UPDATE November 19, 2019 — As the influencer marketing industry evolves, a number of different influencer marketing tools and platforms have cropped up to help brands identify, contact, and work with the right social media influencers. Influencer marketing tools are defined as software or apps that provide brands with unbiased information (i.e. estimated reach, user engagement, rates, etc.) about social media influencers. Influencer marketing platforms, on the other hand, function like online marketplaces where brands may review and collaborate (if an agreement is reached) with social media influencers in the platform’s registry.
To help brands make informed decisions about their influencer marketing strategies, we’ve provided a list of the top influencer marketing tools and platforms, including the pros and cons of each. We’ve also listed several alternatives to using influencer marketing tools and/or platforms, such as partnering with an influencer marketing agency, working with YouTube MCNs, and more.
Influencer marketing tools can help brands identify which social media influencers would be best suited for a particular marketing campaign or brand-sponsored collaboration. Because most tools simply aggregate information and metrics, influencer marketing tools carry their own limitations as well. Some of the most notable influencer marketing tools include:
SocialBlade aggregates YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and other social media stats (including the number of subscribers/followers, how much content an influencer has posted, and the latest game they’ve played) to let brands see the reach and activity of each platform’s top social media stars.
An Instagram-only social media marketing tool, Iconosquare lets companies see Instagrammers’ metrics and provides a continuously-updated list of the top Instagram influencers and brands on the platform.
Used primarily for tracking and analyzing video content and creators on video platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, and others, Tubular Labs provides industry insights and rankings of the world’s top digital video content creators.
Available only for YouTube, OpenSlate collects, organizes, and scores brand-sponsored content based on a variety of variables (including video quality, how knowledgeable a YouTuber is about a particular subject, audience engagement, and more).
Pros Of Influencer Marketing Tools
Cons Of Influencer Marketing Tools
While most social media platforms operate on the same premise—online marketplaces where digital influencers and brands connect, essentially—each platform comes with its own built-in tools, metrics, and specialties. Some of the best influencer marketing platforms include:
A popular influencer marketing platform, FameBit provides a centralized hub where brands can submit ideas for the platform’s social media influencers to bid on. FameBit currently caters to brand-sponsored campaigns on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, and Facebook.
Related Post: Reviewing FameBit’s Influencer Marketing Platform
Billed as an influencer marketing automation platform, TapInfluence provides both access to social media influencers as well as tracking and analytics for any campaign created using the platform’s built-in tools and resources. TapInfluence is available for YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.
GroupHigh works primarily with bloggers to provide data, analysis, and solutions to brands and brand marketers.
Pros Of Influencer Marketing Platforms
Cons Of Influencer Marketing Platforms
While influencer marketing tools and platforms may offer companies a way to launch one-off campaigns, many top brands prefer to develop deeper relationships and targeted marketing campaigns with today’s high-reach digital stars. Working with YouTube MCNs, influencer marketing agencies, and/or other strategic organizations is one way for brands to achieve high returns on their marketing investment without first acquiring in-depth knowledge of the industry or developing long-standing relationships with top social influencers.
YouTube MCNs help YouTube content creators monetize their videos by offering resources (i.e. funding, promotion, representation, equipment, digital rights management, etc.) and brand sponsorship opportunities in exchange for a percentage of advertising revenue. Because MCNs typically manage hundreds (sometimes thousands) of content creators, some brands are discouraged by the lack of individualized attention and lackluster campaign performances, especially considering the high cost of working with today’s top MCNs.
Like YouTube MCNs, blogger networks provide a place for bloggers and brands to connect and develop creative, engaging campaigns. Though blogger networks can provide quick solutions to a company’s influencer marketing needs, these organizations are often limited by the number of bloggers in their registry and can sometimes levy large “finders fees.”
In response to the rapid growth and popularity of influencer marketing, many PR agencies now offer influencer marketing services in addition to traditional campaigns, press releases, media junkets, etc. Retainers and lack of deep expertise, specifically when it comes to marketing on a particular social media platform or working directly with social media influencers, makes collaborating with public relations agencies a hit-or-miss experience for many brands.
Related Post: How PR Agencies Can Win With Influencer Marketing
Because they work closely with YouTubers, bloggers, Instagrammers, Snapchatters, and other social media stars, influencer marketing agencies have developed long-standing professional relationships with influencers across a number of different platforms and genres. These relationships, coupled with a knowledge of the space and ability to effectively strategize, manage, and scale high-reach, high-ROI campaigns make collaborating with influencer marketing agencies one of the best options for brands looking to create and launch impactful influencer marketing campaigns.