Should PRToolfinder add an Influencer Marketing Category?
I’ve been thinking about adding an Influencer Marketing Tools category but am on the fence so I’m writing this blog to see if anyone will weigh in on if it’s really needed in PRToolfinder – is it a category with staying power and real value? My issue with some of the other tool directories is they don’t list comparable tools together, they sort of display a mish/mash of tools that pay to be listed but aren’t really similar – not really apples to apples.
What features constitute a true Influencer Marketing tool? Many social media marketing tools also claim to be tools that can build a demand generation feedback loop through influencer listening. But if influencers see things first – engaging them means you see things early – tools then must have an engagement element not just a listening element right? I’ve read that influencer marketing is maturing as a business practice and that it’s moving from B2C into B2B. Sure seems like there should be a category – but who should be in it?
I’ve read a couple of articles lately that are tipping the decision-making scale to the “yes” direction. An article in Marketing Profs, says the influencer marketing industry is worth over $1.5 billion, and that number is on the rise. Fully 65% of brands plan to increase spending on influencer marketing in 2019, according to a recent study from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). The article looks at key market trends in social media engagement and the ways new emerging platforms are addressing those trends.
Research indicates that Mavrck appears to be a leading all-in-one influencer marketing platform enabling companies such as P&G, PepsiCo, and Kraft Heinz to harness the power of ideas people trust. Mavrck was named a ‘Strong Performer’ among the top emerging influencer marketing platforms in Forrester’s evaluation, The Forrester New Wave™: Influencer Marketing Solutions, Q4 2018. In Forrester’s evaluation of the emerging market for influencer marketing solutions (IMSes), they’ve identified the 11 most significant providers in the category as Ahalogy, AspireIQ, Collective Bias, Influential, IZEA, Klear, Launchmetrics, Linqia, Mavrck, Octoly, and Traackr
PRToolfinder likes to list all of the relevant tools however in a category – not just enterprise-level tools, but free and low-cost tools as well. That said, I’ve run across another resource not mentioned in Forrester’s report – it’s called Babbler and apparently they also have a partnership with Agility PR Solutions that allow access to their database of more than 1 million reporters worldwide where you can provide to the reporters a place where they can have a direct access to your latest stories and content, 24/7, for FREE. They have a freemium version and then it jumps to $110/month.
The Brandwatch blog also covered influencer marketing in a post earlier this year where they listed their list of tools to check out. It is an interesting combination of tools like TweetDeck which people will be familiar with, but also tools you may not have heard of like Klear, for finding influencers who are already engaging with you and those within your network, or FollowerWonk which allows you to search for keywords in Twitter user bios and sort individuals to find those with the largest reach and most authority.
Finally, in my records I saved a press release from 2017 put out by WHOSAYas they launched their Match Platform to provide to provide agency and brand clients with a free web and mobile application that helps them connect their campaign objectives to the best talent at every level of influence.
So, it sure seems like there are enough tools out there to warrant a new category. But I’d like to hear what you think? New category? If so what are the common features that qualify?