There has been a lot of debate about influencer marketing as a digital marketing instrument. It is a great way to expand your reach on social media and tap into new audience segments. You can align your brand with the right influencers to gain a significant boost in brand presence and credibility.
However, influencer marketing is not without its challenges. Not all influencers have a real audience. Deciding which influencers align best with your brand messaging and target market is not easy either. On top of that, there is a lot of fraud, fake followers, and services designed to inflate the numbers displayed by influencers.
Despite these issues, brands still use influencer marketing in their campaigns. The real challenge now is crafting a way to be more targeted when choosing influencers, and data scraping may provide the answer we all need.
Web Scraping for Social Media Data
Web scraping is not a new method, but digital marketers widely use it for several reasons. Web scraping allows marketers to tap into public data without having to configure advanced routines or be an expert in data science. The web scraping tools available today are highly programmable and don’t require specific knowledge.
Of course, social media sites are pushing back on web scraping by actively tracking IP addresses and user activities. If you start opening a lot of profiles on Instagram and collecting information from those profiles, it will not be long before your IP address is flagged. If you use your own account, you may get banned from the platform entirely.
This is where residential proxies come in handy. Residential proxies are IP addresses of residential devices through which you can route your traffic. Rather than showing your real IP address, the traffic will appear as if it has come from thousands – or even millions – of people from different parts of the world.
Residential proxies anonymize traffic to social media and make large-scale web scraping possible. For example, if you want to know more about a particular audience and the influencers they follow, you can simply scrape public profiles to find the most followed accounts. This, in turn, solves a lot of problems influencer marketers now face.
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Sifting Through the Noise
Using web scraping to track and analyze influencers gives you an entirely new perspective on the industry. Rather than relying on the numbers displayed by influencers, you can now analyze influencers based on the audience groups that follow them. This is a huge plus for brands and marketers alike.
For example, you can scrape the data of Instagram users in a certain age group, in a particular location, and with specific interests. You can then capture data about the Instagram accounts those users follow. Through further processing, it is easy to uncover commonly followed accounts. In other words, you can find influencers in that particular segment using this method.
Another way to use web scraping is to track and analyze influencers when campaigns are running. Influencers post branded content all the time, but you can be more meticulous with how the content of your brand gets posted. You can, for instance, identify the best time to post based on data on user engagement and activity.
These data are openly available. The only thing missing is a method to collect and process them reliably. Web scraping, combined with residential proxies, provides that method.
Taking It a Step Further
With web scraping and web proxies at your fingertips, there are more things you can do to track and analyze influencer marketing. In certain platforms, you can identify the categories of content that influencers post on their account by collecting data about posts, keywords, and comments. The latter allows you to link content types with user engagement levels.
At the same time, you have the ability to see if influencers post content regularly. Consistency is very important in today’s social media landscape. You want to work with influencers that consistently push quality content to their audience. Without it, your branded posts will not produce the desired effect.
Last but not least, web scraping lets you identify users who are talking about your brand after interacting with influencers. This is a fantastic way to find micro- and nano-influencers – people with less than 10,000 followers, but with higher engagement rates. In turn, you can tap into deeper circles with nano-influencers.
These tactics lead to better brand exposure, higher brand credibility, and greater impact from your influencer marketing. Yes, there are challenges to overcome when you start using influencers to market your brand. But this article is filled with solutions to overcome those challenges