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Influencer Marketing Software 2021: Complete Guide

Learn what is Influencer Marketing and how to choose the right Influencer Marketing software

Last updated: Feb 23, 2021

Influencer Marketing Software 2021: Complete Guide

What is Influencer Marketing?

The internet and social media have made mass communication democratic – anyone can speak to anyone now. So, anyone who puts out engaging, entertaining, useful content can be discovered by peers and can rise in popularity so long as their content remains relevant to their audiences. Such people, in a nutshell, are ‘Influencers’. Influencers become known for their special knowledge about their topic(s) and are seen as reliable go-to people for anything related to their topics. Naturally, they wield tremendous soft power on their followers’ purchase decisions. Hence the term ‘Influencer’.

Influencer Marketing uses this phenomenon to get the word out about a brand or product among carefully considered audience segments. For brands, Influencer Marketing works very well. They get to ride the trust that defines the relationship between influencers and their followers. The flip side of this, of course, is that the brand must fit well within this relationship. The brand’s promises and ethos must fit into the theme that the influencer has built as the basis of their relationship with their followers.

Influencer Marketing involves marketing to the influencer just as much as marketing to the end audience. Everything that a business does to engage their market, they must also do to build relationships with influencers. Businesses must find influencers who are just right to reflect and amplify the brand, target them, convince them to enter into a relationship with the brand, engage them formally, and provide them with ‘product support’, viz., namely product/brand experience and specially purposed information, which they can then use to tell their audience about their experience with the product/brand. The best Influencer-business relationships are patiently built and are genuine. The outcome from such relationships tends to be deeper and longer-lasting brand loyalty from the influencers and their audiences.

It’s about finding opportunities to build relationships with people who touch your potential customers in some way. These are the people who will help you achieve more, with less. If you earn their trust, you will be invited into those new audiences you crave.

E W

Evy Wilkens

Influencer Marketing Expert

Influencers are classified by the media they most use and their audience reach.

Blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and social media platforms are the media most commonly used by influencers. Every audience has a signature use-pattern across these media, which depends on the characteristics of both, the particular audience and the media platforms. For example, professional groups tend to use long-form written formats like blogs, whose appeal is the possible depth of content. On the other hand, a food appreciation group would gravitate to the visual appeal of photograph-sharing platforms.

By reach, influencers are mega, macro, micro, nano, with mega-influencers commanding their influence over very large audiences, often in the millions, to micro in the tens of thousands, to nano-influencers guiding opinions of intimate groups, no larger than a few hundred. The size of the audience has a definite impact on the type and quality of conversations possible. For example, a B2C brand looking to generate brand awareness in a new market may choose to engage with a celebrity mega-influencer to become visible to a huge audience. A niche luxury brand, on the other hand, would do well to identify an appropriate micro or nano-influencer to speak intimately with their small, discerning audience about the brand’s specialties.

What is Influencer Marketing Software?

Executing robust Influencer Marketing campaigns can be effort and time-intensive. Happily, many Influencer Marketing Software exists that can take over much of the drudgery. Beyond that, the software can take the sophistication of your campaigns to a level unthinkable without them.

Influencer discovery, for example, can take weeks of intensive searching on social media, monitoring individuals to assess their persona, and shortlisting likely profiles. Influencer Marketing Software, on the other hand, can provide a ready list of influencers, including details of their online personality and influence-related statistics. Although there is some variance among individual platforms, Influencer Marketing Software can provide complex criteria-based search capabilities.

Many Influencer Marketing platforms also assist the business in managing Influencer relationships. The brand engages with influencers through the platforms inbuilt communication modules (email, messaging, file-sharing, and so on). Contracting is simplified, and payment gateways and wallets enable commercial transactions.

Other capabilities that various Influencer Marketing platforms bring to the table include content creation and management, campaign management, and progress tracking. The platform tracks influencer initiation and participation in topics of interest to the brand. The content can be monitored and brand-specific tweaks proposed to the influencer in real-time. The platform can be set up to alert the brand’s team when the content of interest is published, and the brand can ensure the early reaction to it and promote such influencer-initiated content.

Platforms also offer reporting and analytics that can enhance decision-making and help fine-tune further campaigns. As any marketer looking to include Influence Marketing in their arsenal knows, these capabilities can account for a significant uptick in both, the efficiency and the impact of Influencer Marketing.

7 Benefits of Influencer Marketing Software

Using Influencer Marketing Software is not about automating everything about influencer marketing – it is not advisable in any case to settle for anything less than human for strategizing – but about using this specialized tool to greatly enhance process efficiency.

