Where billboards have fallen out of favor, display ads have risen up on every corner of the internet. The hubbub of malls has died out and online shopping has sprung to life. The radio ads of old have given way to podcast sponsors and pre-roll ads on Youtube. And where product endorsements were once reserved for the likes of Micheal Jordan and Jennifer Aniston, influencer marketing now takes the stage.
In a digital age where anyone with a phone can become a celebrity (or at least a micro-celebrity), influencer marketing is like the evolution of traditional celebrity endorsement deals.
In fact, Google tells us that people are 70% less likely to be influenced by a celebrity than a digital “star.”
This is good news for you: There are millions of micro-celebrities eager to promote your products and services.
That’s right. Millions.
And that’s also the bad news — because it can be difficult to cut through the noise and find the right fit for your brand or company.
That’s where the value of having the right influencer marketing software comes into play.
These platforms use automation, smart technology, and filtering capabilities to take the chase out of the goose hunt; ultimately streamlining the process of finding the right influencers and putting hours back in your day.
The core offerings of influencer marketing platforms include:
- Influencer Search. A searchable database with customizable filters.
- CRM. Sometimes called ‘IRM’ (influencer relationship management); this helps you manage your relationships with influencers.
- Campaign Management. The ability to automate parts of the search and outreach process; may include a bulk-emailing option with templates and drip campaigns.
- Social Media Listening. Identify opportunities and trends by tracking mentions of, and conversations around, your brand.
- Payment and Product Tracking. Track payments to influencers and the free products you send to them.
- Analytics. Reporting often in the form of personalized dashboards — where you can see metrics like sales, followers gained, and campaign engagement at a glance.
With 150+ influencer marketing platforms listed on G2 alone, there are a lot of influencer marketing tools to choose from. In this article, we’ve whittled that down to eight platforms that we think are worth your attention:
But before we jump into the nitty-gritty of the platforms themselves, let’s take a brief look at the criteria for choosing one.
How Do I Choose an Influencer Marketing Platform?
Long-lasting partnerships are at the heart of effective influencer marketing. So, which tool will best help you facilitate these relationships? That’s contingent upon:
- Your budget
- Your business model and/or vertical
- Your preferred social media channels
Influencer marketing software can range anywhere from free to several thousand dollars per month. As a result, the software you decide on will be partially determined by your budget, which is largely determined by your revenue and the size of your company.
Some of the software options also work better for specific verticals or with certain social media platforms.
And some platforms are channel specific. For example, Famebit, owned by YouTube, only focuses on YouTube influencers (not surprising).
Best Influencer Marketing Software for Ecommerce
Influencer marketing software and services with massive reach, including Tik Tok and Twitch.
Upfluence is widely accessible, appealing to both freelancers and businesses (ranging from small to enterprise). One of its most stand-out features is its project management capability. Want the campaigns done for you? Let their in-house services team take care of it for you. And if you’re running campaigns with dozens or hundreds of influencers, Upfluence is worth a closer look.
- Massive reach; network of 3 million+ influencers and a reach of 82 billion+ followers
- Twitch and TikTok databases
- Speedy communication; you can send an “in-app” email instead of exporting influencers to a mailing campaign
- Intuitive interface and project management
- Robust filtering capabilities when searching for influencers
The sheer size of Upfluence’s network sets it apart (and yet 82% of its G2 reviews are from small businesses — so it’s a good software for all kinds of businesses). And while this amount of data might intimidate some, Upfluence’s filtering capabilities and intuitive interface make it simple to navigate.
This is also one of the few influencer marketing tools that has Twitch and TikTok specialities, so if those social media platforms are relevant to your company, Upfluence may be your best option.
Upfluence currently offers four pricing tiers that range from about $12k – $40k per year and is dependent on the number of influencers you want to reach out to. Their pricing is gated, meaning not specifically publicly available, so we don’t have all the details for you. But consider this a high-quality enterprise-level tool.
Influencer marketing platform for integrated, larger marketing campaigns
AspireIQ is not for the little guy. With clients like Kroger. L’Oreal, and T-Mobile, they claim to be the 800-lb gorilla in the room.
