As traditional advertising becomes less effective in successfully getting the message across to a target audience, brands and agencies are rapidly resorting to new-age digital marketing channels to connect with their audiences in an authentic manner in the hopes to build meaningful connections, thus fueling the growth of this marketing tool.
The conventional channels of Digital Marketing – e-mail, SMS and Push Notifications have tasted fair share of success across realms and it is now time to implement technology across new age marketing methods like influencer marketing. The surge in the adoption of influencer marketing has consequently bred plenty of technology-backed influencer marketing platforms, like Qoruz.
Till early 2015, the Influencer Marketing eco-system in India banked on manually collated excel sheets, Twitter DM’s or an acquaintance introduction. The market was fragmented with innovative agencies, independent consultants, and freelancers who would help a brand with one-off campaigns with a one-dimensional focus on vanity metrics such as impressions, reach, trending Worldwide/India/Region.
The last two years have witnessed an exponential growth of partially automated platforms which aid a brand or agency to choose their influencers on a dashboard, provide them with a brief or content pegs to elaborate upon, fix the remuneration, and hit the submit button to go live.
These partially-automated platforms have automated some of the processes involved in managing an Influencer Marketing campaign. While some of them need human supervision at each stage, other fairly evolved platforms have limited the need for human intervention.
While purists might argue otherwise, automation is not entirely bad for influencer marketing. With the right mix of automation, influencer marketing platforms can actually drive higher efficiency by automating the more redundant, time-consuming tasks. For example, list building and filtering of influencer profiles, a virtually never ending process can be altered drastically with automation.
Similarly, the process of generating performance reports and collating them for brand managers is tedious as opposed to a one click solution which analyses the performance of tweets, posts across social media platforms and thus pacifying the process of due diligence needed for the campaign accounts to close.
While automation adds to efficacy and efficiency of processes at various levels, it also adds in the perils of monotony and template based approach from Influencers. The nuances of any campaign brief can always be better explained in person rather than a bulk mail, and the content expectations from each influencer would be communicated best by a human touch point rather than a program.
Self-service influencer marketing platforms like Qoruz make it easy for brands to manage the entire process of influencer discovery, outreach, and campaign related communication, and provide the right mix of automation and human communication touch points.
Non-mechanical platforms enable brands to manage the entire process of engaging with influencers in person, thus allowing them to quickly identify the credibility of the influencer
The process of monitoring the progress of campaign from Individual Influencers also needs consistent efforts and checks to ensure whether the right content has gone out and whether it is receiving the response expected, and whether all the deliverables are being met. Since this process is dynamic and varies from individual to individual, it doesn’t make sense to entirely automate it.
As the perception around influencer marketing matures and moves from simply being a buzz generation tool to an actual marketing activity to build a loyal community of influencers who would stand by the brand through thick and thin and help marketers achieve tangible objectives, the quest right now is to find the perfect balance between automation and human touch points. While an entirely automated platform may simplify the complex aspects, it comes with limitations of being too mechanical and unable to subjectively evaluate the content being created. For these purposes, as well as to establish a long-lasting relationship with influencers, a certain level of human intervention is required.
The need of the hour is sophisticated influencer marketing platforms that are able to find the sweet spot that-
- Automates discovery and analysis
- Triggers notifications to relevant influencers for ensuring seamless communication.
- Facilitates the content creation and curation process with the right cues, hooks and keywords
- Help automate certain aspects of the campaign management process such as Timelines, Feedback and Delivery Checks
- Generates reports automatically at the end of campaigns
To optimize a balance, take time to ponder upon the complexities involved in an ideal influencer outreach initiative and decide where you wish to be included and which elements need to be automated. Find a platform that offers you the desired mix and you have a winner.