The influencer marketing space is still wild at heart, and even the biggest companies are still treading lightly. This type of marketing is almost guerilla, there's hardly any guidelines and the strategy is unique to each campaign.
It can tricky to navigate and find the right people for the job and that's why companies like Cherry Pick exist. Boutique agencies are on the rise, comprised of specialists with an eye for talent.
Britt Bagnall is the founder of Cherry Pick Talent; she's been working in the industry for half a decade and has been involved with some incredible creator campaigns. She knows exactly what to look for, who to approach, and is here to offer advice to those seeking to expand their presence in the primitive world of influencer marketing.
InfluencerUpdate.biz: Can you give us a little introduction to Cherry Pick Talent and tell us what your vision is?
Britt Bagnall: I have worked in the influencer space for 5 years and seen many different sides; content creation and partnering brilliant talent with brands who are keen to make waves has by far always been my fave! That's how Cherry Pick Talent came to be.
I was tired of forcing the same 10 talent from the rosters we repped at previous jobs to brands - even when they were clearly not the right fit, all because we had to promote our own talent.
At Cherry Pick, we have relationships around the globe with international talent, managers and agents who fit what brands are looking for to a tee. It allows our talent selection to be completely unbiased and based on exactly what a client is looking for; without pigeon holing talent in for brand deals that someone else would be better suited for.
I can honestly say that we take the headache out of the whole influencer marketing process on both the talent side and the client side! You have one point of contact who is in chats with both decision makers; the client and the talent (or their immediate rep).
We offer cool creative ideas talent are excited about and know fit their channel and that their audience are sure to love. It allows us to work with brands who have been doing this for years and know it works, to brands who are just dipping their toe and are looking for a little more hand holding.
We are super proud of the trail blazing content we create for brands who dare to be different and are happy knowing talent enjoy working with our team because we genuinely care about their content and just want people to enjoy what they're watching on YouTube!
What excites you about the influencer space?
I love how different every single campaign is! No one client is ever the same and without a doubt, no talent is ever the same. You can work with the same brand over and over, hammering home the same key messaging and brand values but no one video is ever the same!
I also love how excited clients get when they see the weeks and months of work and planning come to life! There is nothing better than sending an amazing first edit to a client and blowing their mind.
Creating bespoke content for a client and watching the world engage with it and speak to it is something special!
What do you think are the hottest trends in the influencer space right now?
We are seeing a massive spike in the family and U13 categories. I think the YouTube community has broadened so much in the past couple of years. When I first started, it was vloggers chatting about their day to day life and talented musicians hoping YouTube would be the platform that springboards them to stardom.
Whereas now, we are seeing a million and one verticals from ex-Viners, pranks, ASMR, DIY, LGBTQ, families, young young kids, you name it!
I love how different every single campaign is! No one client is ever the same and without a doubt, no talent is ever the same.
And I can honestly say that the Mommy Vloggers and aspirational talent, with the younger audiences are the ones who are really finding their stride. I'm excited to partner with brands who want to speak to audiences in this market. They performance is always out of this world amazing and the talent is always so lovely to work with. It's an exciting time!
What are the most important things to look for when choosing influencers for a campaign, and vice versa?
Trust and professionalism! There is nothing worse than having to cover for a talent who you know just doesn't care! So I am always looking to build a relationship with the talent or their agent so that they know that we are a hardworking team who are genuinely interested in making award-worthy content.
We have built up long standing relationships with all of our clients and brands who we work with, so we want to make sure when we are suggesting a talent for them to partner with that we genuinely believe in that talent and can count on them to deliver us an end product that everyone is going to be excited to put their name to! That is a recipe for success.
Why is it important to make the most of social influencers as opposed to traditional PR?
I think the secret here is in combining both! I don't discredit traditional PR and believe that it still have a voice in this big bad world of marketing. Some of my proudest case studies and campaigns to date are the ones where we have woven the two to strengthen our story and broaden our reach. But it has to be done right.
I also think that 'making the most' of it means investing in it, and believing in it! Do your research, ask a ton of questions, pour over the data, read the comments, watch the videos, whatever it takes to really feel like you have looked at all your options.
Agencies who are experts in this space should be able to build a case for any talent they are suggesting to participate in a campaign. If you don't feel totally comfortable with the choice, head back to the drawing board. I also think that there is a misunderstanding when it comes to brands who want to work with talent.
They think that if they invest the cash to create one video, the world will buy up whatever they are selling. This can be the case. But, it takes time and it's a strategy.
The brands who are smashing it are the ones who have been investing in this space for a very long time, crunching numbers and ironing out what works - that dedication has allowed them to build up brand awareness and trust amongst the YouTube communities and their target audiences.
What are three tips you can offer someone looking to build a brand online?
- Know your message - what do you want the public to know/perceive about your brand and get from partnering with an infuencer.
- Speak to the professionals - not to pump our own tyres, but speak to someone like our team at Cherry Pick!
- Don't be scared to take risks! People don't want to voluntarily watch an ad, so think outside and make it fun for all involved - you're sure to win that way!
What is Cherry Pick's most memorable or fun campaign so far?
That would hands down have to be the EPIC trip to Italy we took with 5+ talent to the home of the SuperCar, worth a cool $2.4m in Italy with Eden Games' Gear Club. It was all planned and dreamed up by the mastermind that is Pascal Clarysse.
He spoke to me from the early stages, where plans were coming alive and being written and re-written. He knew influencers were the glue to hold this dream together and came to me to find the right ones! The talent had the chance to ride shot gun alongside Pagani's own professional driver to hammer out laps on the track.
You don't even want to know the speed and power that car had! I think they left more than burnt rubber on the track that day!
But it was all for the inclusion of the new Pagani Huayra Roadster in Eden Games' Gear Club. The talent had to compete for the best track in game while being whipped around the track, barely able to hold onto their breath, let alone the iPad they were playing on. To get all the feels, check out the highlight reel from it.
Anyways, it was a killer idea, the talent were a solid fit, the brand messaging was laden throughout and everyone who was a part of it had an epic time!
Which names and companies should we be keeping an eye on in the influencer space?
Every single brand should be keeping an eye on this space, spending in it and having a voice in the community. But I think if I had to call out two, I would say the toy brands and anything geared towards parents and parenting! People are hungry for this!