What Is An Influencer Database? The Best, Most Popular Options
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What Is An Influencer Database?
With influencer marketing predicted to become a $5-10 billion industry within just the next couple of years, brands of all kinds have been investing heavily in the contemporary advertising tactic. As brands and agencies invest billions of dollars into the space, tools that help them find, track, and measure influencer marketing are essential to executing a successful strategy. One popular tool used to help companies navigate this burgeoning space is an influencer database.
Influencer databases are software-based directories that allow companies to find, research, and track influencers across the myriad social media platforms (including, but not limited to, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat). With the rise of “micro-influencers,” or influencers with fewer than 100k followers, there are now hundreds of thousands of influencers available for brands to work with. The options can be dizzying and can leave many brands wondering what steps to take to launch an influencer campaign.
An influencer database is a tool that brands and agencies can use to vet influencers and narrow down which influencers they’d like to work with. While each product varies, most influencer databases offer options for filtering influencers by:
- Social Media Platform
- Follower/Subscriber Size
- Category Specialties
Influencer databases typically require a contract and a monthly subscription (fees range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars per month). A few companies offer some aspects of the tools for free with a freemium model. Freemium models are free-to-use basic features and offer additional paid services. With a growing list of services and suppliers in the influencer space, marketers are wise to educate themselves on influencer databases and their alternatives.
Pros And Cons Of Using An Influencer Database
Comparing the benefits and drawbacks of databases to other popular methods of executing influencer campaigns can help brands find the method that best suits their needs.
Influencer Database Vs. Influencer Platform/Marketplace
Databases are software, cloud-based directories containing all available data on influencers. This includes name, number of followers/subscribers, interests, frequency of posting, demographics of audience, and many others. These databases provide critical and actionable information to find and research influencers for brands to run sponsorships with.
Platforms are typically two-sided marketplaces that connect brands looking to work with influencers and influencers on various social channels considering working with brands. An offer is essentially a campaign spec that details brand requirements and the sponsorship fee or compensation that the brand is offering. Influencers are then able to browse these offers to find the best fit at the right level of compensation. Many platforms leverage influencer databases to help populate their marketplace, with others taking a more curated approach.
- Growing Numbers - There isn’t a trusted figure on how many influencers exist in the world (in part, due to the ongoing debate around what actually constitutes an influencer). With the explosive growth of influencer marketing as well as the growth of social channels like Instagram and YouTube, the number of influencers has grown exponentially and may now number in the hundreds of thousands.
- Influencer Comparison - A focus on data-mining allows databases to offer a variety of tools to compare influencers. From specialty categories to audience metrics, account attributes and data can be analyzed side-by-side.
- Low Cost - Databases are relatively low cost, with some offering free and freemium models.
- Inconsistent Data - Databases get their information from different sources. Some scrub data from publicly-available information, while others use third-party analytics companies to aggregate profiles on influencers. The different approaches to data collection can offer varying levels of information on influencers. Due to recent changes to the Facebook and Instagram APIs to improve users’ privacy and security, databases no longer have access to these user demographics. Instead, data management platforms that employ their own algorithms or first-party opt-ins from creators have access to data, while those who rely on third-party partners only have access to limited and potentially inaccurate data.
- Lack Of Relationships - As a software-based technology, databases alone don’t have direct relationships with influencers. Thus, contacting an influencer found on a database requires the digital equivalent of a “cold call.”
- Unreliable Influencer Vetting - Due to its broad approach, databases can’t always ensure which influencers are real and which of their published numbers (views, likes, comments) are organic or achieved through bots or pods.
- Limited Campaign Support - Databases alone don’t offer campaign planning or marketing guidance, though some database companies have these services available for extra fees.
Influencer Platform & Marketplace
- Ease Of Use And Scalability - Platforms allow for easy vetting and selecting of influencers for campaign, as well as quick and efficient review of their content submitted for campaigns. This is all done through individual platforms interfaces designed to vet and scale campaigns. With traditional influencer marketing campaigns, all of the communication and submission of content go through email.
