TL; DR: Traackr’s Influencer Relationship Management (IRM) platform enables brands to identify, monitor, and engage those creating authentic, relevant conversations around their products and services. The all-in-one system also helps businesses quantify the impact of influencer programs and scale as needed for continued growth. With detailed campaign management tools on the horizon, Traackr is continuing to put marketers on the right path to build consumer trust.
Making a purchase these days without subsequently being asked to do something more is no easy task.
“Like us on Facebook!”
“Fill out a review for a chance to win $5,000!”
“Rate your transaction with us on Amazon.com!”
These seemingly endless demands aren’t just annoying — they’re attempts to cash in on the increasingly coveted word-of-mouth recommendation. In an era where consumers trust advice from YouTubers over traditional ad campaigns, social influencers have more power than ever.
According to a Nielsen study of 28,000 internet users in 56 countries, 96% of survey respondents said they trust “recommendations from people I know,” followed by “consumer opinions posted online” (70%). In contrast, only 36% conveyed trust in online video advertisements. What’s more, a 2014 study by Burst Media indicated that influencer marketing programs often generate a 6-1 return on investment.
As brand advocates continue to capture buyer attention, tools like Traackr enable CMOs and their teams to shift their focus to influencer marketing. With the company’s Influencer Relationship Management platform, brands can take control of their influencer campaigns while preserving authenticity.
Traackr has devoted the last decade to fine-tuning the SaaS platform, which now supports influencer marketing professionals through their entire workflow. “We cover everything from influencer discovery and vetting to managing campaigns, and, most importantly, reporting on the effectiveness of those campaigns individually and at the level of your overall program,” said Evy Wilkins, VP of Marketing at Traackr.
Today, the all-in-one system also helps more than 150 global brands quantify the impact of influencer programs and scale as needed for continued growth. With new features like granular campaign management on the way, Evy told us Traackr will continue to evolve along with the growing role of online influencers.
Identify and Grow a Network of Relevant Influencers
Launched in 2008, Traackr predates Instagram — one of the sites online influencers frequent most. Evy told us the company’s 10-year journey has been an “incredibly wild ride.” At its inception, Traackr aggregated online presence into one unit, allowing agencies to identify influential individuals based on topic. “Let’s say you were posting something on Twitter, you had a blog, and you also contributed to Forbes,” Evy said. “Traackr would consider you and all of those places as one.”
At the time, the company measured overall influence through three metrics: Reach, or audience size; resonance, or how well your audience engages with your content; and relevance, how closely content matches keywords in customer searches. But Evy told us the company has come a long way since then. “Traackr quickly grew from an influencer discovery engine into an end-to-end platform for influencer marketing,” she said.
And it did so in step with a changing industry. Today, active communities of influencers exist on Instagram and Facebook as well as less-obvious networks like GitHub and Stack Overflow (Traackr monitors them all). In addition to shifting presence on social media networks, Evy said the content brands co-create with influencers is evolving.
“At the end of the day, if a brand doesn’t integrate into a social network and in a seamless way — sharing content in the same way that we share content between each other — then that advertising technique isn’t going to work,” Evy said.
In contrast with channel-specific services and opt-in networks, Traackr’s platform provides businesses with a comprehensive way to monitor influencer relations, gain competitive insights, and optimize influencer-driven investments.
Manage Campaigns, Build Relationships, and Quantify Value
A decade ago, Evy said it was common for brands to outsource social media and influencer marketing to ad agencies. Today, they’re increasingly bringing those functions in-house.
“Brands recognize the value in building long-term relationships with brand advocates, and we’re starting to see the rise of the influencer marketing function within organizations like L’Oréal, Samsung, and Google, for example,” Evy said. “Brand managers and social media leadership are building out the practice within the brand itself.”
That’s why Traackr focuses on the entire workflow, from the moment a company sits down to discover new influencers. “We start at the beginning with data-based discovery and validation of influencers — whether that’s understanding the influencer themselves, their audience, or their performance on certain topics,” Evy said. “Then we move into campaign management, reporting, and analytics to provide you that insight on what’s working and what’s not so that you can quickly adapt.”
By helping identify active influencers and providing a toolset capable of managing far more relationships than an outdated spreadsheet, the full-circle platform is intended to meet the needs of the modern marketing team. “If you want to optimize your influencer investments, use Traackr,” Evy said.
Influence Matters: Earn Trust and Transform Your Brand
Studies have shown that 38 percent of those who engage with influencers trust an influencer’s opinion over a brand’s own messaging. Still, most companies require marketing teams to demonstrate that their efforts contribute to the bottom line. “Influencer marketers are really under the gun to prove their worth in terms of ROI, but they can’t do that unless they have data,” Evy said.
To that end, Traackr’s Audience Insights tool, available in all subscriptions, provides marketing executives the data they need to ensure they’re spending influencer dollars effectively. The statistics empower brands to prioritize influencers whose audiences align with the company’s ideal customers to save time and money. The company also offers a comprehensive guide to measuring influencer efforts.
Evy said these tools are largely the product of ongoing internal development based on customer feedback. “It’s inspiring to work side by side with our customers, who push us to move the technology forward so they can actually measure the impact of this new form of marketing,” she said.
In addition to customer feedback, Traackr relies on a team of internal experts who, according to Evy, “live and breathe influencer marketing.”
“The practice of influencer marketing evolves quickly, so we do a lot of rapid experimentation and discovery,” she said. “If you listen to where it’s going, the market tells you what it needs.”
On the Horizon: Granular Campaign Management
Traackr will continue to let customer feedback and industry trends inform product development in the coming year. Evy said the company will focus on adding more detail to the platform’s features in terms of campaign management.
“We’ll be focusing on a tricky part of the process: all the work that happens once you’ve chosen your influencers and you’re collaborating with them and negotiating with them,” she said. “There are a whole bunch of elements there that we would like to enable through the platform as well as integrate with other platforms.”
Evy said she’s personally excited about the platform’s recent integration with Twitch, a live streaming video platform owned by a subsidiary of Amazon that hosts around 15 million daily active users. While the platform typically serves as an outlet for live-streaming gameplay, it’s also branching out into live sports broadcasts, lifestyle content, radio shows, and beauty tutorials.
“It’s such an interesting community, so different from every other social network out there,” she said. “There are very active communities of engaged individuals who are influential in their space, whether that’s gaming and engineering, or even fashion and beauty.”
Just as it does with other platforms, Traackr’s Twitch integration enables CMOs to find new influencers, understand their audiences, monitor the videos they produce, and create analytics reports based on their performance.
“I’m very excited to see where it goes,” Evy said.