Make-or-break influencer marketing platform features
Shopping for a new influencer marketing platform can be an overwhelming process. A quick search for “influencer marketing platform” on G2 generated 162 results. That’s a lot of options, and only a few of them are going to be worth implementing.
So how do you evaluate whether or not an influencer marketing tool is any good? Do you opt for the platform with the most features and modules? Are the “swiss army knife” tools the ones that provide the greatest value?
No matter how many extra features an IMP has, they can all be judged based on three essential functions. If they perform these functions well, then any other features are icing on the cake.
Let’s review these make-or-break features now:
#1 – Social media integration
Social media integration is the most important influencer marketing platform feature by far, for a number of reasons.
Eliminating a manual process. Many influencers (and brand partners) have to suffer through the “long way” of collecting data. Namely, taking screenshots of social media posts and manually updating numbers in a spreadsheet – day after day, week after week, campaign after campaign.
This takes time and effort on both sides of the relationship, and absolutely kills your marketing team’s efficiency.
But by integrating an influencer’s social media accounts into your IMP, your influencer is free to focus on generating engaging content, and you’re free to work on more valuable tasks.
Instant access to data. Another downside to the old spreadsheet method is the delay between influencer and marketer. Influencers are busy, and have to make time to sit down and pull the numbers together. Marketers are forced to wait – along with their clients or bosses.
When social media accounts are integrated, however, marketers can access campaign data at the push of a button. The brand can get instant information, and the influencer doesn’t have to drop what they’re doing to pull numbers.
100% accuracy. Manually collected influencer campaign numbers are notoriously inaccurate. A social media post is a living, breathing thing that updates in real time. Engagement numbers on particularly fast-moving posts can turn obsolete even before the influencer sends them your way.
Contrast this with an integrated social media account, which can use data from the social media platform itself. There is zero chance of typos, data entry errors, or late entries. This means your campaign reports will be 100% accurate.
Any influencer marketing platform you review should have an easy and scalable way to collect campaign performance data from your influencer partners. This should be a minimum requirement when considering software solutions of this type.
#2 – Campaign data tracking and reporting
Efficient data collection is great, but it’s just one step toward useful campaign intelligence. The next part is presenting the information in a manner that facilitates proper data analysis and decision-making.
Your ideal influencer marketing platform should have easy to understand dashboards that provide crucial campaign information at-a-glance. At its best, the platform has customizable dashboards, allowing you to create campaign groups based on the criteria you want, including influencer rates.
Another consideration is the integrity of the campaign data. All influencer marketing tools can easily collect and report on social media posts, but these numbers only work for posts that are live on the social media platform at that very moment. While that’s not a problem in most cases (influencers don’t go around deleting their own posts for fun), it is a concern for Instagram Stories, which have a very short shelf life.
Traditionally, influencers have dealt with this by taking screenshots of their Instagram stories and noting engagement numbers. But if they forget to do that, then that data is lost forever.
Fortunately, there are influencer marketing platforms (including InfluenceKit) that actually archive Instagram and Facebook Stories for later viewing. And they don’t just take screenshots either – they save the entire IG Story so stakeholders can appreciate the content in its entirety.
Many influencer marketing platforms market themselves as all-in-one solutions with tons of bells and whistles. Some of these extra features provide plenty of additional value to marketers and influencers alike, but others are simply used to tick boxes off on an RFP.
But no matter what secondary features an influencer marketing tool might have, at the end of the day it all comes back to these three core functions:
- Data collection
- Data reporting
- Data security
If your chosen platform does all three in a way that complements your workflow and goals, then you’ve got a winner.
If you’re looking for an influencer marketing platform that offers all the features you need, check out InfluenceKit.
About the Author
Chris Tuttle is the co-founder of InfluenceKit, and owner of the popular blog One Good Thing. He's personally helped dozens of brands and agencies say "good bye" to their spreadsheets, and restore their sanity. If he's not at is desk he's usually with his twin girl's Ruby & Addie and his dog Minnie.
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