- Campaign Support - Though varying in their degree and detail, most influencer marketing platforms offer some campaign planning and reporting services, primarily around pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
- Reporting - Platforms have built-in reporting features, allowing brands to review results through a dashboard as the campaign evolves.
- Limited Choice - The social media creators that join with platforms and marketplaces are typically micro-influencers (1,000 to 100,000 followers). For brands looking to reach as wide an audience as possible, platforms might not always offer the best solution. Larger influencers will typically work through a manager and prefer to communicate via email directly for a deal rather than the platform’s proprietary messaging software.
- Costs And Fees - Influencer marketing platforms usually require subscription or commission fees to simply access their network. Larger influencers typically avoid the payment fees by requiring brands to work directly through their manager.
- No Assurance Of Best Practices - Platforms are not able to ensure the submission of high-quality content, adherence to best practices around FTC compliance, integration of the brand and product.
Related Post: Google Acquires FameBit, Influencer Marketing Platform
Influencer Marketing Agencies
If databases are on one end of the influencer marketing services spectrum, agencies are on the other. While databases cast a wide net to provide as many potential influencer matches as possible, influencer marketing agencies take a careful influencer-by-influencer and brand-by-brand approach to each campaign. This approach results in a highly customized campaign which pairs brands with well-vetted influencers who have a proven track record of success.
- Direct Relationships - In addition to top micro-influencers, agencies have access to macro-influencers and celebrities, allowing brands to work with virtually any creator across a variety of social media platforms.
- Strategic Media Planning - Agencies have the industry knowledge and expertise to strategically optimize marketing efforts, budgets, and spend across a variety of channels and brand initiatives.
- Creative Resources - The abundance of influencer campaigns nowadays makes it harder to stand out, as some Instagrammers do a sponsored post as often as every third post. Agencies offer direct access to more creative resources that will heighten the impact of influencer marketing campaigns and ensure collaborations don’t get buried in the flood of content.
- Thoughtful Matching - Influencer marketing agencies take a holistic approach to connecting influencers and brands, looking at a variety of factors, including category and demographic information, messaging and image congruence, as well as prior campaign performance and results. Insight on campaign results is one of the biggest benefits of working with an agency because it can help brands achieve ROI (return on investment) with their influencer marketing campaigns.
- Custom Campaigns And Compliance - Agencies custom design campaigns from start to finish, offering everything from strategic advice, to planning, to implementation and execution. Agencies also observe strict FTC compliance for paid social media promotions.
- In-Depth Reporting - In addition to numbers derived from views, likes, and comments, agencies can help define special KPIs to help better decipher the reach and impact of campaigns.
- End-To-End Capabilities - Influencer marketing agencies are one-stop-shops for all influencer marketing needs; from sourcing and vetting influencers to post-campaign reporting and analysis.
- Cost - As a front-to-back solution, influencer marketing agencies are typically more expensive than databases.
- Involvement - Since influencer marketing agencies specialize in a personalized and integrated approach, they look for brands to be active and engaged in their campaigns. For marketers looking for spray-and-play solutions, agencies might not be the best fit.
A less sophisticated option involves manual search. On the positive side, manual searches through search engines or social networks don’t require service or subscription fees. They also allow brands to find specific influencers outside of database constraints. This can be useful for niche brands with a very specific audience.
On the other hand, manual searches don’t have the filtering capabilities, making it difficult to find influencers through metrics or compare influencers against one another. Additionally, brands don’t get the support they need to nurture influencer relationships, meaning it’s up to the brand to put together a campaign from scratch. When it comes to post-campaign analysis, manual reporting becomes burdensome and complex, often assembled in spreadsheets. Lastly, manual search requires a larger time commitment. An unfocused search could take up so much time that it results in a higher aggregate cost than using an influencer database or platform.
Influencer databases offer a culled and streamlined alternative to the limited profile search capabilities inside networks such as YouTube or Instagram. However, as different ways of approaching an “influencer search engine,” neither databases nor manual searches offer organic introductions or personalized connections.
