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Humans Of The Internet (HOTI)

Designing an Influencer Discovery Platform



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2 weeks

for design to be finalized


for brands to connect with influencers

The relationship between brands and influencers has become pivotal to marketing strategies across industries. As platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok continue to grow, so does the influence of content creators who have the power to sway public opinion and drive consumer behaviour. However, the process of identifying, connecting with, and working with influencers is fraught with challenges for all parties involved: brands, influencers, and the agencies that serve as intermediaries.

During our discovery sessions with a team keen on improving this dynamic, we identified several key issues that complicate these relationships.

Firstly, for brands, the process of finding the right influencers is often time-consuming and inefficient. Without a streamlined method of discovery, brands may struggle to identify influencers whose audience aligns with their target demographics. Additionally, the negotiation and collaboration process can be opaque, leading to misaligned expectations and outcomes.

For influencers, the current landscape can feel exclusionary and difficult to navigate, particularly for those who are new or have smaller followings. The lack of democratization in the influencer market means that opportunities are often concentrated among a select few, leaving emerging influencers without the visibility or access to brand partnerships that they need to grow.

Agencies, tasked with facilitating these partnerships, face their own set of challenges. They must balance the needs and expectations of both brands and influencers, all while managing logistics, contracts, and campaign execution. This can lead to inefficiencies and increased costs, impacting the overall effectiveness of influencer marketing campaigns.

Our discovery sessions revealed a clear need for solutions that address these issues, aiming to democratize the process for influencers, ensure better access for brands, and streamline operations for agencies. By tackling these problems, we can help foster a more inclusive, efficient, and transparent influencer marketing ecosystem.

The transition from the discovery to the design phase of the influencer management platform was a critical step that transformed insights into actionable features. The insights from the in-depth discussions in the discovery phase were crucial in guiding the design process, ensuring that the platform's features directly addressed the identified issues.

Here's how the insights from the discovery phase led to the design of the platform's five key features:

1. Verification Loop

A critical concern in the influencer marketing industry is the presence of fraudulent accounts or those that misrepresent their influence. To combat this, the platform introduces a robust verification loop. This system not only authenticates the identity of influencers but also verifies key metrics and engagements to award a verified mark. This mark serves as a badge of authenticity and reliability, helping brands and agencies identify trustworthy influencers with confidence.

2. ESCROW System

One of the perennial challenges in influencer marketing is the handling of funds, which often leads to trust issues between influencers and brands. The ESCROW system addresses this by acting as a secure intermediary for the transfer of funds. It ensures that influencers are paid for their work, while brands are assured that payments are only released when agreed-upon milestones or deliverables are met. This system is accessible to all three parties—brands, influencers, and agencies—offering peace of mind and fostering trust in financial transactions.

3. Intelligent Suggestion

To streamline the process of finding the perfect match between brands and influencers, the platform employs an intelligent suggestion feature. Leveraging data analytics and machine learning, it suggests influencers to brands (and vice versa) based on a variety of criteria, including audience demographics, past campaign performance, and engagement rates. This feature significantly reduces the time and effort required for matchmaking, enabling more effective and targeted collaborations.

4. Connection Note

A unique feature of the platform is the "Connection Note," which allows influencers to proactively pitch to brands. This empowers influencers, especially emerging ones, to showcase their value proposition and how they align with the brand's marketing goals. It democratizes access to opportunities, ensuring that even those with smaller followings can secure partnerships based on merit and fit.

5. "Create a List" Option

Recognizing the need for personalized management tools, the platform offers users the ability to create custom lists. Users can leverage available filters to curate a personal database of influencers, brands, or agents. This feature facilitates the organization and tracking of potential and ongoing partnerships, allowing for a more tailored and efficient management process.



The influencer management platform aims to democratize access to opportunities for influencers, streamline the process for brands, and enhance the operational efficiency of agencies.

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