I bet you’ve heard about Subaru- certainly one of the largest vehicle brands today.
Even with impressive sales numbers through the years, they were still able to boost them further by 10% in 2016- thanks to influencer marketing.
How did they do it?
Well, pretty simple actually. They created a campaign called “Meet an Owner” to boost brand sentiment and overall awareness. And they went for influencers to push the message.
Here’s the interesting bit. You’d expect that Subaru, of course, would only work with auto influencers. But surprisingly, they hired over 20 influencers across multiple fields, including art and fitness.
And the influencers, on the other hand, never disappointed. They turned up to the occasion by authentically infusing their voices into the content.
The result? Well, let’s just sum it up with the figures- 58 sponsored posts with millions of likes, thousands of comments, and a 9% engagement rate.
But, here’s the problem. Unlike most of the other social media paid ads, it has always been difficult to accurately measure the impact of influencer marketing. You essentially pay an influencer without a clear indication of the corresponding sales generated.
Come to think of it, the situation is even worse for small businesses. They essentially rely on the number of post likes, shares, and comments- which, as a matter of fact, can be faked.
But, you know what can’t be faked?
You’re right- sales. That’s why we have tools like Blackbell.
So, what is it all about?
Blackbell Review: Overview
Quite simply, Blackbell is a jack of all trades. It’s basically a platform for buying and selling services. And it goes both ways- it’s optimized for both sellers and buyers.
Sounds like something you’ve come across before?
Ok, I admit that I’ve also seen a wide range of platforms built to connect buyers and sellers. So, of course, it might not seem like an exciting concept at first.
But get this. Blackbell approaches the whole thing differently.
A typical service marketplace is basically all about creating projects, and then waiting for bids from freelance service providers. Or alternatively, choosing a couple for yourself, and ultimately paying them after service completion. Pretty much the standard system of do-this-and-I’ll-pay. Nothing more.
Well, Blackbell decided to go further than that. It doesn’t just jump from A-Z. It incorporates all the critical processes in between.
I’m talking about things like coupons, online payments, calendars, services management, translation editor, visual content builder, mobile app, and more.
Plus, the one element that makes all the difference when it comes to influencer marketing- commissions.
As one of the principal services on the platform, influencer marketing is essentially paid in commissions for sales triggered.
Small businesses are able to get hold of multiple influencers at a go, manage the marketing projects accordingly, and then pay each influencer in commissions according to their sales numbers.
So, how exactly does this work? And would it be ideal for your business?
To answer that question, this Blackbell review walks you through everything you need to know about using the platform for influencer marketing. Plus, of course, is pricing and possible drawbacks.
Let’s dive in.
Blackbell Review: Features
Create a Campaign in Minutes
By now, I assume you know the drill.
To run an influencer marketing campaign, you’d have to start by reaching out to influencers individually on social media. And since their fees are normally not uniform, you’ll have to negotiate with each influencer separately.
Things might work out for some. For those that don’t, you’re forced to continue the search process. Due to this cumbersome process, some small businesses have even considered working with low-level influencers who buy social media followers.
After the whole marketing campaign is done, you end up paying the amount that you had previously negotiated- regardless of the result in most cases.
Now, compare that to Blackbell, which takes only minutes to set up an influencer marketing campaign.
How, you ask?
On the rightmost menu on the dashboard, there’s a “Promote” option. Clicking on it reveals a range of possible promotional campaigns you could leverage.
On the “Create Influencer Campaigns” tab, you’ll be able to set up a relevant influencer marketing campaign, and adjust several parameters based on your overall strategy.
The campaign code, for example, is a special set of characters influencers use to search for your campaign on Blackbell.
After setting an ideal one, select an appropriate percentage discount for your target market. This is the bait for driving sales.
Then comes the influencer commission. On this field, simply enter the percentage commission you’d like to pay influencers for each successful sale made.
The final steps involve entering text to describe your campaign to influencers accordingly, setting the number of times a customer can redeem the promotion, determining the expiration date, and establishing the specific products and services to be promoted.
That’s all. Quite simple and straightforward to be honest.
Linking Influencers to Campaigns
After creating a suitable marketing campaign, you’ll definitely need influencers to set the ball rolling.
And you know what?
