Grin vs. Upfluence: Which Is Right For Your Team?

July 12, 2023
13 min
Rochi Zalani
Content Writer, Modash
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In the market of influencer marketing platforms, you’d see two names coming up often: Grin and Upfluence. They serve the same high level purpose (managing influencer marketing), but differ in their advantages and features.

This article will help you close the battle between Grin vs. Upfluence and choose the right one for you.

Grin vs. Upfluence at a glance

The main difference between Grin and Upfluence is that Grin is made for medium to large e-commerce businesses that need automated workflows; Upfluence is made for brands with limited in-house influencer marketing experience looking for a hybrid between the agency and SaaS model.

Criteria Upfluence Grin
Pricing Not publicly available. No free trial. Ties you into yearly contracts. Not publicly available. No free trial. Ties you into yearly contracts.
Ease of use Has a learning curve. Relatiely easier to use.
Extra services Offers agency support. Only provides creator discovery as a service.
Creator database Limited because creators need to get approved before they’re listed. Limited because users are required to sign-up on the platform.
Collab types Best for brand ambassador programs and finding affiliates. Best for product seeding and influencer gifting.
Influencer authentication Creators need to be approved before being added to the database, and authentication is also needed for monitoring IGC. Influencers need to authenticate their account for IGC monitoring.
Media content rights Have to ask the creator separately for rights. Includes content rights for all influencer content
Integrations Fewer integrations, but has Zapier. Connects to Slack and Salesforce, but doesn’t have Zapier

Another option to consider (or use in conjunction) is Modash. Why?

First, there are monthly plans, a free trial, and lower entry pricing.

It's far superior for finding influencers, with the largest database of creators (300M+ profiles).

You can search every creator in the world using basic & advanced filters:

It doesn’t require creators to sign up to get audience & performance data. You can do that without reaching out to the creator:

And you can monitor your creator posts automatically, including Stories. Again, without asking them to authenticate.

Give it a spin for free (no sales call + no credit card needed), or keep reading for more differences between Grin, Upfluence, and Modash.

Grin and Upfluence have no public pricing & only offer annual contracts

To kick things off, Grin and Upfluence both make you have to sit through a sales demo to know their cost. There’s no free trial to take a test drive of the platform, or even public pricing.

What’s worse? You can't use either without being tied to yearly contracts.

Upfluence’s customers especially report getting unfairly charged for yearly contracts.

At Grin, there’s an additional complaint of not getting the kind of service you’d expect for the price.

Grin might be more expensive than Upfluence, but both platforms are relatively inaccessible for smaller businesses. Roughly, you can expect entry prices of around $25k/yr for Grin, and $12k/yr for Upfluence – scaling up quickly as you add features & usage.

If your influencer marketing program is on a budget, neither option might suit. As an alternative – consider Modash. It has monthly payment options, transparent pricing, and accessible entry pricing. The best part? There’s a no-strings-attached 14-day free trial.

Grin is easier to use, while Upfluence has a learning curve

The number one complaint most Upfluence customers have is the learning curve attached to the platform.

In contrast, Grin is intuitive to use from the get-go. If you’re just transitioning from spreadsheets to an influencer management tool, Grin is the better choice.

That said, Grin might get that ease of use at the cost of time-consuming workflows. Customers say they find the following activities cumbersome:

a) Manually going to each campaign for influencer payments. It’d be beneficial to have a centralized payment system — especially when you scale your influencer marketing efforts and start running over 10 campaigns simultaneously.

b) Activating campaigns involves a lot of steps.

c) Archiving creators regularly to add new influencers (since Grin limits creators and influencer outreach).

If you don’t mind a bit of a learning curve to get a more comprehensive dashboard, go with Upfluence. But if your team doesn’t mind a few manual tasks here and there to get ease of use, Grin is the superior choice.

Both Upfluence and Grin are limited in their influencer database

Grin relies on first-party data — which means any creator you onboard to your influencer marketing program needs to connect their social media accounts to Grin. It adds work, and friction to every partnership.

In Upfluence, influencers need to be approved before they can be a part of their database. The pro is you might not need to vet influencer profiles thoroughly on your own. The con is this approval process significantly shrinks the variety of their creator pool, and you might have to hunt for other options for influencer recruitment.

For influencer discovery, the third option is better: Modash. It lists every creator on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube with over 1,000 followers (instead of a limited, vetted database). That means more control over the kind of influencers you want to partner with, as the database of over 300M+ creators literally lists every public profile in the world. No limitation on niches or locations.

Upfluence has a full agency service, while Grin has a creator discovery service

Upfluence has a hybrid agency and SaaS model — meaning you can completely hand over the reins to experts in the Upfluence team. Experts can help you find influencers, track their performance, and measure influencer marketing ROI.

This is beneficial if you’re looking to take the whole influencer marketing thing off your plate, but Upfluence middle-man communicating might have you miss out on developing personal, authentic influencer relationships.

Grin, on the other hand, has a service only for influencer discovery. But it comes with a mixed bag: Grin lets you discover influencers on your own only on Instagram (at the time of writing this article), probably due to the changes in Meta’s API. Many Grin customers have been complaining about Grin removing influencer search for other platforms from their features.

