According to Mike Shields, Advertising Editor with Business Insider, the ad-buying firm OMD has partnered with the data tech firm Influential to develop a way to grade social-media influencers (by creating I-Score). The partnership is the latest move by ad agencies looking to get out in front of the ongoing digital brand safety issue.
The idea behind I-Score is to help prospective advertisers figure out which digital creators will best represent them — and not put them in a compromising position. I-Score is meant to serve as a digital equivalent to the Q Score, long used to gauge the likeability and popularity of Hollywood stars.
To figure out which influencers are performing well, I-Score relies on publicly available social data (such as shares and YouTube views) and Influential’s proprietary machine-learning tool, which borrows some artificial-intelligence technology from IBM Watson.
Of course, Influential is hardly the only company out there promising to help ad buyers sift through the vast world of digital talent who have built big followings on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and other places. Many of these middlemen say they can score influencers using a compilation of data.
And, of course, there’s no telling when a normally mild-mannered social influencer might decide to go rogue and produce a controversial post.