Blackbell doesn’t restrict you to its influencers. You can proceed with influencers who’ve never even heard of the platform.
All you need to do is request them to download the Blackbell Promote app. Once they log in, they’ll be able to select your specific campaign from the list of available marketing campaigns.
Clicking on a campaign reveals its details, including the average order value, plus the corresponding average commission. Influencers can also preview various products and services to be promoted.
Then, to join the campaign, influencers simply enter their unique promo code that will be displayed to their followers. This helps Blackbell track the precise number of sales generated by individual influencers.
At this stage, influencers are free to publish the products on social media. Choosing the destination is as simple as tapping on “Share” to select an ideal site and account.
That’s it. The promotions then go live with their posters’ respective promo codes. When social media users click on the link, they are immediately redirected to the purchase page- complete with the corresponding discount.
And guess what? You don’t have to worry about paying the influencers. A Transferwise payments integration handles everything automatically by sending commissions to influencers for each successful sale.
Let’s be honest. Despite the wide range of simple marketing tools available on the web, most businesses are still running their campaigns the same old way- they hire marketing agencies.
Well, of course, it all makes sense. Because agencies have the professional expertise needed to effectively coordinate, manage, and track multiple marketing campaigns at the same time.
Besides, you have an entire business to run. So, reaching out to influencers may not sound like something you’d want to do all day. It’s best left to agents who’ve already established networks with reputable influencers.
Now, hiring an agency would, on most occasions, force you to surrender your principal marketing platform’s admin account to the professionals. They’d do the job alright, but then you’d lose your tracking capabilities.
Well, Blackbell addresses this problem through the certified agency partners marketplace integrated into Blackbell.
You can capitalize on this for hiring in one click a marketing agency to handle the influencer marketing campaign.
Upcoming Blackbell Updates
It turns out that Blackbell seeks to further improve its influencer marketing functionalities in the near future.
One critical feature we should look out for is tracking metrics for influencers.
Well, I feel like they read my mind on this one. Because we know that while post engagement and the number of sales could be used to measure ROI, you’ll still need additional info for a comprehensive assessment. So, we can only hope that they’ll include all the critical metrics covering all the major social media sites.
Blackbell also plans to introduce agency tools to track and monetize the campaign ROI. This basically means that you’ll be able to establish the exact revenue your marketing agency generates from its influencers. As a result, agency payments will be made according to the results achieved as opposed to the work done.
Then finally, businesses will also be able to use the Blackbell iOS and Android mobile apps to create their promotional campaigns. Currently, you can only achieve this via web.
For starters, Blackbell offers a 14-day free trial period. Not what you’d call a long period, but it should be just enough to adequately test things out.
To top it off, you don’t need a credit card to capitalize on the trial. Plus, you’re free to cancel your plan at any time after you subscribe to the service.
But, here’s the kicker. In addition to the subscription costs, Blackbell imposes transaction fees- which, fortunately, reduce as your business grows.
However, the platform won’t charge you for running an influencer marketing campaign. Instead, Blackbell charges a fee from the influencers’ commission payouts.
That said, Blackbell’s four pricing plans are:
Freelancer- $5 per month, or $4 per month for annual prepay subscribers
- 5% transaction fee
- 2 services
- 1 page
Professional- $19 per month, or $14 per month for annual prepay subscribers.
- 4% transaction fee
- 10 services
- 5 pages
Business- $49 per month, or $39 per month for annual prepay subscribers.
- Email campaign manager
- Push campaign manager
- 3% transaction fee
- 50 services
- 25 pages
Marketplace- $119 per month, or $99 per month for annual prepay subscribers.
- Branded android app
- Branded iOS app
- Unlimited suppliers
- Marketplace manager
- Email campaign manager
- Push campaign manager
- 2% transaction fee
- 250 services
- 125 pages
Blackbell might not be a platform for advanced dynamic campaigns, but it’s indeed amazingly effective when it comes to standard influencer marketing.
It only takes a couple of minutes to create a comprehensive campaign. And for the best possible results, you should consider inviting a wide range of micro-influencers from different geographical zones.
In a nutshell, the two features I like most about this service is its ability to accurately track sales triggered by each influencer, plus the agency onboarding function.
That said, Blackbell is a tool worth considering when it comes to influencer marketing.