There are some skills that you can’t master overnight: piloting an aircraft, perfecting wing-tip eyeliner application, and creating an effective influencer marketing strategy. These skills take years to perfect and require dedicated attention to detail and the human touch. Trust me, I’ve done the work (on the influencer marketing side— don’t ask me to fly a plane or put on precise eyeliner.)
I’ve been in this business for a long time and I’ve honed my craft as an influencer marketing strategist, working on cohesive brand-influencer pairings that require years of experience to formulate. Over the years I have worked with many of the top influencer marketplaces and platforms, learning which features are important, and which combination of tools will support a successful, long-term partnership and deliver on client analysis objectives.
The best influencer marketing strategists know that no two influencer marketplaces or platforms are built the same, each one comes with its own unique benefits, weaknesses, and hidden offerings. Instead of going all-in with a single platform, we’ve created a framework where we utilize the top features of each platform to deliver brands a tailored influencer marketing strategy.
By taking a platform-agnostic approach, we can ensure we have the right tools to service clients and drive performance, which leads us to consistently exceed expectations for our influencer marketing campaigns.
No Single Influencer Marketing Platform Has Every Tool You Need
As an experienced strategist, I know what works and what doesn't. It’s true that influencer marketing is an ever-evolving beast, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to crack the code.
For example, there’s no one size fits all option when it comes to influencer tools and marketplaces.
We used to work with one platform at a time, but time and time again found platforms to be missing important pieces of the puzzle. We never found a platform that could serve as a one-stop-shop for strategy, influencer vetting, analysis, optimization, and other brand needs.
At RhythmInfluence we know that to get a truly holistic view of an Influencer— from followers to press mentions to campaign performance— you need to use a few different platforms and tools in order to drive success.
Sounds easy, right? Let me break down exactly how the platform-agnostic approach works to create a tailored marketing strategy designed to meet (or exceed) goals and increase ROI.
Almost every influencer marketing platform offers an analytics tool of some sort. However, not every analytic tool is built the same or designed to serve the same purpose. When choosing an analytic tool you want it to be intuitive and comprehensive, offering rich data, analysis, reporting, and dashboards.
For example, by taking a platform-agnostic approach, I can use one of my favorite tools, Creator Deck for influencer data, but I can also use it for things like vetting and content usage (more on that later.) Our strategy combines the power of data analytics from Creator Deck with different metrics from another preferred tool, Julius.
Influencity is another option specifically known for its strong analytics tools. With more than 70 million Influencers in its database and offering accurate influencer analysis including KPIs, interests, brand affinity, and even fake follower detention, Influencity is a popular influencer platform that can be used for its data features.
While Influencity’s analytics are great (even including an ROI forecasting tool for influencer marketing campaigns), they don’t specialize in up-to-the-minute press mentions or sentiment analysis, so I’ll use another tool for those parts of a campaign proposal or ongoing analysis.
Vetting and Discovery Tools
The influencer vetting process can be overwhelming, especially when there are one thousand different ways to analyze an Influencer. Experienced teams like ours know the specific ways to get to the strengths of each Influencer as they relate to the goals of the campaign. Using tools with additional data points and vetting features like follower analysis allow for an expert level of potential candidate analysis.
The industry is effective but brings its own challenges, like the fact that mid-tier/macro Influencers have on average, 20% fake followers, along with other brand concerns like negative press, past campaign performance, and more. We’ve figured out ways to navigate these issues beyond a simple dashboard of followers vs fake followers to determine if an Influencer may be a bad fit. We look at the performance of past campaigns, press mentions, and other nuanced factors that can tip us off to explore other candidates.
When initiating the vetting process, we use platforms including Julius for influencer discovery and getting to know the space for clients. Then, we can go into more detail once we’ve selected the Influencers or niches for the campaign.
