What is an Influencer Marketplace? + Pros and Cons

Oct 19th, 2021 — Jenn Kim
5 minute read

It’s every marketer’s dream to have true brand fans promote their products. Likewise, it’s every creator’s dream to partner with their favorite brand. Luckily, with an influencer marketplace, dreams do come true.

An influencer marketplace allows like-minded brands and creators to find and quickly partner with one another. Brands submit campaign proposals to the marketplace. As a registered influencer in the marketplace, a creator can apply to programs they’re interested in. It’s an easy way for brands to find verified, experienced influencers without a ton of outreach.

By correctly using an influencer marketplace, you can streamline your influencer discovery process and make better connections with the right creators.

What are the Best Influencer Marketplaces?

Some social media channels, like TikTok and Snapchat, have their own influencer marketplaces, but the most comprehensive influencer marketplaces are on influencer marketing platforms.

Social Media Platforms

Many social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram offer resources to their creators, but they don’t have true influencer marketplaces. The ones that do are a great place to get started.

While these are the only two social platforms with true influencer marketplaces, other channels are hoping to offer similar creator marketplaces soon. Instagram has plenty of tools for Instagram influencers, but they’re still working on rolling out an influencer marketplace that will connect brands and influencers. Similarly, LinkedIn has also hinted at the creation of a marketplace to help brands find LinkedIn creators.

Influencer Marketing Platforms

Aspire is the only influencer marketing platform that has a dedicated creator marketplace. A space for brands to easily connect with a network of active influencers. And a space for creators to monetize their engaged following through authentic brand partnerships. Many brands choose to work with influencer marketing platforms because they simplify influencer discovery, communication, and tracking for influencer campaigns, however you’re missing out if the tool you’re looking at doesn’t also provide a creator marketplace. If you’re assessing which influencer platform to work with, here are some questions you should consider when choosing an influencer marketing platform. 

The Benefits of an Influencer Marketplace

Just like anything, there are pros and cons to using an influencer marketplace, and the benefits far outweigh any potential downsides. The biggest benefit of influencer marketplaces is it connects you with creators who are looking for authentic partnerships. Beyond this obvious advantage, there are many other perks to utilizing an influencer marketplace. You’ll also increase your chances of finding the right influencers for your brand in less time and fewer steps.

1. Influencers in the marketplace are vetted.

To be a part of an influencer marketplace, creators are vetted to make sure they have good engagement metrics and authentic practices. These eligibility requirements, like providing proof of their identity and follower count, ensure brands can expect high-quality influencer relationships.

Plus, influencers who have opted in to be part of the marketplace are agreeing to share their real-time data with the brands on the platform. Because of that, the platform is able to provide more data points than a non-opt-in network to allow you to make the best-informed decision prior to a partnership. On Aspire, we even provide brands with influencer’s authenticity scores and a sliding scale showing the percentage of fake followers one may have.

2. Brands gain quick and easy collaboration processes.

Influencers who are in the marketplace are typically creators who want to build their own personal brands. Because of this, they’re eager for new partnerships and have existing experience in co-creating with brands.

Since they’ve opted in to be a part of the platform, these creators are familiar with managing relationships through a marketplace. The collaboration process should be quick and reliable, with both parties familiar with the process.

3. You have access to up-and-coming, affordable influencers.

Many influencers in the marketplace are up-and-coming creators, including nano-influencers, micro-influencers, and mid-size influencers.

While influencer pricing varies based on several factors, creators with smaller followings are typically more affordable and often see more success with targeted campaigns. Our internal data revealed that nano-influencers consistently achieve the highest engagement rate. This is especially helpful for emerging brands with tight budgets that may not be able to afford to work with celebrity-level influencers.

4. You’re able to find specific influencers for very niche campaigns.

You may want to run a targeted campaign that requires a distinct group of content creators. Because of advanced search capabilities, influencer marketplaces are a great tool for finding niche influencers.

For example, you may run a campaign for dorm room supplies for students who are about to go to college. As you can imagine, these types of influencers may be harder to find through keyword search. That’s where the marketplace comes in. If you have a callout saying, “We’re looking for first-year students who will be heading off to college,” relevant influencers can find you on the marketplace instead of you spending hours on a manual search.

You can also use the marketplace’s discovery tools to search by demographic, audience interests, keywords, and more. At Aspire, we even allow you to search by images, so you can find creators whose aesthetic matches your brand.

The Pitfalls of an Influencer Marketplace

While there are definitely some amazing benefits to using a marketplace, it’s important to be aware of the potential traps, so you can make the most out of your influencer marketplace. The good news is these traps are easy to avoid.

1. Using a single channel for influencer discovery

If you’re ONLY using an influencer marketplace and not leveraging any other search channels, you’re limiting yourself to just the pool of influencers who’ve opted into the marketplace. This means you’re likely missing out on a world of opportunity with some really amazing brand partners.

To avoid falling into this trap, make sure you’re exploring other channels of discovery, like our Aspire search engine, social media and even the likes of Google. Leveraging social listening solutions and ecommerce integrations to look for people who are already organically talking about you on social media is also a smart idea.

2. Offering mediocre campaign incentives

When searching an influencer marketplace, creators can see other brands’ campaigns. If you don’t have good incentives for influencers to join your campaign, you could lose a partner to another brand with a more appealing offer.

If you’re not getting any influencers applying to your campaigns, consider reworking your reward model. For instance, if you’re only offering free products for multiple deliverables, it’s possible you may need to offer payment or reduce the amount of content you’re asking for — especially if your products aren’t of high value. Remember, influencers want to be compensated fairly.

3. Investing in a platform with additional fees

Unfortunately, some influencer platforms will charge fees or take commissions on top of what you pay your partners. These platforms are a “middleman” between your brand and your creative partners. Not only does this cost more, but it also takes away from your influencer’s hard-earned wages.

We recommend doing your research and steering clear of any platforms that don’t allow you to own your influencer relationships. For example, Aspire’s marketplace is completely free to use once you’re our customer, and we don’t take a commission from influencers’ earnings. That means no additional costs, and your influencers get their full paychecks.

Take Advantage of an Influencer Marketing Platform for Multi-Channel Discovery

Influencer marketplaces are an excellent way to find the right partners for your brand, and using an influencer marketing platform is the best way to reach creators on all platforms.

Just like when you research influencers, it’s also important to vet each platform before you invest. Look for an influencer marketing platform that has:

  • Advanced influencer discovery tools
  • A true creator marketplace, where influencers can find brands and brands can find influencers
  • Ongoing relationship and campaign management
  • ROI and conversion measurement tools

Learn more about Aspire’s influencer marketplace by requesting a demo. 

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