Spoiler alert: building an influencer database can be a time-intensive process.
This is true whether you’re starting from scratch or organizing your existing creator information.
Thing is, putting your influencers’ info into a spreadsheet or CRM is a massive time-saver in the long run. That’s because the alternative is digging through endless emails and DMs for updates.
But we’ll bite: the process of creating a database is daunting if you’ve never done it before.
The good news? We’ve managed countless creator campaigns here at Statusphere. In this post, we’ll share firsthand insights to help you build your own database.
Oh, and we’ll also share our own influencer tracking template you can use as a starting point!
Where to Start When Building Your Influencer Database
If you want to be as efficient as possible, you need to keep your creators' info in one place.
That’s because creating multiple influencer lists leads to duplication and outdated details. Bouncing between multiple platforms and spreadsheets is a huge time-waster, too.
Our advice? Streamline managing your influencer database by keeping everyone’s details centralized in a single document. If you don’t want to invest in an influencer CRM, spreadsheets are a cost-effective alternative. Excel, Google Sheets and Numbers are all fair game.
Below is an example from our own campaign tracking spreadsheet. This doubles as an influencer database template you can copy and adapt for your own business:
Gather and Document Your Influencers’ Contact Information
After you pick your database platform, it's time to start filling out details.
If you're already running influencer campaigns or researching creators, you should pull the information you've collected into your database document.
There is no “right” way to fill out a database. That said, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with details and data points when managing multiple creators. We recommend starting with the following information for each influencer:
- Email addresses
- Handles for each social media platform
- Follower count
- Content type(s) or industry
- Status with your brand (active or inactive)
Creating sections for the details above keeps your research and outreach processes organized. This will also cut down on errors like duplicate contacts.
Trust us: you don’t want to accidentally reach out to the same influencer twice or mix up your creators. Likewise, you need to keep contact information up-to-date. Doing so will prevent shipping slowdowns or sending products to the wrong influencers.
Thankfully, our influencer database template already has these fields built-in by default.
Divide Your Database of Influencers Into Different Levels
Creating specific labels for each stage of your influencer relationships speeds up communication. This could be a separate column within a spreadsheet or a color-coded system to identify what stage each influencer falls into.
For outreach, these stages might include:
- Prospective (relevant influencers you haven't made contact with but intend to)
- Contacted (influencers you’ve already contacted)
- Interested (influencers who’ve responded to your pitches)
- Ghosted (influencers you’ve contacted who never responded or stopped responding)
For influencers you’ve worked with, you can categorize even them further:
- Active or Collab in Progress (influencers you currently work with)
- Inactive or Worked With in the Past (influencers you’ve worked with but aren’t part of an active campaign)
- Brand Ambassador (influencers you’ve worked with many times and have an ongoing relationship with)
Figuring out how to categorize influencers may take some trial and error. We recommend including a “last date contacted” column and checkboxes to monitor everyone’s status. Here’s an example from our influencer spreadsheet:
You may also want to divide content creators based on the platforms you’re running campaigns on. For example, you might maintain a dedicated Instagram and TikTok influencer database. This may not be necessary if you’re only working with a handful of contacts, though.
Note: If most of your contacts are ending up on the “Ghosted” list, you should reassess your pitching process. There are plenty of reasons why influencers don’t answer your emails. Need to level up your outreach? Check out our guide to pitching influencers that features templates and real examples.
Set Aside a Place to Document Influencer Outreach
Building an influencer database is an awesome way to organize your contacts and campaigns.
But don’t neglect the importance of consistently adding creators to your roster.
As you continue finding new influencers, make sure to include them as part of your database. Cycling in new talent alongside existing creators is a smart move. This guarantees that your campaigns feel exciting as you tap into your new creators’ fresh ideas.
Maintaining an influencer database is definitely a balancing act, though. Be careful not to get so hung up on adding new talent that you neglect your existing brand ambassadors. Maintaining ongoing, professional relationships with influencers is crucial.
That’s because long-term influencers are invaluable to brands. The longer a creator works with you, the better they can represent your company and convey your value proposition.
Also, consider how new and existing influencers with small audiences now could potentially see a surge of followers in the near future. An influencer tracking spreadsheet can help you monitor all of the above.
Does Your Company Really Need an Influencer Database?
Chances are you have a lot on your plate already. We get it.
And so you’re probably wondering if all of this is really worth the effort.
The short answer? Absolutely! Consider the upsides of having an organized influencer marketing database:
- Save time by eliminating needless questions and emails to influencers
- Reduce shipping errors like sending products to the wrong influencers or addresses
- Speed up your influencer outreach by having everyone’s information in one place
Again, the alternative to consolidating your creators’ information is constantly scrambling for it. If nothing else, a database cuts down on the day-to-day stress of managing campaigns.
Building Your Own Influencer Database vs. Paying for Database Software
Let’s say you’re not sure if you want to take a DIY approach to your database.
Purchasing a database has its pros and cons. That said, here are some reasons why it’s useful to create your own:
- Building your own database is free (well, sort of). Although there’s no denying the time investment involved, creating a DIY database is clearly more cost-effective than buying one. Consider that some influencer database software costs $2,000+ per month.
- Your database is as big (or small) as you need it to be. Many paid database platforms are super bloated. Some actually advertise millions of influencers as part of their network. Others pull data points that might be irrelevant to your business. Building a database yourself means that you can customize your data to fit your needs.
- You actually own your influencer data. This is the big one. As soon as you stop paying for access to a database, you lose your contact info. You’re also at the mercy of a third party to keep their numbers accurate and up-to-date. On the flip side, a DIY database is truly yours. Think of it as your very own influencer CRM.
Note: when you work with Statusphere, we’re totally transparent about your influencers’ performance and key campaign information. Just because we manage relationships with creators doesn’t mean you should be in the dark when it comes to your data!
The Challenges of Managing an Influencer Database Yourself
Of course, creating a database isn’t as simple as filling out a spreadsheet. To wrap things up, here are some of the challenges of managing an influencer database on your own:
- Your database must be kept up to date to be worthwhile. Like it or not, this is non-negotiable. As soon as you start slacking on upkeep, your database loses its utility. Failing to update follower counts, address changes or contract statuses is a recipe for mix-ups and mistakes.
- Maintaining a database can be time-consuming. Once your database reaches a certain size, managing it all is going to eat up a decent chunk of your schedule. Heck, it might even feel like a full-time job. DIY databases are ideal for teams with a small roster of influencers versus hundreds of creators.
- Manual data entry is tedious. Let’s be real: nobody likes doing data entry. If you feel like you’re spending half your day plugging away at a spreadsheet, you’re probably on the path to burnout. Consider how valuable your time and schedule are. Your energy is probably best spent elsewhere, right?
Build a Database That Streamlines Your Influencer Campaigns
Databases can be organizational game-changers if you’re managing a lot of influencers.
But don't underestimate how much work goes into building your own.
Finding creators. Pitching them. Negotiating. Shipping products. Managing posts.
Whew! We know all too well how much legwork is involved in all of the above.
That’s why you should consider a full-service influencer management platform like Statusphere to simplify (and streamline!) the process. We handle everything when it comes to influencer marketing campaigns. This includes matchmaking, fulfillment and reporting.
Want to learn how it all works? Get in touch with one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing experts to see how we can get your campaign off the ground ASAP.
This article was first published in November 2019. It was last updated July 29, 2022.