If you want to search for creators on more platforms, you have to use their Curated Lists feature, where experts from the Grin team curate a creator list for you based on your requirements. How the Grin team performs is yet to be discovered since this is a relatively new feature (and has little to no reviews).

This can be beneficial if you want to outsource your influencer discovery. But if you need more control and want to handpick your own creators, Grin might be severely limiting since its search is only available for Instagram. Grin team plans to add more platforms in the future.

Grin is better for seeding, Upfluence is better for finding ambassadors and affiliates

Product seeding is when you send influencers your products with no strings attached. Or when you do influencer gifting in exchange for an honest review.

Both Grin and Upfluence offer product seeding as one of their core features. Upfluence and Grin integrate with all major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. You can customize your inventory and send creators their desired products.

The similarities end there. Where Grin is slightly better is:

a) You can track your product all the way through delivery using Grin’s product fulfillment tool.

b) Grin has lots of creator information — like which products they like the most — so you can send merch from your inventory that they actually prefer.

Upfluence is superior for finding brand ambassadors and affiliates for your campaign. Both Grin and Upfluence allow you to create a branded landing page for interested customers to sign up for your affiliate or brand ambassador program.

But where Upfluence is superior is its Creator Matching: it scours through your customer list and finds influential customers you can recruit as creators, brand ambassadors, or affiliates (upon integration with your e-commerce tech stack).

Not to mention: Upfluence lets you search influencers, ambassadors, and affiliates outside of Instagram, too, while Grin is limited solely to Instagram.

Upfluence has influencer bloggers, while Grin doesn’t

If you’re in the software or luxury industry, you might need more than images and videos to make your case. Upfluence is one of the few platforms with influencer search for bloggers.

During your influencer search, you can either:

a) specifically hunt for bloggers

b) choose “yes” for the “has a blog” option under other social media platforms

Currently, Grin doesn’t allow you to search for influential bloggers or filter for creators who also run a blog.

Grin and Upfluence require creators to authenticate to monitor IGC

Both Grin and Upfluence require your creator partners to authenticate their accounts for monitoring influencer content. This is fine if you’ve sourced creators natively from these platforms. But it’s a hassle if you’ve discovered influencers outside of Grin or Upfluence since you require creators to sign up on a new platform and learn how to use it to work with you.

If they don’t authenticate their account, they still have to log in and manually upload all influencer content they create for your brand. You get no performance data if the influencer doesn’t upload or authenticate.

What’s worse? Meta is notorious for frequently changing its API. And since Grin and Upfluence are volatile to their updates, so is their influencer data. (Changes in Meta’s API is also why Grin suspended influencer search temporarily last year.)

Choose Grin alternatives like Modash, which crawls websites and collects publicly available information without depending on each platform’s API.

Grin covers media content rights

If you want to repurpose influencer content, you need the creator’s permission to reuse their content on your marketing assets. Some influencers might charge extra for handing over their content rights.

Grin covers content rights for all influencer-produced content which is a huge benefit and a load off your plate.

Upfluence has a ChatGPT assistant

Upfluence is more efficient than Grin for workflow management because of its ChatGPT assistant.

Both Grin and Upfluence contain email templates to communicate with creators, but Upfluence’s Chat-GPT-generated replies can also fast-track conversations.

Although templates and AI enhance productivity, we recommend going the extra mile to personalize your emails — especially during outreach — to build a personal relationship with your influencer partners. No harm in using outreach templates, just remember to customize them instead of sending a mass-produced email.

Grin has more integrations, but Upfluence has Zapier

Grin integrates with Salesforce and Slack, while Upfluence doesn’t. But don’t be sold on it as an Upfluence alternative just yet.

Upfluence integrates with Zapier — which means you can connect thousands of apps with your Upfluence profile in a few clicks. Grin currently has no Zapier integration.

Upfluence provides a suggested price for every creator

Upfluence’s influencer analysis provides a suggested price for every creator.

This might seem like a good thing because it eliminates guesswork, but the truth is influencer pricing varies widely depending on the size of the influencer, type of influencer collaboration, and creator preference. Having a suggested price might do more harm than good — you may end up overpaying or underpaying a creator for their efforts.

Upfluence vs. Grin: which is better?

Hopefully, you have a clear winner in mind after reading this article (and don’t have to sit through hour-long demos). Here’s the bottom line:

Choose Upfluence if:

  • You want agency support
  • You want to search influencers beyond Instagram (especially bloggers)
  • You don’t mind a bit of a learning curve at the expense of a centralized dashboard

Choose Grin if:

  • You are comfortable outsourcing influencer discovery
  • You want to automate a large chunk of your workflow
  • You frequently run influencer gifting and/or product seeding campaigns

A third option: Modash

Whichever app you choose, you’d need another influencer marketing tool for influencer discovery. Why?

  • Upfluence’s creator pool is limited
  • Grin’s influencer database only has Instagram (if you’re searching on your own) or is restricted to whatever the team finds you (if you’re choosing the Curated Lists route)

Try Modash. We list every creator with over 1k+ followers containing 300M+ profiles across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

The best part? We’re the perfect tool, whether you’re starting your influencer marketing (monthly plans, free trial, excellent customer service) or scaling your influencer marketing (more choices, better data, customizable API).

Don’t buy it? Take Modash for a test drive for free for 14 days — no credit card or creator authentications required.

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