Modern-day marketing, bridging connections in the influencer landscape
Brigitte Chua, co-founder of Hype and Seek, holds onto a very interesting business premise, one that is both very millennial, and very niche. In fact, it is treading new ground on the changing marketing and advertising world, yet Hype and Seek is barely into its second year of business.
Brigitte’s company connects “influencers” with those who want do some influencing.
To make it as simple as possible; say a large fashion-retail brand wants to advertise a new clothing line, something hip and healthy in the fast-fashion bracket for the junior-executive female demographic.
In the past, the marketing and advertising departments would have to source out their own avenues of information dissemination; and in today’s high-technology, always-connected world, the power of social-media influencers is nothing to scoff at – rather, it is a heady reality for companies keeping on the cutting-edge of media.
Hence, said multi-national corporation would have to hunt down individual “influencers”, do a negotiation with each one, and then choose which of the agreeable few to begin a campaign with.
Sans Hype and Seek, a corporation looking to source influencers to promote a new marketing or product campaign have two traditional options – utilizing an agency or sourcing for influencers on their own. Brigitte calculates a simple rubric for this; a business would have to reach out to about 30 influencers just to hit a safe 10.
That’s just the connecting part, which of course must be completed within a certain marketing timeline. Worse yet, Brigitte adds that, “this scenario is unaffordable for real SMEs”.
Small and medium enterprises, due to their size and newness, often aim to go straight to digital, and thus require online marketing to share their wares – which is exactly where Hype and Seek come in.
Hype and Seek essentially helps to connect these two sides. Brigitte calls Hype and Seek the “Trivago of the social media industry”. Hype and Seek was borne from Brigitte and her co-founder seeing an innate problem with the corporation-to-influencer dynamic.
Hype and Seek removes all the manual work from this process, freeing up a hefty amount of resources to a big firm’s communications and HR department.
This is because Hype and Seek keeps a database of influencers, and simply by word of mouth, attracts new ones to their cause.
Hype and Seek leverages on the glut of influencers in this burgeoning millennial industry.
“The hardest worker on our side is the website,” Brigitte jokes. The algorithm that does the online matchmaking is simple, yet effective. What that means is little manpower on the influencer side, leaving Brigitte and her co-founder to focus on the businesses.
Their successes are numerous, from getting a hundred campaigns in the first hundred days of business, to being able to choose and curate which industries to work with.
That is not to say the influencer market is not rife with inherent difficulties. Much of the arena is a proving ground, with no watchdogs. Hype and Seek has to be vigilant and curate influencers just as much as they nurture relationships with businesses. “It’s an industry that has scandals, those who game the system, we have to keep consistency,” Brigitte says.
A micro-influencer (meaning just over 5000 followers) might have broken into the scene with a certain fashion image or lifestyle, but for Hype and Seek, it’s not about taking selfies. “We have to give brands their due exposure, sometimes you have to have a healthy image, in eating and lifestyle,” Brigitte says, citing the requirements of being both on the lookout but also having sound matching techniques.
She hopes that with her company and the market in their star ascendant, that Hype and Seek can be a regulator of sorts.