Influencer Network Platform vs. Influencer Marketing Platform: Which One Do You Need?
Having access to the right tools is an essential part of managing your influencer marketing campaigns. The tools you use can have a direct impact on the influencers you find, the relationships you build, and how much insight you get into the performance of your campaigns. But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which solutions you should be using to get the most from your campaigns.
Generally speaking, most tools that you need are included in one of two software solutions: an influencer network platform, or an influencer marketing platform.
Let’s take a look at the differences between these two platforms to help you decide which one will help you achieve your goals faster and more effectively.
What Is an Influencer Network Platform?
An influencer network platform is an online marketplace that gives brands and agencies access to pre-vetted influencers. Essentially, it is a place for brands and influencers to find each other and make quick connections. You can also usually use an influencer network platform to monitor your basic campaign results, process payments to your influencers, and manage the legal side of things, including negotiating content usage rights. However, while this extra assistance may be helpful for some users, having a middleman can be limiting and allow you less freedom to carry out the campaigns of your choosing.
An influencer network platform can be useful for finding influencers who publish on specific social networks or those working within certain niche segments of the market. For example, if you have a sportswear brand, then you can use an influencer network platform to find health and fitness influencers who could potentially promote your products. By using an influencer network platform, you can speed up your search rather than look for influencers manually through individual social media platforms.
With a network platform, influencers must register with the site before brands can access their profiles and past campaign analytics. This means that the talent database can often be limited, which can have a big impact on the quality of your search results. Because of this, this type of platform is usually a better solution for specific or one-off campaigns where the influencer that you choose is less important than the actual campaign itself.
What Is an Influencer Marketing Platform?
If you are looking to develop an ongoing relationship with an influencer, rather than launch a one-off campaign, then you will probably get better quality results from an influencer marketing platform. This is because you get access to a wider pool of influencers than you would with an influencer network platform, and you can conduct much more thorough research to find the right fit for your brand. You also get access to tools to help you manage every stage of the influencer marketing process.
Put simply, an influencer marketing platform is a robust end-to-end software solution that helps you organize and manage your influencer campaigns.
Many influencer marketing platforms, including Influencity, offer:
- Powerful influencer search tools and access to a wider pool of potential candidates than you’d get with a network platform. This is because you aren’t limited to those influencers who have chosen to register with the network. Instead, you can use tools to search for influencers all over the world applying a range of filters such as the hashtags and keywords they use on social media, the location and interests of their audience, their follower growth over the past couple of months, and much more. This gives you a much larger scope of discovery.
- Tools to manage every step of your campaign, from launch to finish, through a customizable and easy-to-use workflow interface.
- Communication and relationship management tools so that you can build more solid relationships with your influencers.
- Reporting tools and analytics to monitor and measure the performance of your campaigns and calculate your influencer marketing ROI.
Which Platform Do You Need?
There are a few things to think about when you decide whether an influencer network platform or an influencer marketing platform would be more useful for your campaigns. Essentially, it comes down to what you are trying to achieve, how long your campaigns will be running, and the level of insight and control that you need at each stage of your campaign.
Consider the following points.
When are you looking to launch your campaign? If you are looking to launch a basic, one-off campaign as soon as possible, then an influencer network platform might be a better choice. However, if you have time to search for the right influencer for your brand, thoroughly vet them, and work together to create a well-defined long-term strategy, then an influencer marketing platform is a much better choice.
Diversity of Influencers
As mentioned previously, an influencer network platform is especially useful when you want to focus on content creators within a specific social network or niche. While this may simplify your search, it may result in a smaller circle of creators, leading to missed opportunities to reach your target audience. For example, if you’re a vegan beauty brand looking for influencers within a network platform for beauty influencers, you may have a hard time finding profiles that align with your brand values, as they’ve also done campaigns with many mainstream beauty brands.
An influencer marketing platform, in contrast, puts influencers all over the world at your fingertips and provides you with a wide range of filters to help you find the creators who align with your brand values, helping you create brand affinity and a stronger connection with your audience.
An influencer network platform is a better choice if you are looking to launch a quick, one-off campaign. However, if you are looking to develop an ongoing relationship with an influencer then an influencer management platform is a much better choice. This is because you get access to a wide variety of tools for maintaining your relationships and creating deeper connections with your chosen influencers.
If you have a limited budget, then an influencer network platform is probably a better solution. However, this comes at the cost of greatly reduced access to the tools you need for a successful long-term campaign strategy. This includes a limited pool of influencers, and a lack of robust analytics and reporting capabilities, essential for making data-driven strategic decisions about your influencer marketing campaigns.