Grow Revenue

Influencer Marketing Software enables businesses to acquire customers through influencer’s network. This is a faster way to acquire new customers and also helps in faster conversions, thereby boosting revenue growth.

There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them

M G

Malcolm Goldwell

Author, Public Speaker

Reach Right Audience

Influencer Marketing Software helps businesses to not only connect with the right target audience but also deliver valuable and relevant content to them. This helps greatly to improve engagement quality.

Increase Brand Trust

When an influencer recommends or endorses a product, it boosts the credibility of the product, thereby greatly enhancing the trustworthiness of the brand. Buyers tend to be more receptive to the offerings and the messages will not be perceived too pushy by the audience.

Increase Brand Awareness

Influencer Marketing Software enables marketers to reach large audiences through influencers and also they are more engaged. So the brand awareness increases dramatically and the recall value is higher.

Enhance Content Strategy

With Influencer Marketing Software, marketers can design and co-create with influencers genuinely innovative and relevant communication assets and plans for the best impact with target audiences. This helps overall in a better content strategy.

Cost-Effectiveness

Micro-Influencers can be cost-effective for businesses as they help in getting focused and targeted audiences. Influencer Marketing Software platforms offer an easy way to search, identify, and recruit the right influencers.

Because they are personally invested in their crafts, micro-influencers are trusted sources of recommendations for followers.‘The Game’ isn’t just getting eyeballs; but getting eyeballs that care!

S P

Sidney Pierucci

Digital Marketing Expert

Build and Manage Partnerships

The software helps to monitor and manage entire influencer campaigns through the framework. It helps to manage influencer relationships in terms of both, the transactional aspects and the softer, nurturing aspects, across diverse types of influencers.

7 Benefits of Influencer Marketing Software

Industries that use Influencer Marketing Software

Influencers and opportunities for Influencer Marketing are most apparent in the food, fashion and beauty, and tourism industries. Influencer Marketing, however, is by no means limited to them. Automobiles, domestic appliances, interiors and furnishing accessories, electronics, salons and spas, gyms and health equipment, and several other B2C industries employ Influencer Marketing.

Influencer Marketing can be very impactful in B2B industries, given their large deal sizes with possibly long-standing strategic implications for the purchaser business. ‘Influence’ in the B2B space tends to stem from the Influencer’s professional accomplishments and business alignment. When a brand engages with influencers in a B2B Influencer Marketing campaign, it helps establish the brand as an industry thought leader among the influencers’ audiences. Influencer Marketing is used in diverse B2B sectors, from high technology to convention services.

Why is Influencer Marketing Important?

As organic as the process of marketing through influencers is, the operational nitty-gritty of getting it off the ground can be daunting.

  • Creating an influencer profile (or several profiles) most apt to the brand’s objectives
  • Searching out adequate numbers of influencers with the right profile(s)
  • Engaging effectively with them,
  • Co-creating communication plans and packages
  • Rolling out said communication and managing campaigns
  • Monitoring and evaluating campaigns applying the best methods with apt parameters
  • Managing and nurturing influencer relationships

Influencer Marketing Software does not just ease each of the above tasks, but also expands their scope and tightens their efficiency, both, to an extent that is incomparable to what can be achieved without software.

5 Key Features of Influencer Marketing Software

Influencer Marketing Software comes in various feature configurations depending on their media channel and clientele focus. Broadly, these are the core features offered:

Influencer Identification, Qualification, Recruiting

The Software provides access to a vast swath of influencers, from among whom, the marketing team can select the most appropriate profiles using specialized search engines, and proceed to initiate the recruitment process. Also called Search and Discovery Engines, this feature represents the first big step that makes software indispensable for this manner of marketing.

Influencer Engagement and Monitoring

Having located influencers most suitable to the brand and the current campaign, the marketing team can engage and enter into contracts with them. After recruitment, the software also provides a CRM-like atmosphere to manage influencer engagement and to monitor their campaign performance.

Integration with Media Channels

Influencer Marketing Software usually provides seamless linking with several social media channels depending on the particular software’s focus. Some even enable easy linking to offline channels.

Campaign Content Management

Content co-creation, rules-based managing of the brand’s influencer content, making content nuggets (such as logos, images, text snippets, etc.) readily available to influencers – this feature supports these activities.

Measurement, Analytics, Reporting

In addition to the activities that the above modules enable, they also fulfill the valuable function of capturing associated data. Naturally, this lends itself to pre-planned measurement of process data, the analysis and reporting of which is used to monitor performance real-time, and for post-campaign analysis.