To speed up and dive deep into the influencer vetting process, I can work with a platform like Creator Deck to review their influencer profiles and conduct real-time exclusivity vetting once the campaign goes live. The vetting process should include:
- Evaluating influencer tier
- Reviewing audience demographic
- Auditing for fake followers or other suspicious activity
- Analyzing past campaign performance
- Assessing media mentions
- Identifying any brand safety concerns
Thoroughly vetting a high volume of Influencers is a time-consuming process. All of the Influencers on the platforms we use are pre-vetted and approved, helping us parse through profiles to find an Influencer needle in a haystack who is just right for a particular campaign.
Influencer vetting and screening is important for every campaign, no matter how large or small, short or long. With the amount of work that goes into the contracts, planning, and content creation for campaigns, brands need to be sure that they are confident in the Influencer or risk losing valuable budget.
Campaign Tracking Tools
There are many different tools a strategist can use when planning and managing an influencer marketing campaign, some platforms even offer campaign tracking tools of their own.
At RhythmInfluence, we have found that project management tools actually make the best campaign tracking tools, with their vast features and tracking capabilities. Using project management software (our preferred choice is monday.com), we can customize projects by campaign, brand requirements, and more.
Alternatively, tools like Fourstarzz Media (a platform that focuses on nano and micro Influencers) has a built-in campaign tracking feature. Users can choose to leverage this tool as a part of the larger offering, or, in a platform-agnostic approach, just use the campaign progress tool on its own.
For multi-tiered Influencer and multi-Influencer campaigns, campaign tracking tools can be useful to map out when each Influencer will be posting on each platform to keep them aligned.
Why the Human Touch Matters
If you are reading this and thinking, “Can’t anyone adopt this approach?” You aren’t wrong. But what just “anyone” can’t do is be equipped with the knowledge to create and manage a successful influencer marketing campaign. It’s not enough to go all-in on a single platform, for a high-functioning influencer marketing campaign you also need an experienced brain behind the operation.
It’s like thinking about the value of a carpenter’s expertise. If you ask someone to build you a desk, you can think of it as the sum of the parts themself, which isn’t much when you think about some wood, tools, and nails. But when you consider the expertise of someone knowing which wood to choose, how to cut the pieces, how to assemble them in an efficient way, how to treat them so they will last, and even down to design and finish, the value of the carpenter’s experience is worth so much more than the raw prices of the pieces.
That’s how it goes with influencer marketing. If you were to directly try to work with an Influencer and spent all your budget without knowing the strategy, your campaign would not deliver the value that you hoped for.
A key benefit of working with real people who utilize the platform-agnostic approach rather than working through a platform directly is the flexibility. We work consultatively with partners to help update offerings on the fly based on the specific needs of each of our clients and our specialized expertise in the space. It is essential to combine the data provided by platforms with the irreplicable human touch in order to definitively make the right decisions throughout the strategic and managerial process of running an influencer marketing campaign.
Some of the unique offerings we’ve found through various partners thanks to this platform-agnostic approach are:
- Real-time Influencer exclusivity monitoring
You’re paying for exclusivity after all, you should have the means to ensure Influencers are
- Influencer PR check
To ensure they aren’t making a name for themselves negatively vs in a positive manner
- Past brand partnership data for each Influencer
This showcases which brands an Influencer has worked with previously
- Content usage hub
To provide influencer content as raw assets with usage timelines for each asset
Because this approach allows us to be nimble in our workflow and deliverables with clients, we are granted a high degree of flexibility and creativity that prepares us to present each client with a tailored influencer marketing strategy that directly lends itself to meet their specific goals. Ultimately, we have our processes and platforms in place, but stay open to what will work best for our clients.
The platform-agnostic method allows us to be nimble. If our client has a specific ask, we can source a solution across existing partnerships or look to onboard new solutions. We are constantly vetting (our specialty!) new platforms to see if they can help us offer our clients more tools for success.
Are you ready to put your most agnostic foot forward on your next campaign? Reach out to our team at RhythmInfluence— we’re industry vets waiting and ready to help you kickstart the next phase of your brand.