Posts by nisarg

Unilever To Cut Ties With Influencers Who Buy Fake Followers

June 21, 2018 Posted by In The News 0 thoughts on “Unilever To Cut Ties With Influencers Who Buy Fake Followers”

A large number of followers is one of the factors needed to be a popular influencer but with Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm, low barriers to entry and stiff competition are causing many influencers to turn to shifty methods of inflating their profiles. Multiple services offer intelligent fake followers at prices cheaper than a day’s lunch!

Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies with products like Dove, Lipton tea etc, is attempting to crack down on influencer fraud by canceling contracts with influencers with paid followers. The FMCGs’ Chief marketer, Keith Weed said: “The key to improving the situation is three-fold: cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement; making brands and influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices, and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact.”


2018 has been a year of explosive growth for influencer marketing with the market estimated to reach $10 billion by 2020. Entrepreneur reported that 41 percent of marketers surveyed spent only 5 percent or less of their budget on influencer marketing. But more than half of them are looking to increase their budget over the coming years.

While buying bots has been a prevalent practice on Instagram, the scale of this issue came into the spotlight after The New York Times published an exposé on the practice of buying followers and bots to increase engagement. Engaging with fake followers or bots through influencer campaigns is a waste of marketing resources especially for brands like Unilever, who spent over $9 billion on marketing in 2017.

Influencers are only as powerful as the number of people who trust and value them. What brands are looking for is an influencer’s ability to reach a big enough audience and their level of engagement; thus due-diligence should be vital before hiring an influencer.

While there is no direct way of spotting fake profiles on Instagram, Affable’s machine-learning model can bring a wealth of influencer insights for brands including presenting the % of suspicious following of an influencer.



8 Factors That Will Help You Choose An Influencer For Your Campaign

June 19, 2018 Posted by Influencer Marketing 0 thoughts on “8 Factors That Will Help You Choose An Influencer For Your Campaign”

While we have expressed the effectiveness of influencer marketing in our past posts, finding the right influencer is still an important factor in the success of your campaign.

Instead of basing your decision on vanity metrics like the number of followers, keep the below 8 factors in mind to get the most out of your marketing budget.

1) Relevance 


Relevance is defined as how closely an influencer’s post matches your brand’s targeted keywords. Since the best partnerships work when both parties are able to gain value, it’s important to find influencers who are interested or are advocates of your brand.

For example, although a celebrity will have more followers than a local golfer, if your brand deals with golf products then the latter is the better choice for your campaign.

2)  Audience Demographics


An Instagram profile with millions of followers may seem like a quick way to increase your brands reach but these numbers will not be helpful if the influencer’s audience is outside your target demographic.

It’s a common mistake to believe that most of an influencers followers are similar to him/her so even if they align with your brand, it’s not always true that his/her audience does too.

For the best results, start with creating customer personas for your brand— what age groups, location, and interests make up your biggest customer segments? Then look for influencers who have an audience that falls within those specific targets. Since it is not possible to conduct a reverse search on Instagram, we added the audience filter feature on to help marketers target the exact audience they want.   



3) Sentiment


While this kind of marketing provides many benefits whether its increasing brand awareness and driving sales, it can also have a negative effect if an influencer falls out of favor with his/her following, damaging brand image consequently.

For example, Logan Paul had a considerable following of 10.5 million followers on Instagram which led to successful partnerships with huge brands like Nike, Walmart, Pepsi, Verizon, and HBO. However after Paul’s disturbing vlog filmed in Japan’s Aokigahara or “the suicide forest’, several brands backed away from the rising Instagram star, according to marketers and analytics companies.

4) Activity


While there is no magic number of how much an influencer should post, being connected with their audience in a sustained way decides how much of an influence they hold. Besides being active on Instagram helps them build authority over a niche or interest, create connections to promote their content, learn about trends, and interact with their fans.

61% admit to unfollowing an influencer who worked with “inappropriate” brands or who “endorsed too many products.”

influencer cartoon

Excessive promotion of any brand or product also is no good as it feels like spam and consequently less credible. It gives off a sentiment that an influencer is simply doing it for the money and not because of belief in that brand’s products.

5) Geographic Location


If you deal with a product or service that is impacted by location– for example, if you are a Singapore-based bakery– it is critical to limit your marketing to the island country because that is where most of your potential customers live.

