Just about anyone can set themselves up as a social media influencer, and there's now so many avenues to do so.
Unfortunately, not all of them are as legitimate as they should be. Fraudulent accounts are running riot across social media and it can sometimes be difficult to tell a real influencer apart from a fake one.
This can include users purchasing followers, or using bots to create the illusion of engagement.
Luckily, companies like Singapore-based Affable exist. Companies that are utilising the power of artificial intelligence to smash that illusion and calculate the real worth of an influencer.
We spoke to Affable CEO and co-founder Nisarg Shah about the power of using AI solutions - not only to separate the frauds from the famous - but to also streamline the entire influencer selection process.
InfluencerUpdate.biz: What is Affable and what services do you offer?
Nisarg Shah: Affable is an AI based end-to-end platform for any marketer looking to spread word through micro-influencers.
We provide a platform that helps brands discover and analyse any influencer, manage the campaigns and measure the true reach. Using AI to analyse images on Instagram, Affable’s algorithms can recommend relevant influencers for any niche in any region.
What excites you about the influencer marketing space?
The power to reach a very niche and engaging audience through the influencers. We see influencers as creators who have a very trusted audience because of the content they create. Micro-influencers provide brands with a long-tail reach that no celebrity or billboards can.
With growth in this space, more platforms are coming around completing the influencer outreach loop. Instagram and Snapchat are bringing in e-commerce into their social media platform, which will boost the influencer space drastically.
The potential of influencer marketing is huge! Brands like Daniel Wellington have become one of the largest growing brands by exclusively focusing their marketing efforts through influencers. If done right, influencer marketing can become a lethal weapon for marketers.
How is the rise of A.I services helping the marketing space?
A.I. services help make marketing more scalable. Traditionally, brands would have an in-house team to analyse trends on social media using hashtags and keywords. With advanced AI, all of this is now automated.
AI also helps fight fraud. Influencer economy has garnered bad reputation because some influencers buy fake engagement to boost their rates. Using AI, it is possible to detect these accounts.
At Affable, we have made it a priority to ensure brand-safety while recommending influencer. Our Machine Learning algorithms can detect fake accounts online and alert a brand who could potentially work with them.
How do you think entertainment industry has changed with the rise of influencers?
Influencers have become popular mostly by the content they produce. Traditionally, end-users would consume media content from celebrities and production houses.
With the rise of influencers who create engaging content and have millions of subscribers, the entertainment industry has a new channel of media consumption. This is evident with the steps taken by Netflix in collaborating with influencers and most recently by the launch of Instagram TV for long-form videos.
Social media influencers provide a new channel to reach the millennial decision-makers of today.
Why do you think it important for advertisers and companies to make the most of social influencers as opposed to more traditional celebrities and PR methods?
Social media influencers provide a new channel to reach the millennial decision-makers of today. End-users are now saturated with social facebook sponsored ads and search ads.
For decades, brands have been working with celebrities to share their story to the masses, but because of the diverse following of these celebrities and high costs, brands are not able to reach a niche audience that would resonate the most with their story.
Is there a particular influencer campaign you can share that had some great results?
We worked Bundies - a men’s underwear brand in Singapore that launched a new range of products this year. Using Affable, they identified and analysed 30+ influencers and decided to work with 5 of them based on the insights around follower demographics and fake followers. The campaign was a massive success with over 8.3 per cent engagement and 80 per cent of that engagement generated from Millennial Men in Singapore, which was their target audience.
What has Affable got planned for the next year?
We are aggressively building out our platform and looking at expansion in South East Asia. We want to enable any marketer, anywhere, with any budget, to be able to do word-of-mouth marketing without much manual effort, using Affable.