The following piece appeared in the business section of print and digital media outlets across Australia and the US on November 11th, 2020.
How Collaber is revolutionising the influencer marketing industry.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA / November 11, 2020 / As consumers grow increasingly sceptical of large-scale advertising campaigns that push products on the market, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful strategy in maximizing brand exposure by pulling audiences to a brand rather than pushing the brand upon the audience. Using a well-executed influencer marketing campaign, brands can reach target markets organically; through the faces and personalities that individuals within a target group identify with on a personal level. Appreciating the power of influencer marketing as well as the pain points associated with current platform offerings, marketing expert and Collaber Founder Alex Charles reimagined the concept of an influencer marketing platform from the ground up; citing cost efficiency and tailored service as two areas where current platform offerings fall short.
“Through personal experience leading marketing teams within the corporate sector, I know how expensive influencer marketing can be. A healthy budget can quickly be dwindled down to nothing based off a few campaigns with a handful of influencers when you take into consideration the monthly subscription cost of accessing influencer marketing platforms, plus payment of the influencers themselves once found. I always knew a better way forward existed for the industry – a means of providing a high quality platform and service at a price point that meant the side hustles and small businesses of the world weren’t priced out of the market, while at the other end of the spectrum, a means of providing more value and a more personalized, strategic service to those enterprise clients who have the resources to invest more into their influencer marketing strategy. That was the basis for Collaber.”
Setting themselves apart from a crowded market of influencer marketing companies, Collaber carves out a unique formula in which a tailored strategic service and an unrelenting commitment to low cost/high value is paramount to company ethos. And with over $28 million in digital advertising spend saved for clients already through successful influencer marketing campaigns, Collaber’s commitment to low cost and high value for small and large companies alike has certainly been validated. “Collaber shows what each influencer you choose to work with would normally charge for a post. This is on average between $800 – $1500 per post, although for some influencers on the platform with higher followings and engagement rates, their normal charge rate outside of Collaber is much higher. As a business owner or enterprise client, you get access to these influencers for nothing more than the cost of sending one or two of your products to your chosen influencers for them to review, post about, and give away to their audience.”
The methodology behind this is based on what Alex refers to as a smart exchange: influencers need a genuine method of engaging with their community and incentivizing the sharing of their profile within their followers’ network for follower growth, while brands need an authentic means of reaching their target market to drive organic brand awareness and sales. Collaber leverages these needs to drive growth for both parties in a win/win collaboration between brand and influencer, without a cent ever being exchanged between parties.
Eliminating the presumption of paid posts is one major step forward, but Collaber goes one step further than that to provide users with pre-vetted influencers that are committed to the smart exchange ideal. “All influencers on the platform are onboarded with the understanding that no paid posts will be arranged initially. Each influencer is a part of the platform knowing that they will be swapping exposure to their following in exchange for products to give away to their audience, for the purpose of growing their own following. Of course, our campaign managers are on hand to arrange ongoing brand ambassador collaborations for those brands and influencers that wish to continue their partnership, but the basis for Collaber is the smart exchange. A win/win for both parties without the need for paid promotions.”
This win/win is further benefitted by providing users with a ‘Hub’ of influencers that are actively looking for brands to partner with for their giveaways; challenging the notion of what we have come to know and accept as a traditional influencer platform. “The pain point I personally experienced when using influencer platforms was that a lot of them are essentially search engines in which data from across social channels is aggregated and presented in a never-ending list of influencers that a user then has to reach out to individually. Each platform proclaims to have a database of millions, but these aren’t influencers that have shown any interest in working with brands – it is merely the platform scraping social channels based on the parameters you set and bringing up whichever profiles match those parameters. You would then have to reach out to each influencer with a lengthy introductory message, sift through the copious amounts of ‘no thank you’ responses that arise from unsolicited messages, and then filter through the influencer responses in which exorbitant prices are quoted for a paid post, before being left with the small amount of influencers that are willing to work with you for the budget you have. No matter how well-resourced your business is, that is a lengthy, unnecessary process to endure just to locate appropriate influencers. Then comes the financial cost of actually paying them.”
With that in mind, Alex set out to create a tool in which that hard work has been done already. All influencers on Collaber are hand-picked, vetted and onboarded to streamline the process of sourcing influencer talent to collaborate with for businesses large and small. For a Collaber user, finding influencers is as simple as finding influencers with the reach and community niche that applies to their business needs, and submitting their product to the influencer in two clicks.
Although the process of submissions to influencers is completely automated, Alex is still hesitant to describe Collaber as a fully automated platform. “The digitization of our lives can sometimes be a blessing and a curse. Collaber is, by definition, a completely automated platform. But we favor personal service over automation. Each plan, free or paid, comes with access to a dedicated campaign manager who can be as hands-on or as hands-off as a user would like. We liaise with all influencers on behalf of the user so that they don’t have to worry about the messy mechanics of coordinating multiple influencer campaigns at once. We also know this industry better than anyone, and I think the knowledge, advice and tailored recommendations for campaigns that can be imparted to users is such a vital part of our offering. You just can’t get that on fully automated platforms in which everything is done solely by the end user.”
By 2022, influencer marketing is forecasted to become a $15 billion dollar industry. And Alex believes the importance of influencer marketing is only going to increase for companies large and small.”In 2020 and beyond, people want to hear from authentic, relatable people, not corporations. We are increasingly seeing our clients’ sales skyrocket through the use of well-executed influencer campaigns when compared to typical larger-scale media and PR placements. That’s not to discount the effectiveness of those strategies; we certainly still engage in these activities for our larger clients in complement to our main influencer strategies. But the most impactful campaigns are those that are built on peer-to-peer communication and the leverage of authentic relationships within micro communities online. We are excited about where we are taking this industry and the successes we are sharing with our users.”