The global influencer marketing market has doubled since 2019 and valued at a staggering $13.8 billion (yes, billion!) in 2021.
Key to its growth is the creator economy, populated by millions of amateur creators using their passion and talent to launch side-gigs, build online communities and distribute what they’ve created across the Internet. Savvy and community-minded brands are turning to these creators in an effort to augment their current marketing mixes amid soaring costs for traditional channels.
Amateur content creators offer potential solutions to two perennial challenges faced by modern marketers in the digital age:
Creating content that is agile, “in the now” and recognizably authentic.
Consumers – especially Gen Z and millenials – have a superpower for sniffing out polished brand content. Much to the dismay of agency creatives, they are switching on ad blockers and tuning it out altogether. Marketers are learning the hard way that highly produced, “official” messaging from brands is often ignored and buried.
Creators using platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and SnapChat are creating “in the moment” at a speed marketing departments dream about. No layers of approval or rounds of edits. Simply create and go.
Creating customized conversion-minded content
More than ever before, CMOs are charging their teams to personalize messaging to discrete buying personas, because personalized messaging is more likely to drive action than a more general one.
Generic messaging is bland, untargeted, and ineffective. But our inboxes are still bursting at the seams with bad pitches and lazy marketing. Marketing teams are stretched thin, doing too much with little to show for their efforts.
Creator management tools and platforms continue to grow and evolve every year.
In fact, influencer marketing as a whole is expected to grow to be worth 16.4 billion in 2022.
To help you decide which platform is right for you, we created this article reviewing the best creator management tools at the moment.
What are creator management tools?
Creator management tools are designed to support brands in the various stages of influencer campaigns or programs.
They can help you identify ideal creators, manage the collaboration, make payments, streamline communication, track key metrics, among other things.
Every tool is different, so they can do all of these things or just one.
Key Features of Creator Management Tools
- Recruiting: Some tools can connect with your customer database to find influential people that already love your brand. Some also have a creator database you can browse.
- Communication: When managing multiple creators across email and DMs, communication can get messy.
- Task management: A great creator management tool should allow you to send tasks to your creators for ongoing collaborations.
- Tracking: Tracking the results of your campaigns is a must. Tools can help you track the metrics that matter to you, like sales, impressions, ROI, and more.
- Offline tasks management: Many creator and ambassador programs are now integrating field marketing aspects. Some tools can support them and others don’t.
- Payment management: Sending products to your creators and making payments can be much easier if everything is controlled from a single platform.
- Integrations: Make sure the tool integrates your specific eCommerce platform.
- Affiliate links: More and more brands include affiliate links in their strategy because they are easy to track and give amazing results for both the brands and the creators.
Creator Management Tools in 2022
SocialLadder is an end-to-end influencer management platform designed to help brands find and recruit ideal influencers for their campaigns, manage the partnerships, and track in real-time all the metrics that matter.
The powerful platform can scan through your customer database to find influencers that already love your products. This way your partnerships can be as authentic as possible.
Plus, SocialLadder has its own database of creators that you can filter through to find your ideal profiles.
Then, you can chat with your creators, send them tasks, pay them, generate affiliate links, and track results from the same platform.
Now that creator marketing is moving towards long-term and authentic partnerships with creators, platforms are starting to adapt to those types of collaborations.
The difference with SocialLadder is that the platform was built with those capabilities in mind, so it’s a robust software for all types of campaigns.
- Influencer discovery
- Enterprise API
- Application management
- Social media integrations
- In-app chat
- Task Assignment
- Offline task management
- Support for multiple compensation methods
- Automated rewards
- Referrals links
- ROI tracking
- Real-time analytics
- Customizable reports
SocialLadder is the most complete creator management platform because it gives you the ability to launch and manage the exact influencer program you want. It has all the tools from the other platforms plus support for field marketing activities.
Grin is another popular platform for creator management specifically made for eCommerce brands.
Just as the previous platform, Grin also allows you to find creators in your CRM or in their database.
Other capabilities include the ability to communicate with influencers through the email integration, manage content, manage influencer payments, among other things.
Grin is a strong option especially for eCommerce brands that use Shopify and that are planning to work with a few creators at the same time.
While it’s possible to manage an ongoing long-term creator program instead of a short-term campaign with Grin, it’s not the most optimized platform for that purpose.
- Influencer recruiting
- Payment tracking
- Content management
- Tracking and reporting
Grin is a strong platform with all the tools you need to manage traditional influencer campaigns. From discovering creators to managing the relationship, it’s a good option for DTC brands on Shopify. However, it was built for those types of campaigns so it doesn’t have the capabilities of other platforms when it comes to supporting larger creator programs. For example, no API, mobile app, segmentation, gamification, etc.
CreatorIQ is one of the most trusted platforms to manage creator campaigns for a reason.
Its highly customizable creator database makes it easy for brands to find influencers with the characteristics they want.
With over 20 million available profiles in their database, it’s a great option to find influencers on your selected social media platform.
In addition, their guided campaign creation feature gives brands organization and control over the campaigns they are running at the same time.
Plus, just like the previous two options, they support affiliate marketing
Even though the platform lacks features for certain types of creator programs, CreatorIQ is a robust platform to build a network of creators.
- Influencer Recruitment tools
- Content Approval
- Campaign Analytics
- Data Importing and Exporting Tools
CreatorIQ is a good platform that offers the same capabilities as most creator management platforms plus a few more in relation to the API and data importing. However, some user reviews have pointed out that the influencer discovery tool is not very user-friendly, but you would have to check it out for yourself if that’s the case.
Upfluence has been one of the leaders in this space for some time for its strong influencer marketing features.
The platform allows you to find influencers in your customer base if your brand uses Shopify or Woocommerce, discover candidates on their database, manage the campaigns, send products, generate affiliate links, and more.
Upfluence also features some social listening capabilities that let you monitor your brand’s social media presence and your competition’s.
One of the cons for this platform is that there are some user complaints that the user experience is not as good as with other alternatives.
However, it is still a great option to consider for managing influencer campaigns.
- Access to customer database if using Shopify or Woocommerce
- Influencer Recruitment tools
- Influencer Collaboration
- User-Generated Content (UGC) Management
- Campaign Analytics
- Reporting and Dashboards
- Influencer Compensation
Upfluence is another strong contender, with access to your customer database to find the best influencers. Looking at your own customers is the best way to find partners who can genuinely talk about your brand. However, this feature works only for Shopify and Woocomerce.
Aspire is another well-known platform, previously known as AspireIQ and before that, Revfluence.
It features some of the same capabilities as the other platforms such as influencer discovery, relationship management, ROI tracking, content management.
Plus other features like reverse image search, content licensing, and digital term sheets.
This last feature allows brands to send the influencers which act as a contract for the collaboration where you can the terms and conditions.
While Aspire is a good option for influencer campaigns, its influencer search tools aren’t as strong as the other ones and the platform lacks functionality for eCommerce platforms other than Shopify.
However, Aspire is still worth checking out.
- Campaign Creation
- Campaign Lifecycle Management
- Digital term sheets
- Rewards inventory
- Campaign analytics
Aspire has been a trusted platform for many years and that’s because of its various features. One of its downsides is that it’s not as strong when it comes to finding influencers. However, make sure you still check Aspire out.