How I built the ideal list of youtube influencers with “data” using Social Blade and Import.io

Playing with data allow you to do many things. You can build beautiful data visualizations, create dashboard for reporting or enter information that is not normally available

Once you start understanding what’s an API and how to use a spreadsheet properly you can collect data and organise them in order to solve any kinds of problems. Beyond some lexical and technical aspect that might be scary, playing with data is very accessible most of the time,.

Our ingredients

I write this note with the aim to show you how manipulating data can be very easy and helpful in many situation. In this tutorial, we are going to build a list of top gaming youtubers split by their country.

This goal is just an excuse to show you 1— how sometimes data are right here but not directly accessible 2— how to grab data from a website front end. I’ll be successful if, after this tutorial, you are able to think and to build your own recipes.

Import.io is a “web scrapping tool”. Among other things, it helps you extract data from websites directly from their HTML. It’s a very powerful tool. I encourage you to read more about import.io here. Plus if you like data, their newsletter is very interesting !

Social Blade is a website that gather analytics data from Youtube, Twitch or Instagram. It’s very useful for marketers and indispensable to build the perfect list of influencers for you marketing campaign.

Data ! You can run but you can’t hide

Even if Social Blade is a great website, they don’t always give you the data you want… and it’s the same with numerous websites. Most of the time the data are here, but they are scattered on multiple pages. And this can be sometimes, very frustrating.

Very frustrating….

For Exemple, on Social Blade, you can access the Top 500 youtubers by categories or the top 100 youtubers by country but you can’t access to the top 500 gaming youtubers list classified by country.

However the data are here ! When you click on a personal page of a youtuber you can have the country of their channel.

You can always open all 500 youtubers pages in the gaming category and extract their country one by one but… At this point, Import.io come in handy. It will help us to automate this task in a few clicks.

We are going to use import.io to grab the data we want (the country) from each one of the top 500 youtubers of the gaming list.

How to use import.Io

To grab the data we want, I breakdown this tutorial into three steps. These steps will help us to gather our data progressively. For an overview, here are the steps :

1 We will get the country of one specific youtuber though his personal page from Social Blade .

2 We will get the URL of each one of the personal pages of all TOP 500 gaming list influencers.

3 From what we have done in step 1 and step 2, we will be able build an excel file with all the influencers of this TOP 500 gaming list with their country.

let’s go.

First Step : Get the country

We are going to use something called “extractor” in Import.io. With this function you can easily extract the information you want from a specific page. Here is how to do this, step by step :

  • Download, install and Open import.io
  • Click “New”, then chose “Extractor”.
  • (you’ll see that Import.is more or less like a browser) Enter the URL with the data you are looking for. Following this tutorial, we are looking for the country of one of the 500 gaming youtuber, so you’ll have to enter the url of the personal page of one of them. For exemple chose the one ofhttp://socialblade.com/youtube/user/pewdiepie.
  • Once the page is loaded, turn the extraction button “on”.
  • The page is reloading. You have now access to a new space, under the extraction button. Let’s rename the first column already created with “Country” instead of “my_column (0)”.
  • Then select the name of the country on the personal youtuber page on socialBlade inside the import.io browser (This should be contoured in yellow).
  • Import.io will ask you “How many rows will there be in your table?” select “just one raw”.
  • You should see the country appear in the column you’ve renamed.
  • Click “done” and record the name of your “API” with the name you want. Then publish it

Congrats you you have successfully completed the first step.

Second step : Get the URL Youtuber list

For this second step we want to gather in a spreadsheet the personal url page from each one of the top 500 gaming youtubers. We will replicate the actions of the previous step.

  • In Import.io, Click “New”, then chose “Extractor”.
  • Enter the URL of top 500 gaming Youtubers list (http://socialblade.com/youtube/top/category/games)
  • Turn extractor button on
  • Name the column with the name you want (“url list” for example)
  • Click on the name of one of the influencers. Again it should be contoured in yellow
  • Import.io will ask you “How many rows will there be in your table?” select “just one row”.
  • You should see the list of all the influencers personal pages in this list
  • Click “done” and record the name of your “API” with the name you want. Then publish it

Step 2 done ! Still don’t know where we’re heading on… one more step and the magic will happen.

Third step : Get the youtubers list with the country

The last step is a little bit more complex.

  • From the Import.io main page, we you should see the two API we’ve just created.
  • From the second API you’ve created click “export” ( next to configure ) then “export to google sheet”
  • Then you should see on the third column all the raw containing the influencers URL
  • Just select all the row and copy then (Ctrl+A; Ctrl+C)
  • Go back to the main page of import.io and click on the first API we’ve created
  • Click under “How would you like to use this API?” and choose “bulk extract”
  • Paste the list of URL we’ve just copy (ctrl+V)
  • Click Run queries and wait a little bit.
HTML export

That’s it. You should see the list of all your influencers with their country !

If you want to dig a little bit deeper into this raw of data, you can extract meaningful insight. For example below, the top 500 youtubers games Channels split by country from SocialBlade

Please feel free to share this article. I also would love to receive other import.io recipes in the comment section. Feedbacks are welcomed.

Thanks to Clément Brygier for his advice.