Coming into 2019, some of the biggest trends we are seeing include brands bringing influencer marketing in-house, better influencer targeting, and a call for campaign execution to become more sophisticated. To achieve these it's important to have the right tools - or rather tech in place.
But influencer marketing software can be a bit of a minefield, and with so many platforms out there, it can be difficult to separate the wood from the trees. With that in mind, here are the five key questions you should ask ahead of your influencer marketing platform procurement:
How does influencer sourcing work?
Sourcing may seem like an easy question, but there are a number of nuances you should be aware of when selecting a platform. The total number of influencers the platform offers is a 'good to know', but a million influencers who don't match your criteria is pretty useless. More importantly you should be asking:
DOES THE INFLUENCER MARKETING PLATFORM SHOW AGGREGATED DATA?
When it comes to social media data - one size does not fit all. Aggregated data (where the data across more than one social channel is grouped together) will not help you run targeted campaigns. Real-time data across each individual channel the influencer is active on, is imperative as an influencer's audience will vary tremendously from channel to channel.
HOW CAN I SEGMENT THE INFLUENCER DATABASE?
If your goal is to run targeted campaigns where reach is a metric you'll be looking at, you will need to segment the influencer database based on both influencer and follower data.
- Influencer demographics (location, age, gender)
- Influencer Industry
- Audience demographics
- Following/ Engagement rates
- Keyword search
- Social media channel
- Type of collaboration they accept (paid, product, event)
DID THEY OPT-INTO THE INFLUENCER MARKETING PLATFORM?
Having opt-in influencers means that they have signed up and therefore are expecting to be contacted. Which in turn means they are more likely to be responsive and open to collaborating with you.
How can you contact the influencers?
Many platforms claim to have millions of influencers, but all those profiles help you very little if you don't have a way to contact them or have to spend hours trying to find the contact details yourself. With or without campaign management tools integrated into the platform, you should make sure you understand what your options are when trying to contact influencers and, what the likely response rate is. Back to the point of opted in vs non opted in - influencers who aren't aware of the platform you're using may be inclined to write the collaboration request off as spam.
Does the platform also offer campaign management tools?
Is the platform pure sourcing, or will it also help you with the end to end campaign management? Running campaigns manually at scale is messy. It will likely result in too many excel spreadsheets, missed emails and slower progress.
ZINE's end to end campaign management tools digitise the process entirely. That means organising influencers with tags and lists, building digital proposals to share with your team or clients and work collaboratively with influencers through the content approval stage. Most importantly however, it means that everything is in one place.
Can I pay influencers via the platform?
Unless you plan on running gifting campaigns only, you should consider how payment will work. Invoicing, especially when running campaigns with multiple influencers is probably one of the biggest headaches. That's why ZINE has a number of options to assist with payment depending on the clients' requirements. You should be able to easily keep track of how much influencers have charged, when they've posted and when they need to be paid. Ask if this can be automated via the platform.
What reporting does the influencer marketing platform offer?
Does the platform offer reporting, and if so, can be automated? What analytics can you see in the report? Engagement rate, conversions, CPE/ CPM or all of the above. Can you also see the content, so you can boost/reuse the best performing content?
ZINE's reporting is both automated, detailed and downloadable - pretty enough to share with colleagues or clients.
What support will you give me (and the influencers)?
Support is an often overlooked procurement consideration. But especially in influencer marketing given the newness of the industry, support is essential. Are you able to reach out with queries at any time? Which resources will you have access to? Will they assist you with your influencer marketing campaigns?
ZINE offers a 24 hour live chat support, how-to guides and resources, 50% of which are dedicated to influencers.
With thousands of opt-in influencers, ZINE influencer marketing platform allows you to manage your campaigns end to end, with a 24 hour live service to answer any queries. Request your demo today and see ZINE in action
I'm head of Content at ZINE, where I use my expertise in fashion consumer psychology to empower brands and influencers in their marketing campaigns. I love to travel, bake as well as shopping online.