Influencer marketing has become a necessary component of any comprehensive marketing plan, but many advisors still struggle to grasp this concept and incorporate it into their efforts. To gain insight from an innovator in this space, I reached out to Thuzio CEO Jared Augustine.
Here’s what he had to say…
Brian Hart: Thuzio has been making a lot of noise in the marketing community. Can you tell us about the company and it’s vision?
Jared Augustine: We’ve built the best search technology available to help brands and marketing agencies identify celebrities and influencers for marketing objectives. Facebook for friends, LinkedIn for professionals, and now Thuzio 360 for influencers. Our expectation is that all brands big and small, in the coming months and years, will be committing resources to influencer marketing. They’re going to need a place to start their search process, and we have the best in class technology to deliver a solution.
Brian Hart: Influencer marketing is a strategy that’s been growing in popularity over the last few years. How do you define influencer marketing, and why should brands consider adding it to their marketing mix?
Jared Augustine: We define influencer marketing more broadly than most. It can happen in the digital realm, which is how most industry professionals think of it, but it can also happen in a live environment on a panel at a conference. Anyone who speaks on a topic from a position of authority and has developed a trusted following, has the ability to be an “influencer”. When you consider all the people on the planet with this capability, on big topics, and the most granular, you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of individuals. We believe there needs to a sophisticated search process to find them and that is what we’ve built.
Not to oversimplify, but people buy things based on recommendations from their friends. The relationship consumers feel with digital influencers is closer to friendship, than one of celebrity and admiration. Effectively, influencer marketing enables brands to pay to advertise with people who have LOTS of friends.
Brian Hart: Most of the advisors I work with serve a local or regional client base. How can they most effectively apply this strategy to their target markets?
Jared Augustine: The more targeted, the more reason to be spending in specific, smaller increments with influencers reaching exactly your region or segment. If you have a car dealership in one metro area, you’re not doing a national television campaign. If you have a product that needs to reach a certain geo, identify and deploy influencer marketing in that region. As an example, if you’re after fashion oriented women in NYC, why spend in Vogue, when you can run an Instagram campaign with @somethingnavy?
Brian Hart: How do you measure a campaign’s effectiveness?
Jared Augustine: Depends on your definition of success. We know engagement is hugely important to brands and so we show that level of detail on our talent profiles. We try to help brands gage the expected level of engagement for a campaign.
Brian Hart: Lastly, what will the future of influencer marketing look like?
Jared Augustine: EVERY brand will do it. Its just a matter of how much. Similar to the shift to digital advertising, it will become a constant.
Jared Augustine is the co-founder and CEO of Thuzio. Jared’s career has been devoted to building and leading technology startups. Jared was an early executive at SeamlessWeb (now GrubHub/Seamless), where he led market expansion efforts, growing the company from an early stage regional business to an international industry leader. Jared was also a member of the founding team at Group Commerce, a daily-deal platform provider to online publishers. Follow Thuzio on Twitter or like them on Facebook.