Why We Created Platform: An Influencer Agency
Author: Sara Koonar / President
Before we launched Platform in 2016, I was a digital magazine editor. During my years in that role, I worked with our advertising partners to create exciting pieces of branded content. It was what paid my salary and without it, our online hub would cease to exist. Banner ads simply were not enough to keep a publication afloat with eyeballs moving in large numbers to social media networks. Website impressions were no longer what they were. Years of social media optimization was useless when people weren’t searching for content on Google anymore, especially when they were being served exactly what they want by algorithms on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Creating engaging branded content was a way to get advertisers excited again and provide them with a real return on investment.
In order to further excite our advertisers, we thought of packaging in some influencers (who in Canada were just beginning to be a part of marketing budgets) to help amplify that branded content. One of our first influencer campaigns at the magazine was hiring 14 influencers, each would review a different fragrance launch, for one of Canada’s largest retailers, and we’d feature them all in a gallery on the website. It was during that three-month project and the dozens of campaigns that followed that I realized Canada had a problem. As I was hiring the influencers for these campaigns, it was clear that there were no standards in terms of what influencers were charging and many didn’t have background to know how to negotiate contracts, even those that had management. There was a need for an agency fully dedicated to protecting influencers to help standardize rates, contracts, and campaign management, by a team that understood branded content and social media platforms. I saw where my skills, having been part of both advertising sales and branded content, as well as the relationships I’d built with the influencers and my knowledge of digital marketing, could make me candidate for this task. With the help of my business partner, Daniel Ocean, a starting line up of six influencers ready to jump on board, and a ton of passion and enthusiasm, Platform was born in September 2016.
We started Platform to ensure:
- Influencers are treated and paid fairly.
- Clients can choose from a roster of influencers that are diverse and represent all Canadians.
- Brands can work with a team who understands their needs and preferred ways of working.
- Processes and prices are standardized so the influencer marketing industry is taken seriously.
- A five-star level of client services for a seamless campaign management process.
- A consistency in reporting and case studies.
- A team who has their finger on the pulse of social media marketing trends and best practices.
- One source for all our client’s influencer marketing needs