They work well with all the common “influencer” oriented verticals, including:
- Consumer Packaged Goods
They have a database of over 6 million influencers and content creators across Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogs.
Their real differentiator is in the three tiered approach they take to influencer marketing. First, with their “Create” package, they help you find content creators that can create, and distribute your content, then, with their “Elevate” package, they help you build a community and continue to engage the audience you’re growing. And finally with their “Together” package, you strengthen the relationships and roll out campaigns through their platform to your trusted network of influencers.
- Connect with influencers that have large followings
- Offer a Managed Services team
- Quickmatch feature (like Tinder for influencers)
- Monitor social activity of competitors
AspireIQ is one of the better choices for big or high-growth brands and large agencies, especially for those who might also benefit from consultation and content creation services. They have a partner Managed Services team that can work with you to make the most of their proprietary software, strategize campaigns, and even get into the trenches for you and execute.
- Google Drive
They don’t publicly display their pricing, but we are sure that this is an enterprise tool and the pricing can easily go into the thousands per month. Please contact them for a demo and pricing, and tell them EcommerceTech sent you.
Influencer marketing platform with an emphasis on Direct to Consumer (D2C) and Ecommerce integrations.
Grin breaks the use of their software down into five steps:
- Import existing list of influencers and discover new influencers using advanced search.
- Integrate your Ecommerce store, email, slack, and other elements of your tech stack in order to sync all communications.
- Integrate with Google Vision to analyze content and attribute revenue across your entire program.
- Run highly targeted campaigns to automate some of the outbound and manage inbound applications.
- Send products to influencers and manage payments at scale.
- Ability to integrate your Ecommerce store
- Create affiliate codes and discount links
- Excellent integration capabilities
- Can ship and track free product within the app
Although newer to the game, Grin’s main appeal is that it caters specifically to Ecommerce businesses. They’ve really niched down with those Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento integrations.
- TikTok (new as of April 2020!)
Yet another influencer marketing software that doesn’t publicly display their pricing. That’s too bad. You will need to contact them and request a demo to get more insights.
Influencer marketing platform for data lovers.
A platform as old as influencer marketing itself, Traackr has been a leading light in the way of social data and analytics; back when everyone was still stuck on measuring vanity metrics like reach and engagement, this was the company that was expanding the conversation. They even went so far as to create their own metric — the Brand Vitality Score (VIT), which is a benchmark for how you measure up against other competitors in the market.
Their championing of data and competitor analysis is clearly reflected in their offering.
- Massive data set; over 6 million influencer profiles
- Robust analytics
- Organize influencers based on the stage of your relationship with them
- Brand safety tool to assess influencers and the quality of their audience
- Good for SMB, and mid- to enterprise-size businesses (everyone who can afford them)
Serving clients like Coach, Microsoft, Google and Michelin, Traackr currently operates in 80 countries and in 19 languages. They don’t offer payment tracking like other comparable services, but their emphasis on data is what makes them special.
Starts at $30,000 USD/year for their most basic deployments.
Influencer marketing software for the YouTube-centric business with a young audience.
With 30,000+ content creators connecting 1.9 billion people across social, Famebit evolved from being Youtube-exclusive to Youtube-owned. The platform also works with Instagram and Twitter, but the majority of its database is made up of Youtube influencers.
- YouTube centric
- Free to get started
- Empowers influencers to find brands (not just you hunting for influencers)
Famebit could be a powerful partner for brands that primarily exist on Youtube, or companies with products that are suited to unboxing videos. That being said, it’s filtering capabilities are relatively limited compared to other influencer marketing tools on this list, and Famebit no longer supports Instagram integrations.
Pricing is per project. $100/project minimum with a 10% fee for the platform.
A lesser known, but super powerful influencer marketing platform. Tensor Social has a massive database of influencers and is actually not just tracking the influencers, but their followers, in order to understand, for example, what percentage of an influencers audience has an affinity towards “Whole Foods” or “Beauty.”
And they have a really slick dropdown that can help you find influencers who have, say, partnered with Sephora in the past, for example.
This is a great option for smaller brands that don’t want to invest in the major platforms, or who want to manage payment and relationships off-platform.