Professional Services

Many vendors of Influencer Marketing Software also offer professional services to identify and recruit influencers, create content, and manage campaigns.

AI in Influencer Marketing Software

Influencer Marketing is a special form of marketing in that it involves at least two layers of marketing, first, to the influencer, and then, to the target audience through the influencer. Of course, the payoff in terms of conversion and long-term value is very attractive when it is done right. Getting it right involves making the right calls about human behavior at various points in the process, which, as we have seen above, involves collecting and parsing nuanced data at all those points.

The types of influencers, their sheer numbers, the platforms they operate on, and the variety in their audiences, in addition to the brand’s characteristics – all these amounts to a huge amount of data to be analyzed for optimal influencer engagement. Predictably, Artificial Intelligence transforms the effectiveness of Influencer Marketing.

Analytics are critical in understanding the level of engagement between influencers and their followers.

F J 2

Forbes June 2020

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence of Influencer Marketing

AI is harnessed to analyze all types of data in Influencer Marketing. Even voice and image recognition are par for the course, which makes it possible to include audio-visual data germane to the required analysis but which do not carry relevant textual metadata. For instance, AI can be used to incorporate appearances of the brand’s packaging graphics, or the number of times and the context in which the brand is mentioned on a platform, as part of performance analysis. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is used to glean clues about influencer classification, which are then used in modules used to discover influencers by profile. AI is also used for sentiment analysis to gauge the emotional content of conversations and the quality of the relationship between influencer and followers.

Once a brand has accumulated some experience with AI-based Influencer Marketing, AI can be used to synthesize a typical Influencer Marketing campaign for the brand. Based on this, it can make recommendations for influencers, content specifications, campaign parameters, and so on to jumpstart the next round.

Fraud, in Influencer Marketing, takes the form of faked influencer profile and history, and faked and/or bought followership to present a much-inflated view of the value offered to the marketer. Monitoring and tracking influencer profiles, their content output, and the quality of engagement of the followers is a job tailored for AI.

Buyer’s Guide: 5 Factors to Consider to Choose the Right Influencer Marketing Software

B2B vs B2C

The type of target audience plays a key role in the choice of software. Some software could be more specific B2C markets while some will cater to B2B needs. The way the campaigns are run, content and promotion done could vary between consumer and business-oriented markets. Even within B2C, it is important to analyze whether the platform supports businesses within your industry.

Buyers are recommended to consider peer reviews and expert opinions that are extensively available on Cuspera before making buying decisions. Cuspera’s AI based engine guides you through the requirement process to help you choose the right software.

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Feature Support

The range of features supported can be a deciding factor while choosing the right software. The social media channels supported by the platform, the ability to support unlimited campaigns, multiple campaigns, and engagement tools provided, the ability to measure campaign performance metrics and associated analytics can be critical considerations.

Additional factors to consider -does the solution offer such essentials as influencer scoring and ranking, and contracting modules, as part of influencer engagement? Are work measurement, evaluation, and payment systems in place?

Ease of Use

The software should be easy to use in terms of search and discovery of influencers. The process flow to recruit and engage influencers should be smooth and easy to use.

Pricing

The cost of operationalizing the Influencer Marketing strategy not only includes the cost of software, but also the cost of recruiting and retaining influencers. So for organizations who have marketing budget constraints, ROI on software can be crucial. So it is important to consider the right pricing plan. Availability of free trial can reduce the risk to some extent.

Integrations

The platform should integrate with the rest of the marketing ecosystem like marketing automation, social media monitoring, CMS. This is important to provide seamless experience.

Challenges in Adopting Influencer Marketing Software

Requirements gathering

Thorough requirements gathering isn’t easy but is essential before software-hunting. The efficacy of any solution is limited by the clarity of the problem it is supposed to solve. How well your business understands for itself what kind of Influencer Marketing it should undertake will determine how suitable the selected software is to your actual requirements, and after that, how fully you are able to use the software’s potential.

Data privacy concerns

Although Influencer Marketing Platforms are a late innovation that has, since inception, had today’s hyperconnected world with all its security risks as its context, data security still is the foremost threat. By definition, the platform deals with an inordinate amount of personal data, including financial details. Breaches have happened before, and will probably happen again. But, the industry is constantly evolving its approach to data security, and apart from the statistically rare instances of the breach, has always stayed strongly ahead.

Limited platform flexibility

Influencer Marketing solutions tend to be very responsive to evolving business requirements. Yet, the possibility still exists that you do not find a single solution that can support all of your exact requirements.

127 Influencer Marketing Software