Influencer marketing is red-hot right now. Whether you realize it or not, a material percentage of your Instagram feed today is probably content posted by people getting paid….a lot. It’s not unheard of for the platform’s most popular accounts to get paid over $100,000 per post, and major brands collectively are spending an estimated $255 million per month on sponsored posts on Instagram alone.
Why will brands pay this much? Because it works. But for the most part influencer marketing is still only being used by big brands, because the infrastructure just isn’t there yet to let the smaller guys participate.
Meet Dovetale, an influencer marketing platform built for the masses. The company is one of the first to graduate from Expa Labs, an offshoot of Expa, the New York and San Francisco-based startup studio founded by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp in 2014.
Dovetale’s platform lets brands and agencies do four main things: discover, manage, measure and pay influencers for branded content. Essentially they want to provide a self-service platform that consolidates the manual steps brands typically have to take in order to find and work with an influencer.
Discover is exactly what it sounds like – the tool lets you specify parameters like follower count, audience location and demographic so you can find influencers whose posts will be seen by the exact demographic you want to advertise to. Combined these parameters will let you do something like say I need a personal trainer who has 20,000 followers who are mostly under 21, and live in the U.S. Previously brands and agencies would have to search manually through databases of influencers – Dovetale wants to make it as easy as a Google search.
Within Discover also a cool feature called recommendations that lets you upload an image you like, and Dovetale will use image recognition and machine learning to crawl the web looking for other influencers who post content like the kind you uploaded – even if they aren’t already in Dovetale’s database of influencers.
Measure is how the startup shows brands how their posts are performing. After specifying which posts were sponsored by you, Dovetale will tell you how many times it was liked, commented on, etc – so you can track and graph engagement over time and compare it between posts.
Lastly, Manage and Pay are designed to help brands manage influencers during and after campaigns. You can see a list of all the influencers you work with, what their current “reach” is, and even distribute a one-time payment for a campaign. Dovetale uses Stripe and charges 2.5% on all transfers, and is even working to provide all influencers with a 1099 tax form so you don’t have to worry about it.
Dovetale charges brands and agencies monthly for use of the entire platform, with three plans costing $199, $499, or $999 per month. The only differentiator is that the least expensive option doesn’t include demographic analytics (so you’d have to manually choose which influencers you think best fit your audience). $199 tier also only includes 25 monthly “recommendations”, which is the processing-heavy image recognition that searches for influencers outside of Dovetale’s database.
While $199 may seem like a lot, it’s important to understand that this monthly fee essentially lets a small brand work with influencers across every social platform – something that used to require an advertising agency or big in-house marketing team to accomplish. Now anyone from an Etsy jewelry shop to a new coffee shop in Brooklyn can get access to high-quality influencers that will work to drive audiences to their brand.