- Social Discovery
- Tracking across 25 social networks
- 36.5million email addresses tied to social accounts
- One click Influencer outreach – via AI and audience lookalikes
- Shopify (coming soon)
With such great features, it’s a surprise to find out this tool starts at $49/month and grows depending on how many email contacts you want to reach out to/how many influencers you’re contacting a month.
Best Influencer Marketing Software for Growing Affiliate Networks
Influencer marketing software for growing an affiliate network when you have an existing network.
Refersion is what you want to use when you have an affiliate network and are looking to grow it. In fact, they partner with Upfluence because Refersion is best used as a supplemental effort once you already have a core group of affiliates.
- Go-live checklist means you can get started in >7 minutes
- Supports tracking through unique coupon codes, SKUs and counter emails
- Each affiliate has their own dashboard
- Ecommerce integrations
- A flat rate for number of visitors to your store
Starts at $89.00/month for up to 130 sales. There are three pricing tiers:
With a higher per sale fee, Refersion is worth it if you’re selling items above a certain price point. Since $89.00 gets you 130 sales per month, that’s about $0.68 per sale + commission you’re offering. Crunch the numbers according to your average price point, and you should be able to tell whether or not this is workable for your business.
Best influencer marketing software for automating influencer sign-ups.
Vwa.la is an automated solution that integrates into your store with very minimal setup.
- Automated influencer sign-ups with a hosted landing page
- Influencer-specific codes
- Real-time reporting
- Simple setup
- Influencers also get performance dashboards
With vwa.la you can be up and running in minutes. It comes with a widget that automatically sets up on your site. This will advertise your influencer marketing plan to customers. It’s a great way of recruiting micro-influencers who are already part of your customer base.
Pricing starts at $9.95/month for 400 influencers and unlimited tracked sales, and goes up to $59.99/month for unlimited influencers and sales.
Influencer marketing software for leveraging micro influencers and your existing database.
Venture-backed Carro takes a refreshingly authentic approach to finding influencers: It empowers you to leverage the influencers that already exist in your database. In other words, you can discover influencers who have already expressed an interest in your product. In order to use this platform to its fullest, you’ll need a large and/or growing customer base.
- Find the best influencers within your existing network; those who have already purchased from you
- Database of 2.5 million+ influencers
- Product gifting and reviews at scale
While most influencer marketing platforms will try to connect you with influencers that have large followings, Carro is great for leveraging micro influencers and those who have already purchased your product. And since micro influencers tend to have higher engagement than larger influencers, Carro can be a wonderful asset for businesses that already have decent traffic to their store.
Carro is free to install. They do have some paid features that may come into play if you elect to use them.
Automated Outreach to Influencer in Your Existing Databases
Gatsby helps identify which of your existing customers have large social followings, and you can set up automatic email campaigns to trigger when a bigger influencer purchases from you or joins your email list.
My favorite feature is the Instagram handle integration. It’s always better to ask the customer for their handle to better connect them to their profile. For that reason, this tool is more powerful for brands that focus specifically on Instagram.
- Instagram Handle request pop-up
- Instagram Handle Checkout request modification
- Audience Profile Research
- Auto-Send Email and Text Requests
- Shopify POS
Starts at $99/month for 400 profile matches and goes up from there.
When it comes to choosing an influencer marketing software, you’ll want to make note of your budget, business model, and preferred social media platforms. Influencer marketing software varies greatly in terms of price, verticals they specialize in, and integrations — so once you’re clear on your specific needs, whittling it down to the best pick will actually be a fairly simple process.
Influencer marketing is really about two main things: content creation and reach. Decide which one is more important for you. Great content is worth paying for and you can amplify that with paid ads, if that’s what you need. Or maybe you really do want to pull on the influence of the influencer and simply get the product into their hands so they can help their audience discover your brand. Then it’s really all about aligning on values, being authentic, and teaching the influencer about your product.
Look for the long-term relationships with the influencers that actually care to work with you. That’s where you’ll have the most success.
And if you’re still not sure? You’re welcome to reach out to me for a free consultation about what tech tools will work best to serve your store.