Sramana Mitra: What kind of content are we talking about that Samsung promotes? What kind of influencers are propagating that content? What are the business terms that you are seeing?
Corbett Drummey: You can use us to create content of almost any type. We’ve done everything from tweets, blog posts to longer form videos. Most of it is content for social media such as in-feed posts on Instagram or maybe an Instagram story. Those tend to be a lot of work.
We found that more than half of the activity on social networks ranges from Instagram to Snapchat. So much of it now is turning to stories or short-form videos. A lot of brands and agencies really struggle to produce that content through the traditional ad agency model.
We’ve gone from a space where we only needed a couple of commercials a year to 4,000 small pieces of content. The agencies aren’t equipped for that. We found a lot of agencies and brands who will use our software and connect with content creators to scale that work. A lot of brands will either pay on a cost-per-content basis or based on impressions.
Finally, something we’ve been doing a lot more recently is when someone is really trying to scale, we will give them our tools on a subscription basis. They can use the tools in an unlimited fashion.
The first two are probably more common where the price is based on goals. We’re one of the few partners that has a full-scale tool.
Sramana Mitra: You talked about content creation and then content distribution, right?
Corbett Drummey: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: Are people paying separately for the creation path and then for the distribution?
Corbett Drummey: That’s a good question. Usually, they’re paying for both. I’ll walk through a couple of examples. In about 80% of the work we do, a brand is hiring a content creator or an influencer for both the content they make as well as a post to their organic channels. I use these terms interchangeably.
I usually say a creator is someone where you’re working with them because their content is so good. You’re working with an influencer because of their reach. Think of a content creator who makes really engaging short-form videos versus a mini-celebrity.
We do have brands that come to us just for content. There is one right now. Nature Valley is working with us. They have every creator post one image that was provided by the brand. It’s a cool campaign. They were saying, “Nature Valley is all about getting outdoors. Post this image saying you’re going to be out-of-office and social media for a week.”
Then when you come back, you post a couple of Instagram stories about what you did with your family that week. I would say almost all the time, brands are leaning on the influencer to make stuff. It’s rare that the influencer is required to post stuff from the brand directly.
Sramana Mitra: I will tell you some of my experiences. I do have a large platform. I get outreaches like this from time to time. I look at what they’re asking for. If I do stuff like that, I would instantly lose all my influence.
Corbett Drummey: There is some interesting stuff. What we want to do as a company and as a brand is put transparency into the space. There are competitors out there where they make their creators sign an NDA so the creator can’t talk to the brand about how much they’re charging.
We want to do the opposite approach. If you get a reach-out from a brand, how are you supposed to know that that’s fair? What we can do is we can give guidance there.
On most of our campaigns that have launched recently, we give guidance based on averages. We’re happy to be transparent with that. We can also be transparent in showing the brand the cost.
Sramana Mitra: But that’s transparency within the payment structure and all that. It’s not transparent to the consumer.
Corbett Drummey: You touch on the second piece whre is a brand might reach out for your and ask for all this stuff. If you caved in to all that stuff, that would hurt your authenticity. The creator is sought after because of their authenticity. It’s a partnership. That’s one of the trickier balances to make when you’re working in this space.