We know influencer marketing has been around for a while now (probably even longer than you’d think) and has taken many forms as platforms like TikTok, podcasting, and Patreon have grown. For a quick history lesson, influencer marketing may have even started around 105 BCE in ancient Rome when billboards advertised gladiators promoting various oils or wines, thanks to their celebrity status.

If winegrowers already knew the power of influencers and ambassadorship back then, it’s only natural that modern brands across all industries now invest heavily in influencer marketing. According to Insider Intelligence, influencer marketing spending in the US is set to grow more than 12% this year and surpass the $4 billion mark. By the end of 2023, spending on brand-influencer partnerships will be nearly double its 2019 level.

We know that AI-enabled consumer intelligence helps companies with brand health and intelligence, product innovation, and even trend detection, but it’s also helping them navigate the complex world of influencer marketing across industries, channels, countries, and topics. Here’s how:

Identify potential influencers to engage your online communities

The Influencer Tab of Synthesio’s platform allows marketers to identify the loudest voices in the online spaces brands care about. Based on a proprietary metric Influencer Rank, brands instantly get a list of social authors ranked by three criteria: mentions, interactions, and reach. Using a multi-criteria metric not only helps you see how active and engaging influencers are, but it also prevents influencer fraud (i.e. when an influencer manipulates their performance numbers, appearing to have more followers than they actually have. This is especially important in today’s world of bots and buying followers.). Because brands often pick influencers on the basis of this indicator alone, Influencer Rank gives extra protection to your brand reputation (and marketing spend).

In the image below, Synthesio Influencer Rank identified the top 10 Twitter influencers related to the topic of climate change with 0 to 10k followers. Pro tip: sentiment and query filters help exclude influencers that don’t match your brand positioning (like climate change skeptics).


By adding filters to your Influencer Tab, you can drill down into specific channels, sites, languages, and more to:

  • find the best websites to run paid campaigns
  • engage consumers on their favorite channels
  • benchmark key opinion leaders
  • improve paid media strategy performance

Make your influencer marketing more consumer-centric

When it comes to marketing, relevant content that resonates with consumers will always be the key to success. It’s also a major challenge for brands: with so much online data, it’s often difficult to find where conversations are happening and what new topics consumers are discussing. This is where Synthesio’s AI-powered trend detection engine Topic Modeling comes in.

Synthesio’s AI engine allows brands to cut through the noise and find topics and ideas that matter to their online communities. Topic Modeling automatically scans and categorizes semantically similar conversations into related themes, then visualizes them into “clusters,” so you can see what topics are bubbling up. This helps brands understand what matters to their audience and, in turn, create more impactful influencer content.

By running a Topic Modeling study on mentions from the list of influencers in our Influencer Tab above, brands can see which topics are most important in the climate change space – and drill down even further to see who is driving each conversation. You can imagine how brands in other industries apply this method too; in healthcare and pharma, for example, brands identify key opinion leaders like academic journals and well-known physicians, then track what they’re discussing online with Topic Modeling. They can also run a study on consumer conversations about their brand or product, then develop influencer marketing content to address real consumer concerns or barriers to adoption.

To learn more about the top events and climate-related topics generating social buzz, check out our latest climate change report.

Track your influencer marketing strategy ROI

According to Influencer Marketing Hub research, businesses make $5.20 for every dollar they spend on influencer marketing. Pretty good, right?

But, measuring ROI from influencer campaigns (or any social media campaign!) has traditionally been a challenge for brands. With Synthesio’s BI-style reporting, marketers can track the impact of their influencer partnerships with metrics like volume of mentions, engagement, and reach – in real-time. They are also able to benchmark against other campaigns, influencers, channels, content formats, and more to improve future performance.  And thanks to advanced analytics, brands can also leverage logo recognition to assess the earned reach of their logo in coverage and discussions surrounding a major influencer campaign.

An influencer marketing success story: Lenny Kravitz x Leica

Of course, we wouldn’t leave you without a real-life example – and an influencer marketing masterclass. As part of its brand ambassadorship strategy, camera company Leica demonstrated the power of choosing the right influencer by enlisting the services of Lenny Kravitz for the limited edition Leica M “Drifter” camera and an associated exclusive exhibition.

The custom camera – made with vegan python leatherette sourced by designer Stella McCartney – was created in collaboration with the artist to reflect his casual rock spirit while keeping the neo-vintage look of legendary reportage cameras. (So cool!)

Leica stood out from its competition by producing only limited editions of the camera, and partnering with celebrities to promote its products. As an artist, musician, actor, designer, and photographer, Lenny Kravitz’s image was a perfect fit for Leica’s brand positioning.

Using Synthesio’s AI-enabled consumer intelligence platform, we tracked social conversations about the collaboration; sentiment analysis showed that the online reaction was mostly positive (76.4%). The successful influencer campaign not only helped the German manufacturer tap into Lenny Kravitz’s huge following to broaden its brand awareness, it also earned positive publicity.


AI-enabled consumer intelligence is helping brands make better, faster decisions about influencer marketing by sifting through the noise of social data to find new partnerships, channels, and audiences. Plus, AI engines like Topic Modeling are uncovering the topics and people that are engaging consumers – and impacting brands.

Interested in learning more about how you can inform and improve your influencer marketing strategy? Request a demo with our team.