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:
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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:
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.