A recent study found that influencer marketing was one of the most effective forms of online advertising today. As internet users becme increasingly frustrated by many of the established forms of advertising, like pop up ads etc., companies must find new ways to promote their brands.
Just as companies had developed sophisticated enough big data analytic tools that they could accurate bombard their users with tailor-made advertisements, software developers came up with equally sophisticated ad blocking tools to subvert their efforts.
At the same time, many internet users became wary of such ads and increasingly became put off by them. This had two interesting effects.
Firstly, advertisers found that the ads they were paying for were not generating the kinds of returns that they had hoped. Secondly, this resulted in companies increasingly turning to the few companies that were able to employ big data analytics to more effectively target ads towards specific customers.
To show just how much companies came to rely on these two platforms, you only need to take a look at the figures. In 2017, Facebook and Google controlled a staggering 63.1% of US digital ad investment.
One of the principle ways that both these companies are able to generate such huge amounts of advertising revenue is through their role as a host platforms for social influencers.
A social influencer can take many forms. Usually, they are a person or entity that has the power to “guide” or change the opinions of their followers. The best example of a social media influencer is the YouTube star, individuals who frequently have followings that number in the 10’s of millions.
These people can use their celebrity to “influence” their loyal subscribers into doing such things as buying certain products. Since they benefit from what is accepted as the most successful form of advertising, namely word of mouth, companies can be assured of getting the best returns on their investment by using these influencers.
But what if companies cant afford to engage the services of these A-list social influencers?
Well, the answer is that they turn to dedicated influencer marketing platforms to help them find less expensive ones.
So, if you are looking to boost your company’s internet ad presence then it’s time that you start using the power of a social media platform to help you find the best influencers.
And your next question?
What are the best influencer networks and how will they suit my company?
To answer this question, I have decided to list what are, in my view, the best influencer platforms out there today.
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With hundreds to choose from, this is by no means an easy task. It is for this reason that I have tried to keep the list as varied as possible to try give you a good idea of what kinds of services are out there.
Top influencer marketing platforms of 2018:
How many platforms could most small businesses actually afford that also include Microsoft and PayPal as part of their clients list? Upfluence is unquestionably a top influencer marketing platform as it is excellent in connecting brands directly to influencers.
It allows companies to access vast influencer networks across all the major social network platforms. These include Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and a multitude of blogs. Upfluence has a huge database that is full of information that will certainly help your company find the best influencer for your brand.
Upfluence is also crammed with powerful tools to help with your campaign management. It has a superb search tool that will find you all the best matches in no time.
Other tools allow you to easily manage your influencers by creating campaign lists for them, as well as allowing you to contact as many influencers as you like at one time. This is especially helpful if you are responsible for advertising several brands at once through the platform.
Even though huge multinationals use this powerful marketing platform, its rates are extremely reasonable, especially when compared to rival sites of the same size. Its pricing is more suited to medium to large sized companies.
If you are looking for Instagram influencers for your campaign then Deep Social is the marketing platform for you.
Deep social has an extensive database that comprises of some 43 million Instagram Influencers, something which makes it one of the top influencer marketing tools for the platform.
Their database has data from more than 1 million different Instagram accounts, helping companies gain all the necessary data that they need to ensure that they pick the best influencer.
The platform has some really great data analytic tools that allow companies thoroughly analyze influencer and campaign data. This can be anything from age, gender, interests, ethnicity, geography, to a whole range of other criteria etc.
Access to this kind of information allows companies to develop sophisticated marketing strategies and help them find the most appropriate influencer.
While Deep Social is not the cheapest marketing platform out there, the site does offer free credits to new members. Most new brands find that it is also one of the best at ensuring success.
AspireIQ is an Influencer Management Platform that streamlines influencer discovery, management, and analytics, making it easy to build authentic influencer relationships at scale.
With more than 150,000 influencers in its database, AspireIQ is another powerful platform where companies can find the best one for their specific needs.
While this figure is nowhere near the number that Upfluence currently has on its books, this still makes it one of the biggest influencer marketing platforms around.
The great thing about AspireIQ is the high vetting standards it applies to its influencers. Some sites allow just about anyone to register as an influencer, something which helps to artificially inflate their database appeal but at the same time causes companies untold headaches when trying to find the right one.
AspireIQ has some great tools that make planning and managing campaigns a breeze. Its Campaign Lifecycle Management is especially helpful, as is its Trackable Sales Links feature that allows companies to see just how well their campaigns are really going.
