You can’t do marketing today without tapping into the influencers world. Once you’ve figured that out, you face the big question: where do I find those precious influencers?
Those who get serious about influencer marketing (who fully understand that they can’t rely on Google to help them here), face two main options: the technology solution or the marketplace offer.
Each one of these routes has its pros and cons. The technology solution, which comes as a friendly self-service platform, is designed for companies who owns an in-house marketing team. On the other side, the marketplace is a solution for companies who prefer to outsource part of their marketing efforts to a third party. Let’s take a deeper look at these two options:
With the booming of influencer marketing in recent years, there was a rise of influencer marketplaces that try to address the need. An influencer marketplace is typically a company or an agency that brings together brands and influencers.
The marketplace role is to create personal relationships with both sides and has a long list of influencers to work with. Some agencies specialize in one industry, such as food or sports, while others are more versatile.
One of the biggest benefits of a marketplace is that relationships with the influencers are already established. The agency talks with a group of influencers and can get some of them onboard for a new campaign in a short time notice.
Things to Bear in Mind
The relationship status is also one of the downsides of marketplaces. The relationships with the influencers are not made by people who work at the brand, and therefore do not create meaningful long-term relationships with them. The relationships are short-term and there’s no deeper connection between the influencer and the brand.
Another thing to consider when choosing an influencers marketplace is who’s in it (and who’s not). When looking at the portfolio of a marketplace, try to assess who made it in and who’s missing. Picture yourself the ideal influencers and try to find them in the marketplace. Don’t settle for someone, just because he’s already there.
Influencer platform is a self-service platform that enables users to perform an influencer search on their own terms. The user can find influencers in a specific location, interest, or social media platform. The more advanced platforms can also track influencers who are already engaged with the brand or with similar companies in the space. They also assess their influence level, their true reach, and track how they mentioned the brand online.
Influencer platforms are widely used by brands, digital agencies and PR companies. The platform solution is the best fit for companies who have a marketing person or team that can connect with influencers and create meaningful relationships with the social media leaders. This solution is more useful for those who see the value not spending time and money in the search itself bit rather in creating long-term relationships with influencers.
Cut the Middle Man
Using a platform offers the advantage of being in direct touch with influencers. This can’t be stressed enough. When a brand has a direct connection with an influencer, it goes long-term. It goes beyond a specific campaign or time frame.
Cutting the middle man here is more than just the money. It’s making an essential move towards expanding your brand’s advocates base. The professional relationship between a brand’s team member and an influencer is something to cherish.
Things to Bear in Mind
Influencer platforms are an important tool in a marketer’s toolkit. When choosing the platform, consider the learning curve it requires and how much time it takes to get things started. Some tools in the market are smart but clunky while other are sophisticated but still easy to use. Remember, if it requires too much time to learn it, the average user will probably won’t use it. The platform needs to be smart and powerful, but also light and easy to use.
Which Solution is Best For You?
Influencer platforms and marketplaces offer great solutions for stepping into influencer marketing. Both have pros and cons. The question is which path do you prefer: to hand-pick your influencers on your own or to trust someone else’s choices; to find the best influencer for you from all around the social web or one from a closed pool.
And the most important question of all: what do you prefer – a short fling or long-term relationships with social media influencers?