Influenster Has Its Eyes on Amazon’s Crown for Product Reviews

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connect all their social media channels to the site, Acar says. That is used to score their reach with others. As members write reviews, regardless of being sent merchandise by the brands, they earn badges similar to achievements awarded while playing video games. That gives brands a clearer picture of which members are interested in them and helps determine who should be included in future marketing campaigns. “Badges are basically where the targeting happens,” Acar says.

The chosen members then promote the brands by creating user-generated content such as videos that feature the products. At the end of each campaign, Influenster provides brands performance reports showing return on investment, how many people they reached, and social media and video mentions, Acar says. The company also provides a report on how consumers view the brands, their intent to purchase their products again, which features they like, and what features they want added.

The needs of brands vary, Acar says, when it comes to people to target. Some companies just want bloggers, others want to reach all college students or other demographic groups. Influenster collects some 650 data points on each member, he says, based on their social media interaction, surveys answered, and reviews they write. The data may also include how often consumers use certain types of products.

Prior to co-founding Influenster, Acar worked for market research company GfK after graduate school. Co-founder Scherle worked for event promoter and media company Shecky’s Media, doing events for brands that wanted to reach out to women. The events Scherle worked on put sample products in consumers’ hands, but Acar says there was little way to know if they went on to buy the full products. The duo created Influenster to solve that problem.

“Being a data nerd, I said we should build a platform,” Acar says. “We know exactly what brands want. We collect a lot of data from people.”

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