to pull and format data.
If you’re investing in influencer campaigns, you need an influencer marketing software that will drive performance. We also have an RFP template that can be used to evaluate influencer marketing platforms. With this template you can evaluate different influencer marketing software against each other to see which solution is best suited to meet your goals.