Influencer Marketing: Not (Just) What You Thought It Was

Noga Grinberg

31 August, 2020

Company name: Relatable
Industry: Advertising
We’re talking with: Viktoria Wyckman, Global Creative Director
# of employees: 45 globally, with offices in LA, New York, Stockholm, and London.
Mindspace location: Mindspace Shoreditch

Tell us a bit about why you created Relatable, and what’s your brand’s mission. 

We started off 4 years ago with a mission to change the way brands do influencer marketing. Brands were doing influencer marketing in a very unpredictable way, basing all their decisions on gut feeling with a lack of measurement, data, and scalability. What we did when we started out was index 10 million ppl (influencers) in a database from social media by location, interests, age, and gender. We categorize everyone in this index to make a more predictable push and make this channel a real and predictable media channel rather than just being a side campaign for brands. Our mission today is to make influencer marketing become the center of all marketing efforts or become an essential and integrated part of the overall media mix for brands. 

What qualifies a person to go in the influencers’ database? 

Everyone from 5K followers and upwards basically. What we look into is that they are active on social media, that they don’t have any fraud such as fake followers, and that they are relevant and influential in their field: whether it’s sports, interior, lifestyle, fashion…

How does a meeting with a potential client go? 

It all depends on the client’s needs and what’s the objective of the campaign. It could be driving conversions, raising awareness, drive consideration or brand preference – according to the customer’s end goal and KPI, we come up with a strategy and a creative idea that will hit that KPI. 

Isn’t influencer marketing just fashionistas doing product placement and talking about their skincare routine? 

That’s the traditional influencer marketing most people know. When people say influencer marketing they immediately think of a fashion blogger rubbing her face cream on and saying “I got this face cream from brand X”. There’s a lot of product placement and clear ads in traditional influencer marketing. But there’s a lot more to it, and you’ll be surprised by the versatile client base. 

We work with a broad range of clients. Everything from streaming services, fashion brands, skincare brands, etc. that are all pretty obvious in the influencer marketing space. But then we also work with clients such as Chiquita (bananas), HBO, brands that might not be as obvious but that’s where creativity plays such an important role in Influencer Marketing. And in general, regardless of the brand and its category – we need to think outside the box and find interesting contexts beyond product placement.

With Chiquita bananas, for example, it’s all about having this lifestyle family publishing recipes and different images of themselves. It’s a great example on how to use influencer marketing even for promoting bananas. 

When HBO launched a new season of Game of Thrones, we got the influencers to recreate a scene from an episode instead of having them say “swipe up for the new season of Game of Thrones”. We take their creativity to the next level by including them in the creative context. We use more creative concepts alongside the traditional “swipe up” content. 

How do you match the right influencer to a campaign?

The first thing to do is look into the influencer’s followers base size. There are so many talented individuals out there that are not as well known as these traditional fashion bloggers doing sponsored ads every other day. We need to find people with an authentic voice, that are creating interesting content to start with, that are good at storytelling. We look at the captions and images they post, we identify people that are “out of the influencer box”. 

Secondly – finding the golden thread for the campaign. making sure that we have a strong creative umbrella idea for the campaign. People’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter, so we need an idea that will stand out from the rest of the noise. For instance, why don’t we bring the influencers to the strategy table and together with them decide on the creative idea? And together with them come up with a communication plan that they know speaks to their audience – the end consumer – that the brand wants to reach. I think this is the future of Influencer Marketing and how to really benefit from it, and once we have the overall umbrella for the campaign we build it out in the different channels – PR, TV advert, print, social media etc. 

Describe your customers in one sentence. 

Demanding, consumer-centric Fortune 500 companies. 

Describe Relatable in 3 words. 

Strong creative social-first campaigns. 

What are you working on right now that you’re most excited about?

We’re currently working a lot with our partnership with Condé Nast, this is a partnership that got put into place early this year and means that we’re Condé Nast’s global and exclusive influencer marketing partners and we help them execute campaigns on a global level for their titles as well as clients.

What part of your job would people find most surprising?

That we have Avast, an antivirus software, as a customer. It’s easy to do influencer marketing for big fashion or lifestyle brands. With an antivirus brand, it’s way more challenging. We really need to challenge our thoughts to make it relevant and interesting. A lot of antivirus companies use scarcity in their marketing messages. With Avast we wanted to take a completely different approach and create a good association with the brand. Our message was that with Avast you can feel free to explore the connected world. 

How do you choose an influencer for that? 

We identified explorers and lifestyle travelers, to create that online and offline connection. Because when you travel you book tickets, or work remotely on sketchy wifi you’re always exposed by threats in the same way as you are online. You explore online and you are safe and secure but it’s also connected to the offline world.  

What are the five top qualities you look for when hiring?

A good team member, flexible and agile, a self-starter with an ambitionary creative soul. 

Who do you love to follow on Instagram, and why?

Nowness for pure visual pleasure and Melinda Gates for thoughts and important reads. 

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Shoot for the stars. 

What inspires you most in your company or workplace?

There’s a lot of freedom as influencer marketing is a rather new marketing space. So there are no rules and we can be super creative. at Mindspace we feel that we have the right space to let that creativity flow. 

About the author

Noga is a content producer and creative projects leader for Mindspace.

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