What are the problems with current influencer platforms?

, 23 August 2018

Influencer platforms aren’t indispensable – nothing is stopping you from contacting an influencer directly – but they greatly facilitate and accelerate the identification, contact and the conclusion of an agreement with an influencer. Although there are more and more of them, these services aren’t without their flaws. Being aware of their potential weaknesses will help you to better choose a platform that achieves great results or that meets your needs.

The number of unverified influencers

Some of the problems of influencer platforms are the same as influencer marketing in general… except that one would expect these paid services to avoid such failings.. But it’s not always the case.

Too many influencers don’t reveal their true face and actually may be imposters. Unfortunately, most influencer platforms don’t vet the profiles enough. (Photo credit: Stefano Pollio, Unsplash)

Therefore, one of the main concerns with influencer marketing is the profusion of profiles whose influence is artificial. It’s clear that platforms don’t always do the screening work necessary to exclude these impostors. It’s sometimes easy to register as an influencer on a platform, whereas common sense would require thorough vetting to validate the registration. Mentioning in the rules that the use of bots, automated techniques, or the outright purchasing of followers are prohibited is not really a sufficient constraint.

The problem is far from being anecdotal. In April 2018, Points North Group threw the cat among the pigeons with its top 10 advertisers using cheating influencers. The list equates to a ranking of brands literally having been the most fooled!

Due to the use of false influencers, 78% of the profiles reached by the Ritz-Carlton (hotel chain) campaigns were fake. (Source: Points North Group)

So find out about the influencer selection process on the platform, in order to avoid associating your brand with a bot.

Establishment of contact between brands / influencers reduced to the bare minimum

Going through a platform should be the opportunity to rely on a trusted ally for successful partnerships with influencers. (Photo credit:, Pexels)

Many platforms are content to play a purely networking function. They then become mere market places whereas they could play a real intermediary role. Their focus is to arrogate the exclusivity of as many influencers as they can get to sign up to their platform, without proposing any great added value afterwards, neither for the influencer in question, nor for the advertiser.

If that’s the case, you may as well get in touch with influencers without going through an intermediary who will take a (undeserved) commission in passing. A high-performance platform must make the relationship between the brand and the influencer more fluid by:

  • Assisting the brand in its search for influencers on the platform,
  • Ensuring that pricing is equivalent to a win-win deal for both parties,
  • Checking that the collaboration terms are respected, in particular the planned calendar,
  • Facilitating and guaranteeing the financial transaction between the two parties.

Total lack of choice for influencer tariffs

Platforms favour clarity and simplicity for their pricing. This is a laudable initiative, but it may mean that the tariffs aren’t a 100% accurate representation of the partnership. There are a lot of criteria involved in measuring the value of a partnership with an influencer: their audience, their usual engagement rate, the quality of the content created, the frequency of the sponsored posts, the relaying of the content on other social networks, duration of visibility, etc.

There is a whole array of prices to evaluate the value of a partnership, but the platforms must offer a simple and concise price structure. (Photo credit: Kaboompics, Pexels)

So with a price list of only three or four tiers, it’s a safe bet that the price paid will not match the true value of the partnership. And guess what: you’ll find yourself paying too much more often than not enough…

A limited search engine

If you are a cosmetics or video games brand, the platforms are full of adapted profiles… So much so that it’s difficult to choose with whom to work. The search engine will return hundreds of results without really helping you to separate the potential candidates.

Influencer platform search engines sometimes struggle to understand the keywords you’re using, especially if you operate, as is often the case, in a niche. (Photo credit: Matthew Brodeur ‘, Unsplash)

On the other hand, if you operate in a niche, which is the case for 90% of companies, things get even harder, the engine may be unable to find a corresponding profile in what is surely a limited pool.

The over representation of Instagram

For many platforms, influencing goes with Instagram, and perhaps with YouTube. So the overwhelming majority of “available” influencers operate on these networks. That is to forget that the two most powerful platforms for influencer marketing are blogs and Facebook, Instagram only coming (far) behind.

When the Tomoson Institute polled a panel of marketers about the most successful influencers for their campaign, it was bloggers who come in first (37% of the answers) followed by Facebook influencers (25%). Instagram only came third, to everyone’s surprise. (Graphic credit: Business 2 Community Source: Tomoson)

Blogs are ignored to an extraordinary extent by many influential platforms, as if bloggers weren’t real influencers… while it’s just the opposite! It’s up to you to seize this opportunity by introducing bloggers into your influencer campaigns.

It’s because we know the weaknesses of today’s influencer platforms that we’ve created ours, that’s fully blog-oriented, easy to use, free to sign up to, and with a team that will help you all the while through your collaboration with the chosen blogger. If is the leading platform for connecting advertisers and influential sites, it is certainly not a coincidence…

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