Utilizing influencers on Instagram can bring in fresh content and help social proof your brand. Before you dive into the world of influencer...
The Pros and Cons of Using Influencer Database Software
Could a database help you streamline your influencer search? This post breaks down the pros and cons of influencer database software that brands need to know.
Does influencer database software make sense for your team?
Finding the right influencers is tough. Trust us: we know it all too well.
This is especially true now that influencers represent a $13.8 billion market. As a result, the creator space is flooded with more talent than ever.
The problem? Uncovering influencers that reflect your brand and audience is like finding a needle in a haystack. With millions of potential influencers to choose from, the discovery process is daunting.
That’s why some brands turn to influencer databases to speed up their search.
Thinking about doing the same? Below we’ve broken down the pros and cons of influencer database software you need to know.
Skip to Section 👇
What is Influencer Database Software?
Influencer database software refers to directories with information about social media influencers, including:
- Social media handles and contact information
- Industry and interests
- Follower count and engagement rate
- Location and demographic
- How much they charge per post
- Which platforms they’re active on (think: Instagram, TikTok, YouTube)
- Examples of the types of content they create (think: videos, how-tos)
With all the details above in one place, brands can save time when hiring influencers. Think of an influencer database as an advanced search engine that helps brands find creators.
For example, brands can use keywords related to their industry (think: “parenting”) or product (think: “cloth diapers”). Brands can then narrow their search by filtering creators by variables such as platform, price point or engagement rate.
But if you’re stuck trying to figure out how to choose an influencer database, we get it.
The boom of influencer marketing has resulted in a boom of new platforms. Picking between them can be tricky if you don’t know what you need.
Features and Details to Look For in a Social Media Influencer Database
Below we’ve broken down the key details and features to consider for any given platform.
Influencer Aggregators vs. Opt-In Databases
Some databases simply aggregate influencer information from across social media. Others represent their own influencer network (think: creators who’ve applied). There are pros and cons to both.
For aggregators, you’re essentially paying for information you could find yourself with some digging. It’s a trade-off in terms of time versus money. Databases with built-in networks will typically have more engaged and dedicated influencers. That said, the pool of talent will be smaller.
We’ve seen databases claim to be as large as 30 million creators. Do you really need a database of influencers larger than the population of Australia?
On the flip side, smaller opt-in-only networks might lack the niche influencers you want to reach. Again, it’s a trade-off.
Influencer databases typically require an annual contract. For reference, most database software costs between $750 and $2,000 per month to access. You’ll need to factor this into your influencer marketing budget on top of compensating your creators.
Influencer Search and Matchmaking
Databases can get pretty granular when it comes to their search features. Most platforms let you search by factors such as engagement rate and keywords by default. Some databases actually identify an influencer’s past collaborations to highlight brands they've worked with.
More advanced databases can assign influencers a compatibility score to see how your brand aligns with them. Features such as lookalike audiences and suggested creators are popular, too. Using software to find influencers can save serious time given how intensive influencer matchmaking can be.
Creating and Exporting Lists
Organization is one of the key benefits of using a database. While some software will totally tie you to their platform, other platforms will allow you to download and export your own list of contacts. This makes it easier to align your database with existing creator campaigns.
Visual Search and Live Content Previews
Again, the whole point of influencer database software is to save you time.
Features like visual search and content previews let you see what an influencer is all about without having to leave your database. Live previews (similar to those in the TikTok Creator Marketplace) help identify relevant influencers at a glance.
The Advantages of Using Influencer Database Software
Now that we know what databases can do, let’s look at the upsides of investing in one.
Save Time Bouncing Between Social Platforms
Consider the legwork involved when it comes to finding Instagram influencers.
Digging through hashtags. Retrieving emails from bios. Combing through captions.
Then, apply the same search process to TikTok, YouTube and anywhere else you might be looking for influencers. That’s a lot of bouncing around, right? With a database, you can streamline many of these steps by having these details front and center in one place.
