When you hear the word “ecosystem,” the first thing that comes to mind might be nature. The term often refers to the interaction of living things in a particular environment. But an ecosystem can also be a complicated network or system. In the case of an influencer marketing ecosystem, it’s exactly that. An Influencer marketing ecosystem is a software program or platforms that let marketers or brands handle all aspects of an influencer marketing campaign.

Everything is connected in influencer marketing ecosystems. That makes it is easier to move from point to point during an influencer marketing campaign. You can use the system to find the influencers you want to work with. Then you can work within the system to create the content and pay your influencers.

Like ecosystems in the natural world, influencer marketing ecosystems are constantly evolving and adapting to changes in the influencer environment. The role you play in influencer marketing also determines the type of influencer marketing ecosystem that will work best for you.

Who Should Use Influencer Marketing Ecosystems?

Several roles exist in the world of influencer marketing. And, there is a software program, or ecosystem, that’s just right for each of them. It doesn’t matter if you are a brand looking to produce your own influencer content or an agency looking to sell content to brands. Both can benefit from the use of influencer marketing ecosystems.

Influencer Marketing Ecosystem for Brands

Some brands take a DIY approach to influencer marketing. They want to look for a program or platform that allows them to find and connect with influencers, create content, and handle all other aspects of the influencer marketing workflow. Brands with a limited budget might need to choose programs that operate on a pay-as-you-go or pay-per-click basis. You can usually scale the features and functions of an influencer marketing program as your needs and budget evolve.

Influencer Marketing Ecosystem for Agencies

Some agencies seek a better way to manage a network of influencers. For them, an influencer marketing ecosystem can provide all the functions and tools they need. These features include the ability to create and distribute influencer content, and ensure influencers get paid.

Influencer Marketing Ecosystem for Media companies

Some companies work on both sides of the fence. These often represent brands who need influencer marketing. Others represent influencers who are looking for brands for sponsored partnership. Some do both. If that describes you, you want a full-service influencer marketing ecosystem. If you are able to put your brand’s label on it (known as “white labeling”), that’s even better.

Why Use an Influencer Marketing Ecosystem?

Influencer marketing ecosystems eliminate a considerable amount of marketers’ stress and headache. Many influencer marketing ecosystems contain everything to manage an influencer campaign from start to finish.

When you use influencer marketing software or ecosystems, everything that’s part of a campaign is located in the same spot.  Shuffle no more through piles of paperwork or jam-packed email inboxes looking for an important document or communication. Everything’s just a click away in the software program.

What to Look for in an Influencer Marketing Ecosystem

What an influencer marketing ecosystem can do for you, and the features you should look for, all depend on the role you play and what you plan on doing with influencer marketing. The best influencer marketing programs are custom-built to meet customers’ specific needs.

A few Influencer Marketing Ecosystem features to keep an eye out for include:

Influencer discovery

If you are a brand that’s searching for influencers, the ability to discover or find people who connect with the right audience and who have a solid track record of engaging with followers might be one of the most crucial features in an influencer marketing ecosystem.

Influencer contact

After you’ve found the influencers, being able to contact them and get the ball rolling on a campaign (within the same ecosystem) is very useful. If you’re a media company or agency, you want to look for a program that lets you onboard your own group of influencers, so that you can use the platform to communicate with them and manage various aspects of your campaigns.

Content creation

Whether you want to create influencer content for your own brand or are supervising the creation of content for a roster of clients, having the ability to manage all aspects of the creation process through an influencer platform is a must. Some ecosystems also include tools to ensure that the created content complies with disclosure rules.

Content distribution

While your influencers will share the content with their own groups of followers, being able to increase the opportunity for content distribution and promotion is an important feature to look for in any influencer marketing platform. The more people your content reaches, the better your odds for success.

Content measurement

If you’re a brand, you’re going to want to see how the influencer content performs. Software that tracks shares, likes and other signs of engagement can help you determine if an influencer was a good fit, and help you decide what, if anything, needs changing for next time.

Budgeting and influencer payment

Software that helps you to set a budget and that oversees the payment of influencers after you’ve approved a campaign can help to save you a lot of hassle and stress, whether you’re a brand or an agency.

Get Ready to Use an Influencer Marketing Ecosystem

If you’re ready to give an influencer marketing ecosystem a shot, it’s a good idea to try before you buy. You don’t want to invest in a program or platform that’s not right for your company.

Research and contact a few influencer marketing software companies. Then, ask each to provide you with a demonstration of how the program works. Ideally, the companies will also explain to you the benefits of the platforms for your particular needs.

You wouldn’t want to work with the first influencer who crosses your path. So, you don’t necessarily want to work with the first influencer marketing platform that comes along. Make sure you’ve got the right fit. And, make sure the influencer marketing ecosystem has the features you need for a successful campaign.

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