A manual way to figure out where an influencer is based is to check their profile bio to see if any location is mentioned or to check the Geotag on their images. Not the most efficient way to do things if you’re considering working with many influencers.

6) Engagement


Engagement is a crucial metric marketers use to make a decision, is a measure of how relevant and popular an influencer. Analysing an influencer’s engagement rate can give you an estimate of how many people usually interact with his/his posts and can help you estimate the return on investment (R.O.I) on your campaign.

For example, An influencer with 100,000 followers may charge you USD$1,000 per post and has an engagement rate of 1.5%. This means you will receive approximately 1500 interactions per post at a cost of $0.67 per engagement.

Whereas, an influencer with only 50,000 followers may charge you USD$500 per post and has a high engagement at 10%. This means you should expect to receive approximately 5000 interactions at an average cost of only $0.1 per engagement.

(where total engagement is a number of likes and comments.)

It is almost impossible to calculate manually and if you are comparing several influencers it can be very time-consuming, which is where Affable comes to the rescue by providing not only the engagement metric of the influencer but also how it fares with similar influencers on Instagram.

7) Authenticity:


We’ve seen that the more trustworthy your influencer seems, the higher is their engagement rate. And among the host of influencers on Instagram, micro-influencers have been proved to have better engagement rates as they are more in-tune with their audience, create more trusted content among other factors. Essentially, you want the influencer to share personal and authentic posts which are creative but also a part of the brands’ storytelling.

It also goes without saying that you would definitely not want to work with influencers who purchase a large number of ‘fake’ followers. Affable’s engagement data also relays with amazing accuracy the % of suspicious following a particular influencer may have.

8) Influencer & Brand Alignment:


Since authenticity and creativity is a valued factor in advertising successful campaigns, it would be self-defeating for an influencer to not have a personal style or interests and to simply adapt to any and every product.  

For example, although David Beckham is a strong brand ambassador to many brands, his campaign for AIA’s life insurance failed to generate interest in the product itself according to a CSG report. Many of the surveyed were of the opinion that there wasn’t a strong and authentic connection between Beckham and the financial product.  

Once you’ve short-listed a number of influencers who check all the above boxes, you should then contact these influencers, negotiate a price and be on your way to a successful campaign.

How takes the guesswork out of influencer marketing

June 19, 2018 Posted by Influencer Marketing 0 thoughts on “How takes the guesswork out of influencer marketing”

A few years ago, marketing teams discussed if influencers should be a part of their marketing strategy. Today the question is how does one choose the right influencer by providing the best value for money. But here’s the problem, It’s actually pretty hard to make a decision without concrete facts beyond searching hashtags, dealing with talent agencies or hiring interns to do this cumbersome task. However, the hardest thing to answer has been this: Is this influencer actually influential to their audience? Thus Affable was born of complex algorithms, image search, machine learning and a lot of heart into this industry.

1)Play the numbers right

The typical Instagram influencer search relies on recommendations from friends, researching on search engines like Google, going through pictures of the hashtags you want- basically it is a process based on guesswork. Even if the influencer checks the box for being the right age, having an attractive number of followers and having the right image for your brand, a similar check needs to be done for their audience.

For example, we noticed that a particular beauty blogger’s audience was primarily male thus leading to poor sales for a brand who collaborated with her!

Affable’s ai-based technology can break down with 95% accuracy the age-range of an influencer’s audience along with a break down of gender and location distribution.

2) Filters are not just for Selfies

How do you know for sure if your influencer is a traveler, fashionista, permissive moms, or a fitness freak? You could ask them where they see themselves or go through their entire profile to find out.

Or you can use Affable’s extensive filter options to choose the desired age, gender, interest, brand affinity and follower count within seconds! With machine learning, Affable uses an internal ‘scoring system’  for the influencer and brings up search results in the order of decreasing relevance.


3) Location, location, location:

If you thought this was the principle of real estate, you were right! Social media marketing has borrowed this principle and for sound reasons. If your company has a great product that is limited to say, Singapore for the moment, hiring an influencer based in Thailand will be an inefficient use of your resources. Tapping into an influencer who is popular with your product’s geography.


4) Quality over Quantity

Crossing your fingers and hoping for your campaign to justify its cost cannot be the way to do things. Basing your choice of influencer on logic can take away a lot of stress associated with your job. Affable provides the average engagement on a post for an influencer which refers to the percentage of their audience engaging with their content and the authenticity of their likes and comments.


5) Are they really influential?

