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Does your brand need help working with social media influencers? Consider using an influencer marketing platform to do some of the heavy lifting.

An influencer marketing platform is a software tool that helps brands with different aspects of influencer marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing platforms offer features like enormous databases that brands can search to find the right influencers to partner with on campaigns. If this sounds helpful, consider the following as you research different platforms.

What You Should Know Before You Start

As you get started, keep the following in mind to guide your search:

  • Look for an influencer marketing platform that helps you find legitimate influencers with real followings. Unfortunately, fraud is rampant in this lucrative market. Some influencers buy followers who may not even exist. Make sure your platform can identify reputable influencers.
  • Make sure you’ve identified your target market before you start looking for an influencer marketing platform. You’ll want a platform that can find influencers who are relevant to your specific audience.
  • Give serious thought to an influencer marketing platform that has existing relationships with the right influencers for your brand. You don’t want to spend time and money with a platform only to find that you won’t get the connections you need.
  • Brush up on current FTC regulations about disclosing paid influencer posts. Choose a platform that can connect you with influencers who have good reputations for endorsement transparency. Make sure your social media marketing team and influencers are well versed in the latest disclosure rules, too.
  • Know the social media channels your target market is most active on. You’ll want a platform that can connect your brand with influencers on the most relevant social media channels for your market.

What Types Are Available?

Different types of influencer marketing platforms are available for a variety of campaign needs. They include:

  • Full-service: With a full-service platform, brands have the option of letting platform staff do a lot of the legwork, like finding the right influencers. It’s a soup-to-nuts approach that can handle just about any stage or aspect of influencer marketing.
  • Self-service: Brands work with self-service platforms when they’re planning to do a lot of the work themselves. Self-service platforms can also be better options for small businesses with smaller budgets.

What Do They Do?

Influencer marketing platforms can perform a number of important tasks that help brands and marketers save time. These include:

  • Assisting with native advertising campaigns
  • Researching influencer metrics and costs
  • Searching influencers by language, topics, age, location, gender, level of influence and keywords
  • Finding influencers on different social media channels that are relevant for your market, such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
  • Helping your brand create and manage content
  • Tracking influencer marketing campaign results
  • Helping your brand turn top customers into influencers who’ll tout the brand
  • Boosting the reach of influencer content

How Do You Choose an Influencer Marketing Platform?

Think about your brand’s needs, budget and the tools and relationships your team already has in place. Find a platform that fills in any gaps and also complements what your team does well.

Choose a platform that’s a good fit for the stage you’re in with your influencer marketing campaign. If you’re at the discovery stage and just want to find the right influencers, some platforms are more dedicated to search and analysis. Other platforms are better for campaign stages such as activation or content amplification. Meanwhile, an all-in-one platform covers all the bases.