Influencer marketing has exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Partnering with influencers allows brands to tap into their engaged following and credibility to drive awareness, trust, and sales.
The UK influencer marketing industry is thriving. Recent statistics show that 89% of marketers in the UK say influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.
But the key to influencer marketing success is finding the right platform to discover and manage influencer partnerships. With so many options out there, it can get overwhelming for brands to identify the best fit.
In this post, we’ll compare the top 6 influencer marketing platforms in the UK for 2023 so you can determine which is right for your brand.
Overview of Top Influencer Marketing Platforms in UK
Here is a snapshot of leading influencer marketing platforms used by UK brands right now:
As you can see, each platform takes a slightly different approach but they all aim to connect brands with relevant influencers.
Now let’s look at the pros and cons of each platform in more depth.
Ainfluencer has quickly become one of the most popular influencer marketing platforms, especially among small businesses and startups.
- Free end-to-end influencer marketplace
- Database of over 1 million influencers globally
- Detailed influencer profiles and performance insights
- Custom matching based on audience, content style, etc
- Campaign management, tracking and analytics
- Very user-friendly and easy to get started
- Completely free platform provides great value
- One of the largest UK influencer networks
- Helpful walkthroughs and 24/7 customer support
- Less advanced analytics compared to paid platforms
- More suitable for micro and mid-tier influencer partnerships
With its free access, huge influencer network, and intuitive platform, Ainfluencer is a great choice for businesses getting started with influencer marketing.
2. The Social Shepherd
The Social Shepherd takes an extremely hands-on, bespoke approach to delivering influencer marketing campaigns focused on driving sales.
- Custom campaign design and management
- In-house production studio for branded content
- Sales-focused performance tracking
- Direct support from influencer marketing experts
- End-to-end campaign execution and optimization
- Proven sales impact
- More expensive for smaller brands
- Limited platform self-service options
For brands who want a partner to manage influencer relationships from start to finish, The Social Shepherd is a top choice. Their direct sales focus also appeals to ecommerce brands and those selling products directly.
Buttermilk brings its deep expertise in talent management into the world of influencer marketing. They represent top social media stars and work with big brands like Deliveroo, Boots, Monzo and more.
- Highly selective roster of top UK influencers
- Strategic partnership approach over one-off campaigns
- Multi-platform campaigns beyond just Instagram
- Results from tapping into exclusive ambassador partnerships with elite talent
- Global experience from parent company ITB running influencer marketing worldwide
- More mass market focus rather than niche or micro-influencers
- Contract negotiation can take more time upfront
For access to upper echelon, high follower influencers capable of driving serious reach, Buttermilk is a leading choice. Brands partner closely with Buttermilk behind-the-scenes to align top influencers with their positioning.
Traackr markets itself as an "influencer relationship management platform" focused heavily on the beauty industry.
- Influencer CRM to manage relationships over time
- Beauty industry knowledge and relationships
- Tools to assess influencer brand safety risks
- Relationships with beauty bloggers and content creators
- Brand safety and compliance protections
- Global presence including London office
- Mostly beauty focused
- Pricey for comprehensive features
For beauty, cosmetics and related brands who need to closely vet influencers, Traackr provides the industry expertise and risk management features to identify safe partnerships.
Affable.ai uses artificial intelligence and big data to optimize and scale influencer program performance.
- Dataset of over 6 million influencer profiles globally
- AI matching algorithms and lookalike modeling
- Predictive analytics on optimal partnerships
- Automates time-intensive tasks like influencer discovery
- Uncovers less obvious but high potential influencers
- Quantifies predicted performance to justify spending
- Requires some expertise to leverage AI insights
- Less customizable than traditional methods
For enterprise brands with big budgets to spend, Affable provides advanced decision support to deploy funds most effectively. But it requires skill to translate AI insights into action.
Taggermedia provides self-serve access to a managed database of over 5 million influencers, with built-in campaign management and tracking.
- Do-it-yourself campaign launching
- Pre-built templates and workflows
- Influencer CRM and automated reporting
- Easy self-service platform requires less expertise
- Design multiple campaigns from their database
- Track engagement rates and actual conversions
- Less strategic guidance or account management
- Risk of ineffective matching without human touch
Taggermedia appeals most to small and medium businesses who want a technology-driven approach requiring less hands-on effort. But the platform alone can‘t guarantee optimal pairings.
Recommendation: Best Influencer Marketing Platform for Most Brands
So with all these options, which platform comes out on top?
While every brand‘s needs differ based on budget, niche, campaign objectives and more, our top recommendation for most brands getting started is Ainfluencer.
Here‘s why Ainfluencer stands out from the competition:
- Completely free access means there‘s no risk to try it out
- No expertise required and very easy to use right away
- One of the largest UK influencer databases helps find better matches
- Useful performance insights help guide partnership decisions
- Ongoing platform innovations like AI matching for better alignments
Unless you require specific advanced capabilities another platform offers, or plan to spend over £100k on influencer marketing, Ainfluencer provides an unbeatable combination of value, ease-of-use and breadth of quality influencers.
Their free tools and support empower businesses of any size to launch effective influencer campaigns that deliver ROI.
Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2023
Beyond choosing the right platform, brands need to understand the latest macro trends shaping influencer marketing right now.
Here are a few we recommend keeping top of mind for 2023 planning:
Authenticity is non-negotiable – Followers detect fake or forced promotions and engagement plummets. Brands must align with influencers who genuinely like their product.
Micro and nano-influencers are on the rise – Hyper-targeted followings deliver better conversions and loyalty over broad mass awareness.
TikTok opens major new opportunities – Brands failing to tap into TikTok are missing out on its huge engaged user base and video-first creative canvas.
Men represent untapped potential – Most influencer marketing focuses on female demographics today, yet male creators also hold sway and appeal.
Keeping pace with the latest trends will help future-proof your influencer marketing programs.
Conclusion and Next Steps
Influencer marketing delivers highly compelling benefits – but only if executed correctly. Choosing the right platform provides the foundation brands need to build effective long-term programs.
While influencer marketing requires an initial investment of time, resources and cultural alignment, the payoff can far exceed traditional advertising.
We recommend Ainfluencer as the best free all-in-one launchpad empowering brands of any size to lift off.
Start exploring their unmatched UK influencer network today to find your ideal partners. Their guidance and insights will accelerate your influencer marketing success.