Influencer Marketing Platforms: Opt-in vs. Discovery, and What Do You Need?

Influencer 101

Influencer marketing has exploded in the past few years. Every marketing or business site you read has a dozen new articles about how to properly leverage influencers to help market your business using influencer marketing.

More brands and agencies are turning to influencer marketing platforms to scale their programs. There are dozens of platforms out there, all with various pros and cons. But they largely fall into two main categories in 2019, with a few companies stepping up to lead the pack:

  • Activation, i.e. Opt-in platforms
  • Discovery and evaluation platforms

Activation i.e. Opt-in Platforms

An activation platform is a platform that allows you to quickly get influencers to promote your brand or product. These types of platforms can help you quickly get an influencer marketing campaign off the ground and help you build relationships with influencers.

Some types of activation platforms are structured in a way that an influencer sends you an RFP in an attempt to win your business. The downside to these sites is that you are often limited to the how many influencers that the platform has opted-in. Not only that but often these types of platform don’t have any data on influencers so it can be difficult to gauge if an influencer is a good fit.

With "opt-in" platforms, you're limited to influencers who are already approved by the organization. You'll also be paying commission on the relationship.

With "opt-in" platforms, you're limited to influencers who are already approved by the organization. You'll also be paying commission on the relationship.

What does this mean for you? You'll have access to fewer influencers, sometimes limited to several thousand. One pro is that they'll be pre-vetted for quality, but even so, fraud is still a possibility.

If you want more creative control and wider possibilities, as most large brands and agencies do, it's best to go with an influencer discovery platform instead.

Discovery and Evaluation Platforms

A discovery platform accumulates data from billions of social conversations and uses a mix of technologies, like machine learning, image recognition and AI, to create a database of influencers.

There are not many of these types of platforms out there, due to the fact that most influencer marketing platforms rely on opting in influencers. This can severely limit the number of influencers you can discover.

HYPR offers 12 million+ influencers, and scans billions of public social media conversations daily to bring helpful insights ranging 30,000 content topics.

HYPR offers 12 million+ influencers, and scans billions of public social media conversations daily to bring helpful insights ranging 30,000 content topics.

Discovery platforms work really well in that they often allow you to plug in your target audience, which generates a list of potential influencers who will reliably be a good fit for meeting your engagement goals. While other platforms don't allow you to activate or manage relationships within the service, HYPR's new influencer marketing cloud enables automation of these processes and measurement, too.

What's Right for You?

Opt-in platforms are often best for smaller companies getting their start with influencer marketing. While you will pay for commission, you will probably have a lower up-front platform cost by sacrificing some automation capabilities, features and tools. However, you will be limited in the size and scope of the campaigns you can create, as you will be handling things manually and limited by the amount of influencers in the platform.

For brands and agencies that are more established and looking to scale, a discovery platform like HYPR with automation throughout the creator lifecycle is a good bet. It will let you set benchmarks for performance, measure ROI, manage enterprise teams, and activate many relevant and engaging creators simply.

You may also want to consider a full-service solution — one that offers influencer account management services to help you strategize, vet influencers, and monitor creator performance while making sense of the analytics. We offer one such platform with a five-star account management team at the ready, with thousands of activations under their belt.

See the impact of an influencer marketing platform in action: Download the #StrawlessSkies case study.

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