Related Post: Take Your Brand Ambassador Program To The Next Level
Popular Influencer Databases
Social Blade - Founded in 2008, Social Blade was one of the first databases of its kind. Free for users to access and tracking data from millions of YouTubers, Instagrammers, as well as influencers on Twitch, Twitter, Daily Motion, and Mixer, Social Blade provides top-level metrics across a variety of small and large platforms. Social Blade is also a leader in statistical reporting, which is utilized by many platforms, agencies, and news outlets.
Captiv8 - Branded as an artificial intelligence (AI) solution for companies looking to connect with influencers, Captiv8 offers analytics on influencers and trends, proclaiming “instant analysis on any account or hashtag across social.” As a freemium product, Captiv8 also offers additional services for brands to direct content, manage campaigns, and glean insights from performance results.
Traackr - With an emphasis on Influencer Relationship Management (IRM), Traackr looks to help brands manage existing influencer relationships, as well as find new partners through interest and demographic information. A technology-focused tool, Traackr also alerts users about brand mentions and other relevant conversation, as well as allows brands to monitor the success of their campaigns and compare results to that of their competitors.
Revfluence - Boasting a database of more than 500,000 influencers, Revfluence gives brands the power to search for potential partners through categories such as industry, demographics, content quality, and keywords. Offering a variety of automated processes, Revfluence also assists companies in campaign management and tracking. Additionally, Revfluence works with influencer marketing agencies to help scale their campaigns and assess ROI.
CreatorIQ - As their tagline, “Not a marketplace. Not an agency. We are pure technology.” declares, CreatorIQ is an AI and machine learning solution for various influencer marketing processes. Providing deep analytics across major platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, CreatorIQ allows companies to search, connect, track, automate, and measure a variety of influencer marketing initiatives.
Julius - Touting itself as the “100% Vetted Influencer Marketing Solution,” Julius leverages more than 1 million data points across its pool of over 100,000 influencers to help brands find the right partner for their campaign. Focused on creating an end-to-end influencer marketing solution, Julius also offers campaign activation and management tools, as well as comprehensive post-campaign information and reporting.
Hypr - Functioning as an influencer marketing search engine, Hypr has been focused on data since it started. Its database of 10 million influencers along with demographic data of their followers is derived from their own algorithms. Hypr is able to achieve levels of granularity which helps brands hyper-target the influencers suited for their campaign goals. The platform also offers an Instagram campaign tracking tool.
How to Choose the Right Influencer Database
Whether being used as the primary tool or to support work with an agency, there are certain criteria brands should keep in mind when choosing an influencer database, such as:
- Cost And Investment - How much does the database cost to use? How much does it require of the brand’s marketing team?
Influencer selection - How deep is the database? Aside from publicly available numbers, does the database offer valuable insights into influencers? Is the software capable of narrowing searches based on specific criteria that are important to the brand and campaign?
- Influencer Recruitment Management - In addition to influencer discover, does the software create avenues for organic introductions, negotiating terms, and managing relationships over the long term?
- Payment Gateway - Does the company offer an accessible, efficient, easy-to-use payment system?
Campaign management - Can the database help to design, activate, and manage campaigns? If so, can the tools meet the needs of the brand and/or campaign goals?
- Campaign Performance Analytics - How deep is the database’s reporting? Aside from views, likes, comments, and shares, can it offer custom KPIs, data visualizations, ROI analysis, as well as give recommendations based on this data for future campaigns?
What’s Right For Your Business?
Companies using an influencer database as their sole resource can experience different results than working with a qualified influencer agency. While many databases offer powerful search and reporting tools, software-based solutions aren’t always equipped to handle the nuanced needs of specific brands or campaigns.
For brands working with small budgets or within very niche industries, databases can offer great DIY tools for finding influencers and managing campaigns. However, brands don’t generally have the industry knowledge or relationships that influencer marketing agencies do. When looking to connect with in-demand influencers, custom-design a campaign from start to finish, and emphasize optimizing ROI, a reputable influencer marketing agency can be a great resource for brands.
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August 22, 2018 By Mediakix Team