Trend

Changing the face of influencer marketing

Adam White, Founder & CEO of Edge explores the four problems in influencer marketing that he believes a new platform has a shot at solving all while empowering trust and ethics in the influencer world.

Adam Whyte, Edge

Founder & CEO

Share


From Kylie Jenner to PewdiePie to Ninja to Amanda Cerny, love them or hate them, influencers are here to stay. The global influencer marketing platform market alone is projected to grow from $6bn in 2020 to $24.1bn by 2025 according to Research and Markets, 2021.

The simple reason for this is that influencers are a great tool for changing consumer behaviour and shifting product. As Allen Ginsberg prophesied, “whoever controls the media, the images, controls the culture”, and as a thousand social media experts have pointed out, thanks to social platforms we’re ALL media owners now.

But not much else about influencer marketing is simple to understand. In fact, it’s not hard to see why marketers look at the challenges of influencer marketing and feel like it’s too complicated to deal with.

We’ve felt the same way. Which is why we got the idea for setting up Edge, and why we focused on four problems we thought we had a shot at solving.

Influencer discovery is based on poor data

A huge chunk of the time it takes brands and agencies to create influencer campaigns, around 20% on average, is spent on the task of ‘influencer discovery’, trying to identify content creators whose followers demographics match your target market most closely. Current tools to do this scrape publicly available information to estimate the audience, information that is full of inaccuracies and gaps. As a result, campaign planning is flawed.

The future is audience discovery. The next generation of influencer software is built on API integrations rather than scraped data. This means brands and agencies searching for an audience that they wish to target will be able to identify suitable influencers based on real data rather than assumptions.

It’s time [influencer marketing] offered marketers the same levels of transparency and accountability that they expect from other media.

Adam White

Running campaigns at scale and working with micro-influencers is more work than it’s worth

Too much paperwork. Too much manual work. Especially if your campaign is built around dozens of micro-influencers, requiring a human to check that every agreed post/stream/video is live, get the creator to send screenshots of dashboards showing how they’ve performed, which are easily faked, and then copy this data into some kind of spreadsheet. More humans are required to produce post-campaign reports from these spreadsheets. More still to make sure influencers are paid.

That’s why when we came up with the idea of the Edge platform. We designed it so it would record when campaign posts, streams and videos go live on a variety of platforms, and provide access to real-time data, along with the functionality to generate campaign reports with a couple of clicks.

It’s impossible to know how much to pay influencers

Impossible, at least, if you no longer think ‘£500 for a post, £250 for a story’ is good enough. To know what an influencer’s contribution is worth, you need to know how an influencer’s previous campaigns performed and how much they were paid.

The future is a platform built by a team of creators for creators, which records when campaign posts, streams and videos go live on a variety of platforms, and tracks meaningful metrics like engagement rate, cost per conversation and ROI, rather than vanity metrics.

Established influencers do same thing over and over

Unboxing videos, makeup applications, travel blogs. It’s hard to bring much that’s new to the overused tropes used by established influencers who’ve been there and done it all before.

The solution here is to turn your audience into micro-influencers and see what they create. If they love your brand, they think about it and have their own insights into what’s great about it. What a waste if there’s no incentive for them to share this because your community has no incentive to become an ambassador for your brand.

Influencer marketing is already incredibly powerful and has the potential to do a lot of good in terms of diversity and in values-led partnerships, but it’s time it offered marketers the same levels of transparency and accountability that they expect from other media.

By providing brands and creators with real-time access to data, Edge can help bring influencer marketing out of the Wild West and into the playbook of any modern marketer or creator.

The global team behind Edge are themselves YouTubers, TikTok creators and gaming streamers, which is why we care so passionately about getting this right. If we do, we believe Edge has a role to play in empowering trust and ethics in the influencer world. And behind that ambition is a single-minded vision, to be the world’s most progressive, diverse and data-powered company.

Guest Author

Adam Whyte, Edge

Founder & CEO,

About

Adam spent seven years as a sports lawyer managing player contracts, transfers, and litigating before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. In 2016 he transferred these professional legal skills to the burgeoning esports ecosystem. Using his own first-hand experience as a professional gamer in the “Wild West” of sports, Adam focussed on digitising contracts and automating payments for competitors with his company EDGE and esports organization LDN UTD. Edge is a is your one-stop influencer management platform revolutionizing influencer marketing. Our platform is powered by data, engineered for you.

Related Tags

Influencer