A Google search for the keywords ‘buying Instagram followers’ brings up 192,000,000 results revealing the booming bot industry! With fake likes and even comments flooding Instagram, you can never be too cautious about selecting a genuine influencer. Our comprehensive directory organizes social media information and makes specific audiences reachable at scale

Here is where Affable’s engagement statistics can help make things clear:

As social media influence is turning into a billion dollar industry poised to outpace the traditional marketing industry, Affable can save significant hours of manpower and time with better results allowing marketers to focus on right-brain tasks such as creativity and strategy.

Who are Micro-Influencers & Why Work With Them?

June 19, 2018 Posted by Influencer Marketing 0 thoughts on “Who are Micro-Influencers & Why Work With Them?”

Who is a Micro-Influencer:


There is no standard definition of this new-breed of influencers but the most marketers agree that Micro-influencers are social media users with followers ranging from 5000 to 1,00,000.

Micro Vs Macro Influencers:


Aside from the obvious difference in follower count, micro-influencers are more niche-based with higher observable engagement. Studies show that the higher the follower count, the lower the engagement rates.

A smaller audience means that a micro-influencer can reply to more comments, be aware of the audience reaction and generally be more engaged with them on a day to day basis; in comparison to highly influential people with follower count in the hundreds of thousands who wouldn’t realistically be able engage with their followers at the same level.

Unlike supermodels who often endorse 10-15 brands varying from packaged water, perfume to sports shoes at the same time, micro-influencers cannot afford to overload their Instagram feeds with sponsored posts as it may put off their followers. So generally, when they do agree to collaborate with a company, the product has to resonate with their life, otherwise, they risk losing their audience.

Another difference is that macro-influencers get attention from a wide variety of people from dissimilar countries, interests, gender among other factors while micro-influencers have an audience who are more targeted to an interest.

What Micro-Influencers bring to the table


1.Niche-based audience

If a coffee brand collaborates with a social celebrity with 2 million followers, it can reach a big pool of audience, but there is no guarantee that most of them even like coffee! It would make more sense to work with 100 self-proclaimed coffee-based influencers whose followers are actually interested in coffee brands and trends.



2. Size isn’t everything

An influencers engagement, an important KPI marketers measure, is measured by the average number of interactions they get per post. It is a common misperception that influencers with bigger a bigger following will have a better engagement rate.


Micro Influencers has 22% more ‘buying conversations’ than an average consumer.

Source: Adweek

In fact, a recent study has shown that as the following base continues to increase, the like and comment rate keeps decreasing. Instagram influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers see a 2.4 percent like rate, compared to 1.7 percent for those with 1 million to 10 million followers and more. Comment rate follows a similar pattern.



Marketer Craig Bierley once said, “I’m not sure anyone really believed that Tiger Woods drove a Buick.” 

Consumers today do realize that there is an exchange of paycheck that occurs in advertising but they increasingly prefer that when an influencer recommend a product, they mean it.  This is why when Kim Kardashian posts a picture of herself with detox tea claiming it helps her maintain her figure, it may even get the brand a lot of eyeballs but rings inauthentic and phony to potential buyers. It’s quite simple: Micro-influencers establish themselves as experts in a given field, then review the relevant products n blogs or in videos they make.

“A survey of 1,470 women found that 86 percent of them wanted product recommendations from real people.”

Source: FastCompany



The average micro-influencer will charge $250 for one post, whereas the average macro-influencer can set you back anywhere from a couple thousand to a couple hundred thousand dollars.  In some cases, micro-influencers are glad to post for free in exchange for products sent to them or if they are fans of the product.


At the cost of hiring one mega-influencer, a brand could partner with multiple micro-influencers to reach a higher number of people for the same or even lesser amount with better engagement. 

Besides the ROI, micro-influencers tend to be easier to connect with directly whereas macro/mega influencers usually have agencies or agents that represent them. Everyday influencers, like everyday people, tend to be much more approachable.


5.Higher Click Through Rates

A common term in the advertising industry, a click-through rate is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view an advertisement. In recent times, traditional digital marketing tactics such as paid display ads have seen lower CTRs due to the high usage of ad blockers and ad fatigue by viewers.  


A study has shown that a micro-influencers’ post is more valuable to a brand than celebrities, popular bloggers, and other advertising. This is possible because of the resonance that micro-influencers have with their following which leads to higher engagement that in turn lend themselves to a higher CTR.



