Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere—in fact, it’s projected to grow by the billions in 2020. Clocking in at $9.7 billion in 2020, influencer marketing is not only a popular advertising venue for brands, but it gets results.
How’s that for ROI?
The goal of influencer marketing is to boost your brand awareness and sales in an organic, thoughtful way.
That’s all well and good, but influencer marketing is no walk in the park, either.
It can take forever to source influencers yourself. Trying to find effective, trustworthy influencers is like looking for Waldo while blindfolded.
You have to set your campaign goals, find influencers who fit those goals, get them to agree to a campaign, and then track their performance.
All manually. And it’s exhausting.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way anymore. Brands can simplify the influencer marketing process by joining an influencer network.
What is an influencer network?
An influencer network, also known as a creator network, helps brands find the right influencers for their campaigns. But it does a lot more than influencer sourcing.
Influencer networks help you monitor your campaign results, pay influencers, and manage content rights.
In a nutshell, it’s a structured place where brands can find influencers and vice versa.
Influencer networks take the Wild West of influencer marketing and transform it into an organized mecca of ROI goodness.
The best creator networks include:
Monetization and payment options.
Messaging between you and the influencer.
Content rights management.
Analytics and performance management.
With a trusty influencer network on your side, you make the most of your time and your influencer marketing budget.
What isn’t an influencer network?
Now, there are a ton of influencer solutions out there, and it’s easy to get them mixed up.
While you might encounter agencies or influencer databases out there in the wild, they’re completely different from a proper influencer network.
1 - Networks aren’t agencies
Agencies are similar in many ways to influencer network software. They’ll manage every aspect of your campaign and send you the reports.
Agencies can work well if you want to run literally everything on autopilot.
But there are other big drawbacks to choosing an agency over a software platform, like:
Automation: Agencies will automate the heck out of your campaign anyway. That means you’re paying them to do something you could have yourself.
Lack of control: Need a report? You’ll have to go through your agency rep first, and that can take days. You don’t have control over the campaign direction or even the performance metrics with an agency, which gets old pretty quickly.
Price: Holy moly, agencies charge a lot of money. They basically take over your influencer marketing—and charge you the modest fee of your firstborn child for their services.
Influencer networks are different than agencies because they’re a software solution. Yes, there’s a lot of automation and you’ll have some hands-on time in the software, but that’s not a bad thing.
With an influencer network, you have more control over your destiny. Oh, and you won’t pay thousands of dollars a month for results, either.
Unless you hate having money in your pocket, steer clear of influencer agencies.
2 - Networks aren’t a database
Please don’t mistake influencer networks for influencer databases. At first blush, the two sound similar, but they’re worlds apart.
An influencer database is basically a glorified search engine. It’s faster than sifting through Instagram profiles, for sure, but it’s still not that great.
You want to avoid influencer databases because:
They’re low quality: Databases care about quantity, not quality. There’s no guarantee the influencers in the database are even real, much less effective.
They have limited data: Once you go through a database, that’s it. There’s nothing else to glean from it. But don’t worry, they’ll keep charging you.
There’s no personal connection: Trend has a personal relationship with each of our influencers. Databases have never even spoken to the people in their contact lists.
Influencer networks don’t scrape public data and spit it back out at you. Nope.
A good influencer network is a software solution that matches you to pre-vetted, trustworthy influencers with a good track record.
Ditch the pricey databases that don’t get you anywhere. A network is the place to be.
The 4 benefits of using an influencer network
Now that we know you should avoid agencies and databases like headlice, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of influencer networks.
Why should you use an influencer network, anyway?
The best platforms include everything you could possibly need to manage your influencer marketing. You stand to win in 4 ways when you opt for an influencer network.
1 - Save time
Influencer networks like Trend offer a completely digital, all-in-one platform that’s intuitive and easy to use.
Instead of scrolling through Instagram for hours, let the best influencers come to your inbox via Trend.
The influencers come to you on our platform, which compiles a shortlist of influencers who are a good fit for your product. You accept bids only from the folks you want to work with.
Trend removes manual processes from influencer marketing and streamlines them, saving you a ton of time.
2 - Cut out the middle man
Trend’s influencer network gives you full control with all the conveniences of an agency. The platform eliminates long email chains to get you the data you need, when you need it.
Our platform cuts out the back and forth that’s so common in influencer marketing. Trend does everything for you, including:
Pre-negotiated rates with your influencer. That’s right—no more negotiating.
All communication happening in-app.
Tracking shipments and products.
Baking in all of the content rights automatically.
Check out your dashboard to quickly approve new creators, communicate with them, and track your results. Approve every post before it goes live and manage all other aspects of the campaign in a quick, efficient way.
Trend helps you work directly with influencers with the structured support or a platform.
3 - Match with the perfect influencer
Trend has over 5,500 creators in our network. Our invite-only platform means you get access to experienced, highly-qualified influencers.
Don’t waste time sifting through an influencer database for irrelevant data. The influencers come to you on Trend’s platform.
Plus, influencers will only apply to your campaign if they align with your message and brand. That equals more relevant messaging that gets results with the influencer’s followers.
4 - It’s cheaper
Oh, and did we mention that the Trend influencer network is more cost-effective than an agency or database?
You pay a flat fee for each campaign and enjoy pre-negotiated rates with all of our influencers. There are zero surprises and you always know what your bill will look like.
You pay Trend, Trend takes care of all payments to creators.
The bottom line
Influencer networks are a safer, faster, cheaper software solution for influencer marketing.
If you’re a newbie to the world of influencer marketing, avoid high-price agencies and spammy influencer databases.
Instead, be the master of your own destiny.
Use a platform like Trend to set your campaign goals, choose from hand-selected creators, and control the entire process from start to finish.
Ready to see the difference for yourself? Get a taste of the Trend platform now with a no-hassle demo.