Tech Profile: Appinions
What is Appinions, and how did you and your team get started in this field?
Appinions is an opinion-based influence marketing platform that enables agencies and brands to identify, analyze, engage, monitor and measure relevant influencers. Our platform is built on more than 10 years of Cornell University research. Our mission is to help businesses discover key influencers based on contextual evidence of impact (who took action on an opinion) and not just social mentions.
How should the marketing/advertising industry utilize Appinions to create better end-results for its clients’ content and customer service?
Influence marketing is largely driven by an unhealthy emphasis on arbitrary metrics and popularity scores. We’ve set out to change that. Our context-driven platform helps clients amplify their current and future marketing efforts — whether earned, paid or owned efforts. We also provide a comprehensive methodology for influence marketing, our Influencer Continuum; the Continuum outlines the process for effectively engaging with key influencers in your market and turning them into Super Advocates for your brand.
What trends and changes in the market led you to realize that Appinions would fill a void?
Our research team at Cornell has been working on the technology underlying Appinions for 10 years, so we like to think we were ahead of the influence marketing curve! With the recent rise of Klout and other personal influence platforms, we know that there’s a real need for a “grown up” influence solution – one that goes beyond social media and can’t be “gamed” by individuals looking to increase their influence score. Appinions is exactly that solution.
How does Appinions work? How is it more accurate or useful than other influence metrics like Klout and Kred?
Personal influence tools, such as Klout and Kred, capture and rank or score data attributed to a person’s social profiles, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Appinions is solely focused on contextual influence, which places a larger emphasis on the content and context of information. Appinions is built to identify and measure who has influence in a particular topic, subject or market, and we do it by looking at all public data available online – well beyond social networks. And going back to the previous question – because our platform can’t be gamed, our results are more credible and relevant to our clients.
How can brands benefit from and apply knowledge about key influencers surrounding their industry? Do you have an example of a brand using Influencer Exchange in a particularly unique and intelligent way?
Influence marketing is becoming increasingly important to today’s marketers; we’re moving from the awareness-generating model of TVs and billboards to developing advocacy across customers and fans. The Appinions methodology helps turn influencers – those who have a platform and are able to share their opinion with others – into Super Advocates using our technology and marketers’ smarts and internal assets.
Lucky Magazine, a client of ours, has been really creative with using Appinions. Their team is using our platform to help develop the Lucky Community. This user-generated section of their website surfaces fashion trends contributed by their community; Appinions helps them discover influential bloggers to feature on the site.
How do you see Appinions evolving in the next three to five years? What other metrics will you be using in the future to measure influence?
We are constantly evolving our technology to drill down even more thoroughly into various types of content and to extract more opinions with even greater preciseness and relevance. We are also leading in the field of disambiguation: associating one or more online manifestations of personality (such as a newsmaker, blogger, or social network user) in order to best represent the real-world individual to whom those online personalities belong.
Larry Levy is the CEO of Appinions. As a serial entrepreneur, Larry brings a wealth of hands-on experience. Prior to Appinions, Larry served as co-founder and CEO of Semagix Group, which was sold to Warburg Pincus in 2006. Larry was also the founder and CEO of Protégé Holdings, recognized as an “Upside 100” company, as well as the founder of Citria and Delrina Europe. He holds a BCom and BAcc from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and is a chartered accountant CA(SA). Connect with Larry on Twitter @appinions.