There’s no doubt that automation enables us to do our jobs more effectively, but it doesn’t come without limitations, especially in influencer marketing. When choosing to outsource influencer marketing, you’ll likely be presented with two options: utilizing an agency or a platform. While platforms have many benefits, there’s a common misconception that you can run an entire influencer campaign with a platform alone. Here is why you shouldn’t rely solely on influencer marketing platforms when building campaigns.

What do these platforms do?

First, let’s discuss the capabilities of these platforms. Most influencer marketing platforms consist of a database of influencers. Influencers can either request to join the platform, or the platform will be algorithm-based. You can search within a specific niche and filter based on follower size, location, etc.

These platforms are great for discovery, and some even have campaign management capabilities; however, they also have their shortcomings.

Where these platforms fall short

Influencer marketing platforms can’t replace the knowledge you have about your customers and the audience you want to reach. These platforms don’t understand your campaign goals and lack the ability to evaluate what will make a successful partnership for your business.

Is a recipe blogger who has 5,000 Instagram followers is a good match? While niche and follower count are important, they are vanity metrics. They should not be the only metrics used to assess if an influencer would be a good partner.

Fake accounts

With an increase in fake/purchased followers, it’s important to examine who is following an influencer. If you’re noticing that comments seem automated or out of place, chances are, those followers aren’t authentic. Platforms will only measure quantity of followers, not quality — making it easy for fraudulent influencers to sneak their way onto these platforms. If you choose to rely on platforms without further investigation, you may end up wasting money reaching out to an audience that won’t engage or convert.

Minimal quality control

Additionally, platforms cannot analyze the quality of an influencer’s work. The influencers you partner with should have a unique voice and content that aligns with your goals and brand. Is their content interesting and engaging? Has this person successfully created content that promoted products in the past? These are all questions that only you and your team can answer.

Unable to manage relationships

Finally, influencer marketing platforms don’t have the knowledge required to stay up to date on FTC guidelines, best practices, and contracts. This is where it’s valuable to work with an agency that understands influencer marketing and can communicate with influencers on your behalf. A platform should not be a replacement for your outreach efforts and relationship building.

Platforms can’t replace the value a partnership with an agency can provide. While influencer marketing platforms may reduce the time it takes to find influencers, they can’t match the efforts of your influencer marketing team or a marketing agency.

You risk choosing the wrong influencer when relying an automated platform, resulting in wasted budget and resources. Remember, no one knows your audience better than you. A platform isn’t a replacement for your knowledge or intuition.