The influence profession is becoming more professional. Content creators sign to big talent creation agencies. In February, SAG-AFTRA, the largest union in the entertainment industry, extended its coverage to people who create sponsored content. And now a new service wants to make it easier for creators to apply to work with brands and for companies to hire them.
“We’ve created a simple way for brands to create what is essentially a career page for influencers,” said James Nord, 36, founder and CEO of Fohr. “It allows people to apply, pull data from their social platforms, and gives brands an easy way to recruit, analyze, and work with influencers.”
More than 50 brands, including Dyson, Costco, American Eagle, Lilly Pulitzer and Sephora, use Fohr’s Ambassador Management Platform (AMP) to spot talent. These companies pay Fohr to set up custom career-style pages, where online creators can apply to work with brands.
“At American Eagle, influencer marketing is arguably the most important thing we do,” said Craig Brommers, chief marketing officer for the company. “We have a young demo of 15 to 25 years old. Social media is their oxygen and more during the pandemic. “
Small designers often negotiate brand partnerships through personal connections or direct messages on platforms like Instagram. Mr. Brommers said American Eagle is inundated with direct social media messages from people seeking to work with them; AMP, which asks users to answer questions about their content style and interests, has helped the company better identify people who are passionate about American Eagle and have a following.
“On our side, what we’re trying to do is look for genuine relationships rather than paying to play,” Brommers said.
Mr Nord said he hoped the AMP could make it easier for any creator to secure a partnership, regardless of their background or connections. “The industry is now far too reliant on relationships,” he said. “You get jobs because you know someone who works for a brand. It is not a fair way to organize the industry. By starting these pages and having centralized spaces for influencers to apply for, it will be much fairer for anyone with an audience to raise their hand and say I want to work with you. “
Content creators crave this kind of standardization. Yinon Horwitz, a 35-year-old social media creator in Miami, said he spent hours earlier in his career stalking people on LinkedIn and presenting himself to bad companies because there was no bright place where he could see what they were looking for. for. “At first, it was difficult to understand who the right person in the brand, company or agency was to connect with and build a relationship with,” he said.
“I think formalization is a great idea because it allows both parties, the designer and the brand, to be able to compare apples to apples,” he said. “By reading forms and better understanding the brand and what it is looking for, we sometimes realized that this was not the best solution.”
In recent years, several business-to-business tools have sought to help businesses find and partner with influencers. In 2017 and 2018, there was an explosion of influencer marketing platforms, where brands could find influencers for one-off offers. However, due to the unregulated nature of the business, some users of these platforms found themselves without payment.
Eleni McCready, senior director of brand media and community development at Lilly Pulitzer, said she sees AMP as a step towards professionalization of the industry and equal opportunity.
“It takes things off social media and really legitimizes it by saying, ‘Here’s a business tool that brands can use to attract new talent,” ”she said. “The beauty of people who can apply is that there are some amazing content creators we might never see or who might be buried in DMs if you don’t search for a few days.”
Mr. Nord hopes that as more companies take advantage of hiring LDCs in the industry, it will become simpler and clearer. “We hope that influencers start demanding that brands have this space and that they start to be something that brands need,” said Mr. Nord. “I don’t see a world where in a few years every brand doesn’t have a tab where people can apply to work with them.”