Business manager

NEXT Business Manager Review | Pricing and Features (2022)

In 2016, influencer marketplace Post For Rent was launched and quickly rose to prominence. Marketplaces are very transactional in nature, and the name of the platform certainly does nothing to dissuade you from thinking differently. You have to use PFR to see what makes it unique: namely its ability to transcend the not-quite-organic base of a market and help brands create truly organic/authentic sentiment campaigns with influencers.

In the wake of its continued success, the PFR team asked a very relevant question: what’s next? The answer to this question is its latest product: NEXT. Or, NEXT Business Manager, if we want to use his full name.

NEXT plays in the same influencer marketing space as Post For Rent, but targets a different customer base. PFR is a programmatic approach to influencer marketing, allowing small teams to run comprehensive influencer campaigns with software that does the heavy lifting. It is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses whose marketing aspirations exceed their departments and budgets. NEXT, on the other hand, is designed for big brands and agencies, those who have more money and resources than they have the time to manage everything.

NEXT users run their own campaigns, many of them simultaneously and for different brands. Some of the awesome technologies found in Post for Rent make their way here, for example discovery and analytics. And that’s as it should be: one of the things about the PFR that impressed us was the sophistication of the data behind it all. The need for it doesn’t change, and there was no reason for them to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they built an end-to-end collaborative marketing tool around these existing features and created a platform that operated on a different level from PFR.

The result is equally impressive and allows Post For Rent (the company) to exist in two different spaces of the landscape. NEXT puts them in the company of other high-end influencer platforms, like Traackr or Tagger Media, and they seem to fit right in.


Summary:


Pricing

As of this writing, NEXT has not yet launched. It’s fully operational, albeit in a sort of beta test. Meanwhile, those who want to try it out can do so for free – you can apply here for access. There are approximately two months until full launch, when the following pricing structure goes into effect:

  • Professional, $2,590/month — User accounts for 2 campaign managers, 1 finance manager and 1 team leader; 10 campaigns/month; 50 contracts/month; 1 model contract; 15 results for searching in the content library; national influencer research, 10 campaign reports per month; 50 influencer reports per month; compare up to 5 influencers; 24/7 support
  • Enterprise, $4,890/month — User accounts for 4 campaign managers, 2 financial managers, 1 team leader and 1 management usr; unlimited campaigns and contract per month; custom contract templates; 200 search results in the content library; search for international influencers; unlimited campaign reports per month; 150 influencer reports per month; unlimited comparisons; 24/7 support, dedicated success manager

In addition, NEXT offers a la carte features in addition to what is in the plans

  • 100 additional reports, $199
  • Constant analytics, $599 for 1,000 influencer profiles
  • Import customer data, $1,990

The details

While NEXT is an end-to-end marketing tool, this review is going to skip some of the more standard stuff, like discovery and analysis. Since these features are carried over from Post For Rent, you can read our exam of this to understand how they work. For NEXT, we’re instead going to focus on the probably less sexy, but arguably equally important facets of influencer marketing: paperwork, team communication, and administration.

To do all of this well, the platform needs to be very detailed, and it doesn’t take long to see that it is. The navigation menu on the left side of the screen is packed with options, from contracts to content to campaigns. Also, other things that don’t start with the letter “C”. To the right of the menu is the Dashboard, which gives a breakdown of all pending tasks and who is responsible for them. This part of the dashboard already improves team communication, and that kind of transparency is evident in NEXT. Because Post for Rent is also an agency, they were their own guinea pigs for the platform. Improved communication has resulted in increased efficiency, reducing from four to two weekly status meetings. They all knew too much about what each was doing; four meetings have become exaggerated.

This is not the only area where efficiency has improved. They calculated that their contract management tools saved about an hour and a half a day in paperwork administration. As a once done task, getting a contract signed is no big deal. When you work with hundreds of influencers on different campaigns, and with different brands, therefore different contracts, things get out of hand quickly. Using templates and drop-down menus, new contracts can be created in minutes. But since we are talking about details here, let’s stop for a moment on the detail of the drop-down menus. This is a rare faux pas to efficiency, clicking and scrolling through long menus to add influencers and businesses is much more tedious than just typing a few letters and having NEXT display the matching names, like an autocomplete from Google. It might seem like a headache, but there are multiple dropdowns for each new contract you create and we’ll go into detail here.

Setting up campaigns works much like creating a contract: you cycle through all the options, select brands from a drop-down list, and set the budget. It’s all pretty standard until you get to the incentives part. You can click on a button that asks NEXT to calculate a bonus according to predefined criteria: Let’s say you have a “New Customer” bonus. The person who landed the account and set up this campaign flips the switch and adds their name to take the credit (and get the bonus!). Bonuses and commissions are also found elsewhere in NEXT. If your campaign is sales-based, NEXT handles all the financial tracking: sales from UTM links are measured against campaign costs and margin is calculated. From there, the platform makes it easy to calculate bonuses for anyone who qualifies. This “New Client” bonus can then act as a multiplier on top of the already existing commission structure.

Once your campaigns and contracts are all set up, after specifying terms, requirements, and payments, NEXT’s integration with DocuSign helps make it all official, and contracts are stored in NEXT and accessible with a click. You can find it in the Documents section of the platform, which is organized by document type: contracts, invoices, expenses, etc. And just to make everything even easier, NEXT integrates with G-Suite, so all those documents are copied to your Google Drive for backup, organized into folders that correspond to headings for contracts, invoices, expenses, etc. All these documents are linked within NEXT to CRM functionalities, which are quite complete for both brands and influencers.

Within each campaign you can drill down into performance stats and see how things have gone, but there is also a much broader view available. In the Performance section of NEXT, quantifying all running campaigns, along with the finances of each, gives an overview of how things are going. You can see who your biggest customers are, who your most effective influencers are, and also get an overview of the bonuses that are going to be paid out.

Remember that while the managers sort through all this information and the admin team takes care of all the documents and details, the creative team can use NEXT to find influencers for campaigns and get all the data. and analyzes on their audiences. The platform also lists every content uploaded by users and influencers, making it easy to find any post at any time. And an integration with Slack keeps everyone informed every step of the way.


Conclusion

Software that operates at this level of sophistication can be either very easy to revise or very difficult. It’s easy to cover something like this if it sucks, because we don’t bother to review it. We all want to highlight quality, and so this review falls into the “hard to cover” category.

As an end-to-end solution, NEXT is, by definition, packed with valuable features and analytics. We can’t reach them all, and it can be hard to discern what’s worth mentioning, so we do our best to highlight what’s unique. The existence of a very good review for Post for Rent, the foundation of NEXT’s discovery and analysis tools, made it easy to determine what not to include here. We have already covered this. We thought this review would be easy to write then: we knew what we could safely ignore here.

But then when we ended up with what’s unique and what stands out, we were always left with too cover. There are only so many words we can write before readers drop out. In a case like this, the details can often look like a five-year story. “There’s this part with the contracts and it integrates with DocuSign, then the documents are stored in Google Drive, then the campaigns start and the influencers are added to the CRM, and then…” That’s a lot of information to give you.

We were impressed with Post for Rent for creating an influencer marketplace that stood out in a sea of ​​competitors. And now we are also impressed with their latest entry into the influencer marketing software landscape. It is high-end software that rivals the best of them. We’re curious to see what they do next.