As influencer marketing continues to grow, so does the rise in the number of influencer marketing platforms and tools to help alleviate some of the pain points that marketers go through when employing an influencer marketing approach. Just as companies have turned to SEO services to optimize content, marketers are looking into automation as a viable option to maximize their campaign efforts and achieve brand goals.
What exactly is influencer marketing automation?
An influencer marketing tool or platform is a software that automates the more tedious tasks in an influencer strategy. It helps brands to be more concise in their approach to driving leads, generating brand awareness, and reaching other marketing milestones from their influencers.
This marketing technology typically automates the recruitment, communication, reporting, scheduling of content posting, and other aspects of the process to create a more seamless and consistent brand campaign.
The big question is, is it worth it? If you’re already spending on influencer campaigns, investing in software on top of that may seem overwhelming. But online commerce is a highly competitive place, and if you want your brand to survive, you must keep up with marketing automation trends and strategies. A marketing automation tool could maximize your influencer marketing campaign, bring in more revenue, and keep your brand on top of the online business race.
Automated influencer marketing statistics
Here are some useful statistics to provide insight into the bigger picture of how automated influencer marketing has impacted the industry.
About influencer marketing
- The influencer marketing sector is set to climb to about $9.7B in 2020.
- Approximately 380 new influencer marketing platforms and agencies were established in 2019.
- 91% of respondents believe that influencer marketing is an effective marketing strategy.
- Searching for influencers is the biggest challenge for marketers.
- 70% of respondents are using influencer marketing, with many of those brands likely to be using an automation program or software to help run their campaigns.
About marketing automation
- 49% of companies are using some form of marketing automation; 55% of B2B companies are doing the same.
- 63% of companies are outdoing the competition with marketing automation.
- B2B companies with marketing automation saw an increase in their sales pipeline by about 10%.
- 36% of marketers employ marketing automation to curb repetitive tasks.
- About 90% of companies define their marketing automation strategy as effective.
- 78% of successful marketers attribute the improvement of revenue contribution to marketing automation.
- Marketing automation brings a 14.5% growth in sales productivity and a 12.2% cutback in marketing costs.
To automate or not to automate?
While the statistics are mainly in favor of automating influencer marketing, there are still risks that critics warn against the automation process. Here is a closer look at both its advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of automating influencer marketing
- Saves a lot of time. Marketers spend a lot of time finding and contacting the right influencers to partner up with their brand; something automation software can do in seconds.
- Cuts costs. Hiring specialists to develop a distribution and promotion plan plus track metrics is expensive. You can also save yourself from wasting resources on fraudulent influencers.
- Manages several influencers at any given time. Even if your company decides to work with up to a thousand micro-influencers, an automated platform can handle the load. A marketing team may only be able to efficiently manage up to a few.
- Gives greater exposure. An automated calendar for social media content posting can reach out to the right customers at the right time and with the right content.
- It makes content more consistent. Your content flow will be evenly distributed, helping your brand build presence and awareness.
- It helps generate sales. By reaching out to more people, the software can produce new leads and bring about a new customer base.
Disadvantages of automating influencer marketing
- Costs money. This is especially true for smaller businesses that have tight budgets.
- May reduce your brand’s authenticity. A large part of what makes influencer marketing a success is the human connection behind it. When this organic element is completely left to automation, you may lose your relationship with your audience.
- May post insensitive content. A fully automated marketing program may not know whether to halt a badly-timed post during emergencies or a tragedy.
- May lead to poor audience targeting or awkward brand mentions. Having no marketing specialist to look over the campaign specifics may lead to an inauthentic form of branding.
The key to influencer marketing automation is to let machines perform the heavy lifting but to always have a human touch to refine the process and keep it as authentic and organic as possible.
How to get onboard with the automated influencer marketing approach
Here are the best practices in automating your influencer marketing strategy:
1. Research the right influencer automating tool for you
Some automation programs are little more than just “dressed-up” excel spreadsheets. Write down what you want in a marketing tool. Where are you in the process, and what do you most need help with? Use the product to know if it’s the right fit before buying it.
2. Turn critical areas in the process over to automation
These are the elements that, when performed manually, may end up being time- and cost-intensive and bring about the most significant risks. These five areas include:
- Influencer selection
3. Find a software application that is influencer-centric
You want to make the relationship as smooth as possible. Provide influencers with the tools they need, such as individualized discount coupons, shareable links, and links to automatic payment systems.
4. Come up with a content strategy to incorporate with your automation tool
Because you want to maintain as much authenticity (and consistency) with your brand message, it helps to strategize the parameters of the content so that the platform can communicate and make it clear to the influencer.
5. Don’t forget the human touch
Regardless of what automation tool you end up getting, none of them can perform all of the tasks seamlessly without needing a person to overlook the critical steps of the process. Think of your automation program as a supplement, not as a substitute for your influencer marketing strategy.
Some of the most innovative and influential people in marketing automation
For guidance and inspiration in the marketing automation industry, here are the top influencers in the business:
- Scott Brinker (Hubspot’s VP for platform ecosystem, MarTech Conference chair, Chief Marketing Technologist blog editor) writes masterful and cutting edge content about the more comprehensive marketing technology marketplace.
- Kelly Waffle (MarketBridge, Vice President Strategic Solution Group) is an award-winning writer who publishes outstanding articles on a wide array of B2B marketing topics.
- Xand Griffin (The Stratus Interactive Inbound Marketer) believes in the value of excellent customer experience and is fantastic at getting this data across to her audience.
- Michael Brenner (SAP, former VP of Content Marketing and The Marketing Insider Group founder) is a content and marketing strategy expert who consistently provides excellent insights into B2B marketing.
- Kristin Connell (Astadia, former senior marketing automation consultant, Deltek, director of digital marketing, Sojourn Solutions, currently head of marketing) writes valuable insights about marketing automation technology.
Automating your influencer marketing strategy will yield numerous benefits to your bottom line and your brand. Remember that this approach will only work if you can keep an authentic connection with your audience. Know which tasks to automate and which tasks to oversee and learn from the experts every day, these are the secrets to a successful automated marketing approach.