Influencing the Influencers: five tools to step up your game

Influencer marketing doesn't need to be complicated. / Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash.

Influencer marketing has gone mainstream. Pretty much everyone is doing it — and the market for tools to help brands manage their influencers is also exploding. That being the case, it might be tricky to find a tool that fits your needs. We picked just six of the best influencer management apps and services out there to make your choice easier.

Reach out

MNFST

MNFST is a community-building platform that enables social media users to become full-fledged brand ambassadors. It gives brands easy access to small communities with high engagement rates, and allows them to employ a ‘hands-off’ approach to influencer marketing.

It is based upon the principles of transparency and democracy — anyone can sign up for the platform and get an estimation of their accounts’ worth. Once this is done, the user gains access to “Manifests”, branded content templates they can personalise and share. For each published manifest they receive a pre-determined reward based on their account’s reach. Thanks to this grassroots approach, MNFST users share thousands of branded messages each day — without the need to be managed or coerced.

Advertisers can target users by age, gender, and location, and reward their new-found ambassadors with either cash or their brand’s internal currency. Removing the lower limit for influencer participation allows brands to reach greater audiences for less money, and infiltrate tightly-knit online communities that are most likely to be interested in their product. Big-name influencers can also be found there. They even charge less for their MNFST endorsements, compared to other influencer marketing channels — because they’re free to only choose the brands they believe in.

Cameo

Micro- and nano-influencers make for great social media ambassadors, but sometimes your campaign really needs that extra edge only big celebrity endorsements can provide. Cameo, the celebrity shout-out service, is currently testing out a product that streamlines this process.

The principle behind Cameo is simple. You can use it to order a short, personalised video message from celebrities and influencers featured in the website’s ‘talent catalogue’. Celebrities set their own rates, which range anywhere from $10 to thousands of dollars, depending on their claim to fame. Might sound unreasonably expensive, but many people find that spending a couple hundred dollars to get a happy birthday wish from a favourite TV star is worth it. The number of talent available on Cameo grows with each day. Among the website’s most popular ‘talents’ are the socialite Caitlyn Jenner, the hip-hop mogul Snoop Dogg and a surprising number of various ‘bachelors’ and ‘housewives’.

Recently Cameo started experimenting with a feature that allows brands to order endorsements from select celebrities. You’re going to have to pay up — celebrities’ commercial rates are at least 10 times higher than their regular shout-outs — but it saves a lot of time and effort on your part. After all, you don’t have to go through regular media channels to get exclusive celebrity content for your ad campaign. The makers of Kool-Aid have produced a proof-of-concept advertisement featuring various Cameo celebrities, which was warmly received on Twitter.

Famebit

Youtubers are some of the internet’s most influential users — they are a source of entertainment for millions of people world over. Yet, Youtube’s built-in revenue sharing program, which used to be their main source of income, has become unreliable. Videos often get demonetized, and the only way to ensure that it doesn’t happen is to completely avoid any controversial topics. Unless you’re running a weather channel, this might be simply impossible. It only makes sense that most vloggers started doing sponsored videos and native advertisements to make ends meet.

Famebit is a YouTube-owned native advertising platform that was designed to satisfy their users’ need for brand deals. It works both ways: creators can propose branded content ideas, and brands can reach out to their favourite creators. Content produced through Famebit has already generated over 450 million views. Companies such as Canon, Adidas and Sony use the service to promote their products online.

Evaluate and keep track

Traackr

Traackr is a one-stop influencer management solution, that does everything from influencer profiling to campaign management. Their tools work with a variety of websites — not just Instagram — which gives brands the flexibility they need for a large-scale promotional campaign.

The main strength of traackr lies in its analytical capabilities. If you have trouble finding a direction for your campaign — traackr will provide an overview of current influencer trends. It features in-depth audience data to help you pick the best available candidate. You can even estimate campaign results based on your influencers’ historical performance.

Once you find the people you want to do business with, you can communicate with them — and keep track of their posts — all through the same interface, no matter which social network they’re using.

Make use of your ambassadors’ content

Awario

The rise of influencer marketing is a testament to the power of user-generated content. Brands shell out big money to ensure that content creators mention their name in popular videos and blogposts. However, chances are, that your products are already being talked about — by regular people, who don’t get a penny for doing so. Every such post is an opportunity to expand your influence and increase customer loyalty.

Awario is a service that tracks content across the web — on social media, forums, and blogs. It catalogues all the user-generated posts related to your brand. This allows you to manage your community, capitalise on social media opportunities, and put out fires if necessary. You can even ‘look up’ your competitors — so that their fires become your opportunities.

Yotpo

We have already established that keeping an eye on your users’ content is a must. Every review, every unboxing video, every picture of your product is an invitation to interact — which you can do with the help of apps like Awario. However, every such post is also a potential advertisement. In fact, it might even be better than a regular ad.

Yotpo is a tool that integrates user-generated content into your brand’s website. That way, if you find a good review on Instagram — you can ask the owner for permission to quote it on your website. Same could be done for pictures and videos. Amazon reviews aren’t well trusted — but social media posts, done with no quid pro quo in mind, still are. Use it to your advantage. Yotpo also allows you to create custom galleries, featuring flattering photos of your products. They can be placed on your store’s main page — or on a particular product’s card, to highlight the ways your product is used in real life. Last, but not least — Yotpo can measure a number of metrics to help you adjust your UGC strategy, and maximise your social-media-driven sales.

These are the tools we’d use to create a comprehensive influencer marketing pipeline. Did we miss something? Is there a ‘killer app’ you are using that we aren’t aware of? Let us know in the comments.

Misha Sokolov is co-founder of MNFST

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