Their influencers cover just about every niche you can think of and can be found either via their “Quickmatch” search or through an advanced criteria search.
When it comes to campaign management, AspireIQ has to be the best marketing platform. The only drawback is that there is no free trial to see if you like it.
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Find Your Influence is another top social media marketing platform. It currently has more than 100,000 influencers in its database and can boast some of the biggest companies in the world as clients. The likes of Honda, Sony, Wallmart, and Lenovo have all used its services to get their sponsored content out to a wider audience.
The site allows companies to find influencers on all the main social media platforms, as well as linking to reputable content creators who offer to promote your services or products via their blogs.
They offer tiered access from as little as $300 per month, which means that its services are well within the reach of most businesses.
Their platform tools allow for the process to be heavily automated from start to finish. You can do everything from searching influencers by an assigned budget to reviewing data relating to the success of your campaign.
All this can be done via a user-friendly dashboard that allows multiple influencers to be easily managed at one go.
If your brand is seeking to expand its wings and access the fastest growing consumer market on the planet, then Casting Asia is the platform for you. It claims to be the biggest influencer marketing platforms in Asia and has certainly cemented its place as one of the most successful.
The platform focuses on bringing together brands and bloggers in the Asian region. It has 10,000’s of influencers and bloggers all over the Asian continent who are willing to promote brands and products on their sites.
Blogs are a particularly powerful way to get their foot in the door to compete with local brands. This is important since Asia can be a particularly hard market to conquer, as this recent article highlights.
The reason why Markerly makes it to this list is the high quality of their influencers. The platform sets high standards for its influencers to meet before they can qualify for entry to their database. All influencers must exhibit a proven track record including demonstrating a growing following.
While this means that the number of influencers on the platform is much lower than others, the site emphasizes the long-term rewards of “quality over quantity”.
Their influencers are active in all the main social media platform as well as blogs, guest postings etc.
Founded back in 2009, Onalytica was one of the first automated marketing sites that linked brands to influencers. Due to its solid reputation for getting results, the platform has attracted the like of Microsoft, VMware, the British Heart Foundation, and Canon to its list of clientele.
Their influencers are active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Blogs. Not only do they have an extensive list of top rated influencers but they also have a really comprehensive campaign managing suite that is the envy of most other platforms.
Their search algorithms are top notch and seem to always yield the most suitable influencers. Onalytica also boasts some pretty great tools for managing influencer relationships as well as market reporting.
They have a dedicated support team who regularly check the accuracy and relevance of the data to ensure that they maintain their high standards of excellence.
If your company is looking to target blogs in the North American region then InkyBee is a great choice. The platform has a sophisticated ranking system that takes into account SEO, something which will be a big concern for many businesses who intend to target blogs.
The platform is very similar to most of the others in terms of its campaign management tools, however, it does have one unique selling point in that it incorporates tools that allow for more detailed Twitter influencer analysis.
InkyBee is a solid platform that currently lists some 900,000 blogs as part of its database. Monthly subscriptions are available.
Grapevine Logic is a platform that is dedicated to helping brands link up with top Youtube influencers. Though they don’t have A-list celebrities like Logan Paul in their database, they do have some pretty big names.
This is because, in order to qualify, all potential YouTube influencers must have a following of 10,000 subscribers or more. Some of their top influencers have totals that run into the 100’s of thousands of subscribers, making them an invaluable resource for companies to tap into.
Another notable feature is their search recommendation engine. By entering a few keywords that relate to your brand or marketing strategy, Grapevine Logic’s algorithms will come up with the best matched list of influencers. This feature has proved to be really accurate, with over 80% of results matching exactly what companies are looking for.
Last but not least, BuzzStream helps to support your influencer outreach by allowing detailed access to such information as contact details, social media statistics – including past and present subscriber information – as well as allowing companies to easily keep track of conversations.
BuzzStream is not as big as many of the other platforms on this list and so consequently has fewer influencers.
However, its fees are lower too, and for those companies who have never tried influencer marketing before, BuzzStream also offers a free trial so that they can test the water without having to make any financial commitment.
The most basic plan starts at just $24.95 per month, through this limits outreach to just 1,000 influencers per month. For companies wishing to engage in a more comprehensive influencer marketing program, there are 3 other memberships you can choose from to suit whatever your needs may be.
Click this link for more information on How to Work With Social Media Influencers
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I love all things blockchain and related to app development. What time I have when I am not busy writing for the DevTeam.Space blog of over 350 articles, I spend sitting around wondering what the future will look like 50 years from now.
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