Are you tired of using Google to find influencers? Is your in-house marketing team constantly chasing after influencers with pitches or worrying that the content for your next campaign won’t come in on time?Influencer Marketing software can definitely make life easier.
If you’ve been taking a DIY or manual approach to influencer marketing, it’s time to give software a try. Available in a variety of editions, with a range of features, there is a type of software out there that’s the right fit for your brand.
What Is Influencer Marketing Software?
As the business portal Alpha Gamma notes, influencer marketing software can do two things. It lets you find and connect with influencers. It can also helps you put together a complete influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing software is occasionally a form of software as a service (SaaS). Your company purchases a subscription to the SaaS, which is centrally hosted.
SaaS offers several benefits over other forms of software. For one thing, updates are automatic, and you don’t have to keep purchasing updated versions or wait for the company to issue a patch or correction. As Microsoft notes, SaaS usually has a very low upfront cost and is often simple to set up.
Ideally, software automates and streamlines much of the process of putting together an influencer marketing campaign. The best type of software works with a brand, marketer, or other client through every step of the influencer marketing process.
Types of Influencer Marketing Software
A 2015 study from Augere and Schlesinger Associates identified several challenges marketers face when putting together an influencer marketing campaign or strategy. The biggest challenge, according to three-quarters of the survey’s respondents, was finding the right influencers.
Other problems included measuring performance, tracking influencer activity, and automating the engagement process. While there’s no “one-size-fits-all” option when it comes to influencer marketing software, many programs do help marketers overcome the most common challenges. Here are a few examples of the types of software that are out there:
An influencer marketing database puts the names and details of influencers at your fingertips, solving the number one challenge marketers face. Some databases let you contact the influencers directly while others provide you with the influencers’ contact information, then expect you to get in touch with them on your own.
An influencer marketplace is similar to a database in some ways, but offers more features. For example, you can not only find influencers through a marketplace, you can also initiate contact with them, set up an escrow for paying influencers, and manage all aspects of content creation and approval through the marketplace.
What if you already have a stable full of influencers, but need a way to build campaigns, manage payments and handle distribution of content? SaaS that focuses on the needs of influencer networks or talent agencies, rather than on brands or marketers who need influencers, can help.
Part of running a successful influencer marketing campaign is amplifying the content, increasing the number of people who see and share it. Although content amplification is often included as a feature in influencer marketing software, it is also available as a stand alone program, ideal for brands or marketers on a super tight budget.
Features to Look for in Influencer Marketing Software
Although the exact features you’ll need from an influencer marketing software program will vary based on whether you’re an agency, a brand, or a talent network, there are generally a few features that can benefit all users. Here’s a short list of the most important features your software should offer:
Influencer Search & Scoring. Ideally, your influencer marketing software and service lets you find influencers in your niche who fit your budget and brand. The best software scores influencers by engagement and follower levels. Even better versions use AI or algorithms to match you with the perfect fit for you brand.
Contracts & Communication. Once you find ideal influencers, your software should facilitate direct connections with them through the platform. The process of making contact, negotiating terms, and overseeing progress should be simple and straightforward. You should be able to make bids and receive counter-offers from influencers.
Campaign Management Tools. Your software should allow you to monitor and manage your influencers and content creators from pitch to placement. Look for software that gives both personalized support and the freedom to take the reigns. This is especially important when working with multiple influencers across a variety of campaigns.
Seamless Influencer Transactions: You want to make sure you’re happy with the work before issuing payment. Software programs can hold payment in escrow. That ensures influencers receive compensation upon campaign completion and streamline the entire process. All of it adds transparency and credibility.
Content Amplification: Influencer marketing software should not only allow you to distribute content across a number of channels. It should also help you amplify the content, by having a team of influencers share it with their followers. The best software lets you automate the distribution process. That means you can schedule posts to go live on a specific date and time.
Detailed Analytics Reporting. You want to be able to track the performance of the posts or content you create. Ideally, the software shows you in-depth engagement analytics and uses third-party software to ensure traffic isn’t artificially inflated by bots.
Make Influencer Marketing Software Work for Your Brand
Knowing what your brand needs will help you pick the software edition and program that works best for you. Your software can also grow as your brand grows. For example, you might only need a pay-per-click content amplification program today. But as your campaigns become more complex and your budget for influencer marketing increases, you might one day switch to a full-service influencer marketing software program.