A growing trend that has rapidly gained traction in the marketing and PR spheres in recent years and proves to be increasingly relevant on a day-to-day basis is known as influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing can be understood as the result of campaign collaborations between brands and influential social media figures in which key advertising messages are delivered to targeted audiences through various social platforms. The most popular influencer marketing platform by far is Instagram, followed to a lesser extent by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tik Tok, and others.
Photo Caption: Social media platforms
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While not a new strategy, influencer marketing has grown exponentially with the social media boom. According to Business Insider, “As social media becomes more entrenched in people’s lives and takes on more functional uses beyond communication, like shopping, the role of influencers is set only to grow”. The influencer marketing industry is estimated to be worth $15 billion by the year 2022, so as an entrepreneur or business owner, it is becoming increasingly important to stay up-to-date on the latest communications tool taking the industry by storm.
Influencer software allows businesses and brands to connect with influencers based on a variety of factors such as platform, audience demographic, follower count, average engagement, and more. Depending on the targeted audience, influencer software allows you to sort by specific categories such as travel, fitness, or fashion, or, in some cases, by specific brands or hashtags.
Upon choosing the right fit, businesses can connect with the influencer to partner and organize campaigns, and monitor performance and engagement levels upon release.
There is no lack of options when it comes to influencer software, and it can be overwhelming and confusing trying to select the right one for your business purposes. In such a flooded market, however, you can afford to be picky when choosing the software best fitted to your professional needs, whether they be small business or mass agency oriented.
Photo Caption: Influencer Marketing Logos
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The majority of influencer software platforms offer multiple options for pricing and packages, and the key is to understand what is most meaningful for your particular business needs. For example, a $1500/month option may include more bells and whistles on paper, but you may realistically only require 50% of what is available, meaning the $600/month option can do the job just as well.
Three representative examples of available software can be found in Upfluence, Creator IQ, and HYPR, all leading names in the industry.
The influencer marketing platform Upfluence, launched in 2013, offers consumers three main price points ranging from $795/month to $1,750/month in ‘Startup’, ‘Small Business’, or ‘Professional’ packages. The software provides access to 2.7 million influencers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tik Tok and various blogs. The platform is most effective in terms of a business to consumer model, allowing businesses to create detailed, targeted campaigns and monitor various success factors throughout their lifespan.
The influencer marketing platform CreatorIQ was founded in 2014 and represents one of the quickest rising companies in the industry in recent years, as well as one of the more expensive options. Catering to brands like Disney and Amazon, CreatorIQ uses Google AI image recognition to effectively categorize influencers from its data base of 15+ million based on a mass network of information in order to produce relevant results that are exceedingly specific.
The final platform, HYPR, launched in 2013 and currently offers access to over 12 million influencers. The recipient of the Best Influencer Marketing Platform from Digiday in 2019, HYPR has worked with brands such as Pepsi, Revlon, and National Geographic. HYPR takes a commodified approach towards influencers, focusing on providing the tools to engage with as many as possible while measuring performance and identifying ROI.
Uniquely, HYPR also offers an affordable alternative for those seeking a less macro approach. Described as the small-business version of the industry’s leading influencer market tool, Halo was created by HYPR to offer three affordable options designed for small to medium business models. The platform offers Bronze, Silver and Gold plans for $99/month, $199/moth, and $399/month, respectively. With two main components, discovery and campaign, Halo grants users access to the same database as HYPR with the same options for search, contact, ROI statistics, and demographic audience breakdown, but excludes certain features deemed more valuable at the mass agency level.
 Schomer, Audrey. “Influencer Marketing: State of the social media influencer market in 2020.” Business Insider, Insider Inc., December 17, 2019. https://www.businessinsider.com/influencer-marketing-report