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How to choose the perfect influencer marketing tool

8 minute read

By now, we all know about the unstoppable power of influencer marketing. Brands are netting a sweet $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing and 90% of marketers believe collaborating with influencers is effective. But to get the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns, you need the right tool.

Choosing anything can be tricky – whether it’s finding the perfect brunch place, getting a new laptop, or deciding on the right influencer marketing tool for your brand.

There are just so many great options out there, with a ton of fancy features. Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses and it’s tricky to figure out what your brand really needs.

Read on to learn how to figure out how to choose a tool that really fits your needs and will help you take your influencer marketing campaigns to the next level.

Why do you need an influencer marketing tool?

Your influencer marketing tool will have a direct impact on the success of your campaigns. It can help you find the best influencers to collaborate with, track how influencers and followers are engaging with your brand, and analyze performance.

Influencer Marketing Tool

An influencer marketing tool will help you to:

1. Measure brand awareness

An influencer marketing tool will show you the most important social media metrics that you can use to determine how well-known and popular your brand is. This information will help you understand how people feel about your brand and whether your overall marketing strategy is working. 

2. Measure sales

Apart from creating awareness for your brand you will of course want to up your sales numbers and keep track of doing so. To evaluate sales through influencers you have multiple options. While some tools are able to offer an interface for your online shop which makes it possible to display the actual amount of product sales via one influencer, others count link clicks or show coupon codes in Instagram Stories.

3. Find brand-fit influencers

At the discovery stage, more and more brands these days rely on influencer marketing tools. Storyclash makes it possible to discover influencers based on their content, not on vanity metrics. This will give you the best chance of finding influencers who truly share your brand values and will represent your brand authentically on social media.

4. Manage seedings & campaigns

If you care for an all-in-one solution look for a tool that offers a managing function. Use it for your influencer seedings and plan your campaigns directly in the tool. That way you don’t lose sight of any step along your influencer marketing campaigns.

5. Track ongoing collaborations & campaigns

An influencer agreed to mention your brand in their story, but you didn’t have time to check Instagram yesterday? No problem. Influencer marketing tools like Storyclash make it possible to monitor Instagram stories even after 24 hours have passed. 

6. Hone your content strategy

Are you aware of all the newest content trends in your industry? An influencer marketing tool can help you identify which topics and formats are performing well in your niche, and figure out what kind of content resonates with your audience. 

7. Keep an eye on your competitors

What if you could see how audiences are reacting to your competitor’s content on social media compared to yours? Well, with the right tool, you can. Many influencer marketing tools offer competitor analysis, which helps you keep track of your industry rivals and spot opportunities to overtake them. 

8. Overview influencer contracts & payments

Depending on the number of influencers you work with, managing your relations - specifically the monetary aspect of it - can be quite a hassle. Some tools come with a built-in CRM solution for managing your influencers’ contracts, payments and overall database of content creators.

9. Analyze results and share reports

Pulling data from various sources for different social media channels can be a huge pain. It’s better to use one tool to build easily-shareable reports in minutes so you can see how well your campaigns are working.

How to choose an influencer marketing tool

So, now you know what an influencer marketing tool can do and why you need one, let’s dive into the decision-making process.

Define your goals

First, define your key objectives and priorities. What are you hoping to achieve? For instance, your goals might be:

  • Find authentic influencers with a loyal following who truly fit your brand
  • Drive awareness, traffic and sales with targeted influencer marketing campaigns
  • Track your performance across all social media channels

Answer these questions

Once you are clear on your goals, it’s time to consider your selection criteria. The questions below can help you get started.

  • Are you a small business / startup or an established brand with many, large marketing teams?
  • Do you operate across DTC, B2C, B2B or a mix of these?
  • How many influencers do you collaborate with?
  • How many people in your company will be using the tool?
  • How many campaigns do you run per month/quarter?
  • What channels are important to you?
  • How important is influencer marketing to your overall brand and marketing strategy?
  • What is your budget?

Consider these 3 important things

1. Budget

You might want a Rolls-Royce but still need to go for a trusty Skoda if that’s what your budget allows. Think realistically about what you need, and what you can afford.

2. Scope and complexity

Your choice of tool will depend a lot on how many campaigns you run per month/quarter and how many influencers you collaborate with. A startup that is just dipping its toe into the world of influencer marketing will have very different needs to an established brand running hundreds of campaigns worldwide with a range of different brand ambassadors.

3. Platforms

67% of brands prefer Instagram for influencer marketing, but TikTok is also gaining in popularity. Facebook is still a valuable channel for certain audiences. So, where do you typically run campaigns? Ensure the tool you choose is fully integrated with the channels that are most important to you. 

After taking down your notes on the previous chapters of goals, different criteria, and more you can jump into the selection process. We have provided you with 3 different categories to make it easier to find the most suitable solution for your business.

Best influencer marketing tools for startups and small businesses

If you’re a small business, you are most likely looking for a cost-effective or even freemium solution. Many influencer marketing tools base their pricing on the number of users, so if you are a small marketing team with just one user, you may be able to net a great deal for your small business or startup brand. 

Our recommendations: Storyclash, InfluData, Hypr, Scope

Best influencer marketing tools for DTC brands

If you’re a DTC brand, you most likely have a laser focus on Instagram and TikTok. You need an agile tool to keep up with the volume and velocity of your projects, and probably have at least two users, maybe more.

Our recommendations:  Storyclash, Open Influence, Lefty

Best influencer marketing tools for big consumer brands

If you’re a big consumer brand, you are likely to have a complex cross-platform social media strategy, along with a big team and agency partners to power it. For you, guidance and service are critical, since any tool is going to need to integrate seamlessly with your existing tech stack.

Our recommendations: Storyclash, CreatorIQ, AspireIQ

5 tips for finding the perfect influencer marketing tool

At Storyclash, we know a thing or two about what makes a good influencer marketing tool. Here are our top tips for finding the right one for your brand.

1. Make sure the tool is easy to use

There’s no point investing in a fancy tool that no one understands, or you need help from technical folks to do simple things. Is your team able to create their own reports with the KPIs that they need? Are they able to find influencers that fit their brand and campaign objectives? 

Have a play around with the tool yourself before committing to anything and get feedback from a range of people who will be using the tool. 

2. Compare features carefully

Every influencer marketing tool sounds cool when you read the description on their website. But what are they really offering? 

You might not need every feature, but you don’t want to invest in a tool only to realize that some key use cases, such as influencer discovery or reporting, are missing. 

Check out our handy list to compare features like influencer discovery, influencer tracking, reporting, management and insights across more than 40 influencer marketing tools.

3. Take reputation into account

There are lots of influencer marketing tools out there, but some are more reputable than others. Talk to people in your industry and check online to see what others are saying.

It’s a big decision, so take your time to do your research, align internally on your priorities and check in with industry colleagues about their experiences with different providers.

4. Get to know the team behind the tool

It’s a good idea to get to know the humans behind the technology, since they are the ones who will be supporting you throughout the implementation process and beyond. Do they share your values? Are they responsive to your questions? Can they provide customer success stories and resources to help you succeed? 

5. Take a free trial or demo

If you’ve whittled your choice down to a few tools, now is the time to book a demo and ask questions. How does the technology work? Where do they find their data? To see Storyclash in action and see how we enable businesses to find brand-fit influencers based on their content, sign up for a free demo here.