6.Cost Per Lead

This metric measures how cost-effective your marketing campaigns are when it comes to generating new leads for your business. A lead is an individual/business that has expressed interest in your product or service by completing a goal. Since all businesses can agree that keeping marketing costs low and revenue high is the right way to achieve a high return on investment, betting on micro-influencers is a good strategy.


Average Cost Per Lead
Facebook Newsfeed Ads 14.88
Promoted Tweets 13.74
Celebrities 11.03
Macro influencers 8.26
Micro influencers 4.56
Source: The State of Influencer Marketing CMO Summit April 2016

An analysis of 1 billion impressions from July-Dec 2016 across Travel, Entertainment, Retail, and QSR has shown that micro-influencers’ have the least CPL’s in comparison to other digital strategies as their followers are more likely to drop into your brand’s funnel because they both trust and value the micro-influencer’ advocacy.



7.Cost Per Acquisition

Another important metric that helps measure the success of a campaign, CPA refers to the average cost of acquiring leads or customers which is calculated by dividing the cost of advertising by the number of leads or customers for a given campaign.


The lower the CPA the better and micro-influencers(as shown above) have the lowest CPA’s in comparison with other popular advertising methods due to the relatively lost cost of hiring a micro-influencer, dynamic fan base, and a ‘long-tail’ approach which reaches the right audience.

Sign up with Affable today to supercharge your influencer marketing by bringing your search, due diligence, and analytics tools in one place.

Affable : AI solution to scale word-of-mouth marketing

June 18, 2018 Posted by Artificial Intelligence 0 thoughts on “Affable : AI solution to scale word-of-mouth marketing”

For decades, Word of mouth has been the most effective mode of marketing. Traditionally, brands have been working with celebrities to narrate the story to their audiences. With the rise of popular social media users who have 10k to 100k followers, brands have a way to reach to a more targeted & niche audience at a lesser cost. These users, also called micro-influencers, are more effective than celebrities to engage with a niche audience.

Micro-influencer marketing is surprisingly effective with brands getting as much as 20% ROI. Over the last couple of years, marketers are now shifting their marketing budgets towards micro-influencers.

If influencer marketing is so effective, why isn’t everyone using it?

influencer marketing current manual process

Current process of influencer marketing


The current process of finding and working with these micro-influencers is highly manual, time-consuming and full of guesswork. Marketers spend days manually searching through hashtags finding for a relevant user, and then based on vanity metrics like number of followers & asking friends, they decide whom to engage.

Funnily, they still end up working with the wrong influencer.

Affable is an end-to-end platform that to help marketers discover, engage & measure authentic micro-influencers –

Demo link to Affable Platform

Affable Demo


At Affable, we are building computer vision algorithms to profile influencers through their images. We scan public Instagram content to gauge user-interest from their images and videos. We also analyze images uploaded by their followers to determine their demographics using advanced facial recognition algorithms.

Affable Influencer Profile Screenshot


Because we use images instead of text, the platform is language agnostic and can work in any region, speaking any language with no additional effort.

Image that shows how affable platform is language agnostic


Image that shows the engagement feature of Affable


The problem of bots and fake-accounts has plagued social media and lot of influencers seem to have a surprisingly high number of suspicious followers. We have built Machine Learning algorithms to tackle this problem — where our model can distinguish a suspicious user from a real user.

We run this analysis for all influencer’s followers to determine how many suspicious accounts follow them.



Image that shows Influencer Brand Affinity



For influencer marketing to be authentic and effective, marketers should make sure that the influencer they engage hasn’t endorsed a competing brand recently — and this happens more frequently than one would imagine.

To address this, Affable scans through all the media uploaded by an influencer to enlist the brands they have engaged with recently.



Affable’s post-campaign analytics helps marketers determine the true reach — the persona of the audience that engages with the influencer content. This helps marketers not only measure the reach of the current campaign but also helps them decide which influencers to work with, in the future.

Image that shows screen shot of post-campaign analytics on Affable


Our vision is to empower anyone — from a homepreneur to an enterprise — with tools that can scale their word-of-mouth marketing requirements. We strongly believe that technology can make it possible and at Affable we are building that technology that unlocks scale in word-of-mouth marketing.

Image that shows technology needed to scale word-of-mouth marketing

We are building our platform with a lot of love and sweat. To get an early sneak-peak into Affable, register for early access at or write to us at