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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

Stop Flying Blind and Find Influencers with Analytics

Without tools to measure social influence, we can't select the right influencer for a particular effort or campaign. Start-up Hypr Brands says it brings prescriptive clarity and analytics insight to influencer marketing.

There's a paradox at the heart of influencer marketing. Because we don't have the tools to measure the actual influence of influencers, we can't select just the right influencer for a particular effort or campaign. Nor can we identify so-called "micro-influencers" -- people who don't have huge name recognition but who enjoy outsized influence in their social networks.

In short, we've been doing it all wrong.

Start-up marketing analytics specialist Hypr Brands says it has just what we need to do it right.

Targeting the Right Influencer

Hypr markets an analytics software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that specifically targets influencer marketing. Its Hypr SaaS platform combines advanced analytics technologies (namely, text analytics and machine learning) with information from a massive working data set of more than 1 billion social media identities.

Cofounder and CEO Gil Eyal says Hypr brings clarity and insight to influencer marketing. "You'd never spend money on advertising at an event without knowing more about the types of attendees [it attracts], your success [of ad spending] at similar events, and so on," he says.

"With influencers, people seem to be doing that all of the time," Eyal continues. "What's missing from this industry ... [is the ability] to actually measure conversion [rates] for influencer-related marketing. The way that it works [right now] is kind of the opposite of the way it should work. People do 'influencer marketing' but they're settling for analytics that are comparable to traditional analytics."

Measuring Influence

"Traditional" marketing analytics isn't designed to measure the "right" things, according to Eyal: the benefit of marketing spending on influencer marketing is measured in likes and shares, not by traditional measures. Graph analysis is critically important in influencer marketing, too: you're measuring an influencer's ability to move the metaphorical needle among her many connections.

Moving the needle might take the form of explicit endorsements (e.g., likes and shares); it might also translate into mere mentions: buzz. Traditional tools can't measure these aspects of influencer marketing, Eyal maintains.

Hypr can. "We developed a technology that knows how to look at every single social event in the world regardless of follower and develop a breakdown of [the] demographics of [the people who follow certain] influencers. Their housing [status], income levels, education levels, age, where they're located, their ethnicity: the types of things as a marketer you really want to know," he says.

"It also measures the effectiveness [of an influencer] in actually influencing [their] followers."

Influencer Marketing is Growing Across Industries

Eyal brings a fair amount of expertise to this problem. Before founding Hypr, he was COO of Mobli, an Instagram-like service promoted by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Serena Williams. Influencer marketing isn't just a matter of using celebrities to pitch, wear, or otherwise be seen using products and services, Eyal stresses.

So-called "micro-influencers" are Hypr's "bread and butter," he points out. "We don't really focus on the big guys. You can [use Hypr to] find information on the big guys, but you don't really need to know who Kim Kardashian is. What happens when you need to know 500 people who influence the coolest girls in school in New York? Not all of them are celebrities, but how do you find them?"

Beauty, fashion, health, and fitness are verticals that make aggressive use of influencer marketing, Eyal says. Basically all industries are experimenting with it, however: it's too important a marketing channel to ignore.

"Every single agency we speak to, every company, every brand, they have somebody who's head of social media and influencing," he concludes. "They want to establish these new kinds of relationships. There's also the fact that people just aren't willing to consume ads the same way they used to. Ad Blocker has 650 million active users for a reason."

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at [email protected].

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