Assess Influencer Performance Faster
Databases allow you to filter influencers by engagement rate or follower size. This makes it easier to find micro-influencers or creators that meet a specific threshold when it comes to audience engagement. Instead of crunching these numbers yourself, databases can highlight them instantly.
No More Scrambling for Influencers’ Email Addresses
Most databases have influencers’ email addresses listed so you don’t have to hunt down their contact information. This is a time-saver, too. Keep in mind though that not all creators prefer to be contacted the same way. For example, contacting Instagram influencers might involve DMs, email or even a contact form.
Improve Your Chances of Succesful Outreach
For opt-in databases, you can approach influencers with a sense of confidence. That's because they acknowledge that they want to hear from brands. This doesn’t necessarily apply to aggregated databases. Pricier platforms will purge their influencer lists to ensure quality among their network.
The Disadvantages of Influencer Database Software
Sounds good so far, right? In reality, databases definitely have their share of downsides.
You’re Still Responsible for Outreach, Briefing, Reporting and Fulfillment
At the end of the day, a database is a database.
That means you’re still on the hook for the most intensive and time-consuming aspects of running an influencer campaign. This includes:
- Coming up with creative briefs
- Tracking the performance of individual influencers
- Negotiating costs
- Campaign reporting
- Fulfillment and shipping
- Content review
Translation? You’re still managing relationships with influencers yourself. Even the best influencer database software out there can’t eliminate all of the legwork above.
As noted earlier, the cost of database software varies from platform to platform. There are stripped-down platforms that cost ~$200 per month while others are $4,000+ per month.
Considering that most services are billed annually, that’s a big commitment. This is especially true since this doesn’t include the cost of actually compensating influencers.
Content Isn’t Guaranteed
Since you’re still on the hook for outreach, there’s no guarantee that database access with result in content. Your pitch still needs to land and you’re still responsible for managing creators. This level of investment without guaranteed content is risky, especially for up-and-coming brands on tight budgets.
Making the Most of a Database Requires a Dedicated Team Member
To get your money’s worth, you need to be consistently reaching out to and following up with influencers. We know firsthand just how time-consuming this can be.
Why pay for database access if you aren’t going to make the most of it? Doing so means hiring a dedicated team member to handle the process. In our experience, it takes up to 70 hours to run a product gifting campaign featuring 30 creators.
Could you save some time when it comes to research and outreach? Absolutely.
But again, there are still so many time-consuming tasks on your plate after conducting outreach.
Databases Still Need to be Updated Regularly
Imagine taking the time to craft pitches for potential influencers only to have your emails bounce back.
It happens more often than you’d think. If the database you’re using isn’t updated regularly, influencer information can quickly get outdated.
Also, consider that content creators rebrand and change careers all the time. Reaching out with old information won’t just hurt your chances of a collab: it’s a bad look for your brand.
Influencers in Databases Aren’t Always Vetted
It’s difficult to gauge an influencer’s authenticity at a glance. You really need to dig into their content or talk to them personally if you want to verify that they’re legit.
Thing is, fake followers and bot activity are issues that databases don’t always detect. Unless each influencer is being vetted individually, there’s a risk of running into “influencers” with inflated metrics.
Think about it. How does an influencer database service possibly vet millions of influencers by hand? The short answer: they can’t.
Is Influencer Database Software Really Right for Your Business?
The key takeaway here? Database software is truly a matter of “you get what you pay for.”
As long as you understand the requirements and expectations of managing your campaigns with a database, they can be valuable. Databases are definitely going to save you time versus doing everything by hand.
If your company has outgrown the in-house approach but doesn’t want to commit to a database, there is a third option:
A scalable influencer marketing platform like Statusphere.
We handle everything related to running your influencer marketing campaigns. This includes matchmaking, fulfillment and making sure that creators post about your brand.
When you work with us, you’re working with vetted creators that want to work with your brand. On that note, we also guarantee content for your campaigns. The best part? You don’t have to spend a second conducting outreach or endlessly scrolling through a database.
Ready to get influencers posting about your brand without the heavy lifting? Contact one of our consumer-to-consumer marketing specialists today to learn more.
This article was first published in June 2021. It was last updated May 1, 2022.