Kevin Creusy from Upfluence talks about the rapidly evolving influencer marketing arena & also makes some stellar influencer marketing predictions
“Digital channels have changed how campaigns are run, with better campaign performance insights, and the ability to attribute success to different marketing channels making it easier to measure ROI”
1. Tell us about your role in Upfluence?
As co-Founder and co-CEO of Upfluence, I had the opportunity to build Upfluence from the ground up, from its beginnings as an influencer marketing agency to adding new components such as our SaaS offering and eCommerce tools that it has today. In my role right now, I am focusing on expanding our new eCommerce offerings, helping companies turn their influential customers into brand ambassadors.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
In 2011 my fellow Upfluence Co-Founder and I launched a few e-commerce stores, we tried to sell pretty much anything online, from ties to tea. Our products had a low average cart value and we realized there were very few alternatives to Google ads. At the same time, we generated the best ROI with blogs and Facebook fan pages but there was no real way to scale things up or reach out to these ambassadors automatically so we decided to pivot into this opportunity and start working in influencer marketing.
3. How do you think technology is upgrading the marketing Sector?
As the co-Founder of a SaaS company, I can see that technology is upgrading marketing with increased access to data allowing for a better understanding of brand audiences, more personalization, and tracking of ROI. In fact, if you look at the job of a marketer today it’s very far from the “mad Men” era. The current day to day of working in advertising is a lot more about excel spreadsheets and understanding what the data is telling us, than creative meetings. New technology has a role to play here: helping marketers to make sense of the data, bring transparency and trust to all stakeholders, and being able to take actions based on these insights.
4. How has digitalization enhanced marketing as a whole?
Digitalization has transformed marketing, giving rise to social media advertising, influencer marketing, and apps to name a few.
Digital channels have changed how campaigns are run, with better campaign performance insights, and the ability to attribute success to different marketing channels making it easier to measure ROI.
Marketers can account for every penny that is spent on digital marketing in a way that’s impossible for analog methods. The generalization of marketing on digital platforms has levelled the playing field, allowing for all kinds of companies to compete for space on Google, Instagram, and other platforms.
Influencer marketing is an efficient channel due to the digital technology that facilitates not only influencer identification, but automated campaign management and most crucially for our clients, the tracking and measurement of campaign performance.
5. Can you explain how your Influencer Search Software helps marketers in finding the perfect influencers for their brand?
Brands face the challenge of identifying the right kind of influencer for their campaigns, as there are millions of influencers out there, active across different social media channels, so it’s a mammoth task to be able to select which influencer corresponds best to your target audience, your product, and your brand values That’s where Upfluence’s eCommerce tools come in. We solve that problem by connecting companies’ existing databases such as their CMS, CRM, or even their social media following to identify their influential customers in order to build an organic community of brand ambassadors who can be activated for the brand. Each influencer is analyzed to provide detailed insights into their performance, audience demographics, comparison ratings with similar profiles, equipping brands with everything they need to know to make the best selection.
In addition to this our influencer search engine allows brands to analyze millions of social profiles with sophisticated filtering using metrics such as audience size, location, engagement rate, and keywords to identify influencers that are active within their niche.
6. How do you define your Influencer Relationship Management Software?
This feature allows brands and agencies to centralize all communications with their influencers and carry out outreach at scale. You can work with influencers across multiple campaigns, and create tags and rankings to completely personalize different influencer streams. This in turn helps overall campaign workflow and nurtures long-lasting relationships between brands and content creators.
7. What features of your Influencer Marketing Platform make it the smartest influencer marketing platform?
Upfluence is at the cutting-edge of data-driven influencer marketing. It is not only the breadth of our database of 4 million influencers but also the depth of insights available to our users for the most efficient influencer search. Additionally, Upfluence stands out as being the only all-in-one SaaS that allows brands and agencies to run powerful campaigns with organic influencers recruited from a brand’s native community. Thanks to our dedicated eCommerce offering and integrations with tools like Shopify and Klaviyo, our software helps clients leverage their familiar tools for the smart implementation of influencer marketing campaigns.
8. What are your predictions about the future of Influencer Marketing?
I predict Influencer marketing will continue to be a key part of any brand’s marketing strategy, especially as the current climate means there’s a general shift towards digital marketing with the growth of eCommerce. Social commerce is rapidly maturing with platforms like Instagram enabling in-app shopping directly on the platform. There are always new digital tools emerging such as Instagram Reels and TikTok, which was partially acquired by Walmart, which is seeing huge popularity in the world of influencer marketing right now.
9. What advice would you like to give to technology Start-Ups?
It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Way too often I see entrepreneurs eager to sell their company or raise funds before they even have a product or have validated their market fit. Tech and especially the SAAS industry is the most competitive landscape in the world, successful start-ups are worth hundreds of billions and this attracts the smartest people on the planet. Be ready for a long fight and always listen to facts, especially when they contradict your own thinking!
10. What work-related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
More of a mantra than a hack. For everything I do, I always think “output/input ratio?”. I’m always looking for a high “result output to work input” ratio in everything I do, it helps me focus on tasks where I have the highest leverage and where I can generate the most value for my employees and my customers.
11. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
We are already seeing the benefits of AI at Upfluence as it’s a key function for making personalized suggestions within our influencer search.
In the influencer marketing industry, we should embrace the opportunities AI brings for a more in-depth analysis of influencer profiles and influencer photo, video, and audio content on social media.
It’s giving us access to even more data insights.
12. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent times?
We’re looking forward to announcing more integrations with the best tools used for eCommerce to help our clients to run efficient influencer marketing campaigns based on data insights from their brand community. We’ve recently released a tool for influencer matching that helps brands identify influencers from their own customer database, creating authentic influencer campaigns with the highest ROI from leveraging organic brand advocates.
13. What movie inspires you the most?
Being a tech entrepreneur and a space enthusiast has become something of a cliche, but I am a big fan of Apollo 13. It echoes back to a time where we aspired to make impossible things happen and overcome any challenge brought to us. This is a movie that reminds me that whatever problem I am facing, there is a solution, I just need to think outside the box.
14. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
15. Can you give us a glance at the applications you use on your phone?
On my front page you’ll find Slack, my email apps, and obviously all the social media, but truth be told, Youtube and Reddit are the two apps I spend the most time on. If you scroll a few screens you’ll start finding a few “wine apps” like Vivino. I am still French after all.