The truth behind influencer Databases

by Thibault

If you have a look at the influencer platform landscape right now, you will notice that there is a race to who has the biggest community of influencers in its ranks. I have seen platforms promote millions of influencers as users, when for most, they are simply profiles spotted on social media that they have added to a “fancy excel”.

The reason I am writing this article is because many of our brands have asked us, at Capssion, to access a Database where they could reach out to influencers to offer them deals. As we are currently working on making this happen, I want to share with all of you the things we do not like to see in our industry and the thoughts we are having as a company to release such a service.

1- Their use is limited or extremely expensive to fully access

There are hundreds of companies who entered the influencer market by providing brands access to millions of influencer profiles. Gaining full access to these databases is often based on the exact same bait model where you pay a monthly fee and you are limited to a few searches per month, creating frustration for everyone involved: the brands feel they are paying for something incomplete and the influencers on the other end of the spectrum are mostly never found as the same influencers keep appearing top search.

limited service

If you ever want to gain full unlimited access to these databases, brands will usually need to sign an annual contract without even having tried the service and quality of the profiles listed and at unreasonable prices.

This practice is of disservice to the industry as it is a blocker to influencer/brand collaborations and not an enabler.

2- They are data dumps and not smart lists

The second thing that struck me when browsing through these databases was how irrelevant most of the profiles listed on them were. As a brand I really do not want to see Kim Kardashian pop in my top results if I’m looking for a fashion influencer in the US or Lebron James if I’m looking for a male athlete.

data dumps

“You should apply the right filters then!” one might tell me. Well… that’s not really an option either as most of the filters given to me are useless. Filtering influencers ascending or descending based on their engagement rate, location or follower base is simply not good enough today.

I would be a lot more interested to know who has worked with me before, who has already collaborated with my competitors, who has been posting regularly for a long period of time about a vertical I’m in, or simply who has been using keywords in their captions. It’s sad to see that most players in the industry are not offering this service now.

3- Your response rate on your outbound will be incredibly low…

As a natural consequence, you will use these databases you have paid a lot of money to access to spam influencers hoping some might stick. These services often come with email service integrations that allow you to draft and send emails for influencers to join your programs.

low response rate

The biggest complaint from brands using this service is that they will have an open rate on their emails way below industry averages (most ending up in spam folders) getting low return on the investment they have made to gain access to such Databases.

The reason behind this, as we mentioned before, is that these databases do not have a relationship with these influencers. They have most probably never engaged with 99% of the influencers you will find on their listing.

4- …And might hurt your brand in the long run

This is the most important point of this article. By keeping up with such practices, you are destroying what makes this industry relevant. Influencers will disengage with your brand as they will feel like your approach is mass market and will most probably never want to work or buy your products in the future. As for you, the brand, you will probably think that the influencer marketing space is not relevant for you and stop using what is a vital part of your marketing mix.

data dumps

To conclude, I think influencer discovery has to reinvent itself to better serve influencers and the brands that are using this service. This is what we are working on at Capssion and we cannot wait to share some news with you soon.

Written by Thibault

Thibault is a cofounder of Capssion