Small developers often negotiate brand partnerships through personal connections or direct messages on platforms like Instagram. (Picture for illustration purposes)The business of influence is professionalization. Content creators sign with major talent agencies. In February, SAG-AFTRA, the largest union in the entertainment industry, expanded coverage to include people who create sponsored content. And now a new service wants to make it easier for developers to apply to work with brands and companies to hire them.
“We created an easy way for brands to create a careers page for influencers,” said 36-year-old James Nord, founder and CEO of Fohr. “It enables people to apply, pull data from their social platforms, and provides an easy way for brands to recruit, analyze, and collaborate with influencers.”
More than 50 brands, including Dyson, Costco, American Eagle, Lilly Pulitzer and Sephora, use Fohr’s Ambassador Management Platform (AMP) to find talent. These companies pay Fohr to set up custom career pages for them where online developers 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. “We have a young demo, 15 to 25 years old. Social media is their oxygen and especially during the pandemic. “
Also read: Social media users are more likely to believe in misinformation: Study
Small developers often negotiate brand partnerships through personal connections or direct messages on platforms like Instagram. Brommers said American Eagle was inundated with direct messages on social media from people who want to work with them. AMP, which prompts 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 part, we’re trying to find authentic relationships rather than pay-to-play,” said Brommers.
Nord hopes AMP can make it easier for any developer to partner with, regardless of their background or connections. “The industry is far too dependent on relationships now,” he said. “You get jobs because you know someone who works for a brand. That’s not a fair way of organizing the industry. When brands launch these pages and have centralized spots for influencers to apply to, it becomes a lot fairer for anyone with a following to raise their hands and say I want to work with you. “
Content creators demand this type of standardization. Yinon Horwitz, a 35-year-old social media developer in Miami, said he had spent hours earlier in his career chasing people on LinkedIn and turning to the wrong companies because there was no clear place to see could what they were looking for. “In the beginning it was hard to understand who was the right person in the brand, business, or agency to connect with and develop a relationship with,” he said. “I think formalizing this is a great idea as both sides, the creator and the brand, are able to compare apples to apples. When we read forms and have a better understanding of the brand and what they’re looking for, we’ve sometimes understood that it doesn’t fit the best. “
In the past few years, various business-to-business tools have attempted to assist companies in sourcing and partnering with influencers. There was an explosion of influencer marketing platforms in 2017 and 2018, allowing brands to source influencers for one-off deals. Due to the unregulated nature of the business, some who used these platforms went without pay.
Eleni McCready, Lilly Pulitzer’s senior director, branded media and community development, said she sees AMP as a step towards further professionalizing the industry and making it more competitive.
“It’s about removing things from social media, really legitimizing them, and saying, ‘Here’s a business tool that brands can use to attract new talent,” she said. “The beauty of being able to apply , is that there are incredible content creators out there that we may never see or that get buried in DMs if you don’t look for a few days. “
Nord hopes that as more companies use AMP, the mindset in the industry will become more rational and clear. “We hope influencers will start having sophisticated brands that have this space and become something that brands need,” said Nord. “I don’t see a world where in a couple of years every brand will no longer have a tab for people to apply to work with.”
Also Read: Beyond Listening: Social Media – A Compelling Source for Customer Insight