Join Andrei and our guest on todayโ€™s episode, Igor Fedenkoff, as they will be discussing influencer marketing insights from 2021, trends for 2022, as well as how to best integrate this channel in your overall 2022 digital marketing strategy. Igor is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of brybe.com, a platform for remote professionals and social media influencers looking for brand collaborations.

๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ˆ๐ ๐จ๐ซ:ย ย 

๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘’: https://brybe.com

๐ผ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘Ÿ ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘‘๐ผ๐‘›: https://www.linkedin.com/in/igorfedenkoff/ย 

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๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ข: https://marketiu.comย  / https://marketiu.roย ย ย 

๐ด๐‘›๐‘‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘– ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘›: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andreitiu/ย ย ย 

๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ข ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐ฟ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘‘๐‘–๐‘›: https://www.linkedin.com/company/marketiuย ย ย 

๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ข ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘‡๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ: https://twitter.com/marketiuagencyย ย ย 

๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘˜๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ข ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐ผ๐‘›๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘”๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘š: https://www.instagram.com/marketiuagency/ย ย 

๐ธ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘™ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก hello@marketiu.ro

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Episode transcript:ย 

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Hi, guys! This is Andrei, and you're on a brand new episode of The Marketing Innovation Podcast Show. Welcome to a new season! Our special guest today is Igor, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of brybe.com, a platform for remote professionals and social media influencers looking for brand collaborations. Today, we'll discuss influencer marketing insights from 2021, trends for 2022, as well as how to best integrate this channel in your overall 2022 digital marketing strategy. So without further ado, Igor, it's a pleasure to have you here on the show. Welcome to a new year, how is January been treating you so far? How's everything going?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

Thank you so much for having me, Andrei, is definitely a pleasure. This has been a very, very fast start of the year because we are, as a company pursuing, some new avenues of the business. So the developers are hating me already, because they just got out of you know, the partying mode, but you gotta do what you got to do. This is going to be a great year for the industry. This is a great year for the company. Definitely excited about it.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Exciting! So what have you been guys doing? Or do you mention new avenues? First of all, if you want to present yourself a bit to our listeners, so they know a bit about your background, as well as what brybe.com does. And what are you guys preparing for this month or this year?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

Absolutely. I am the co-founder, part of the four guys that co-founded Brybe two and a half years ago. And this company originally was a pet project, actually. I was working for a different company, I was a CMO for a technology company. And for their marketing efforts, which subsequently we were able to bring him out like 10x, I think almost, we ran a few influencer campaigns very quickly realise that a lot of platforms on the market weren't really serving the purpose of what we had to do. So we started building our own inventory of influencers. And I have a hospitality background is to the club in Los Angeles. So definitely dove into our regular warm network and got a lot of people that when you were to promote the company. It was very, very productive, really cool. So the database has grown over time. And then with additional investment, we sort of came up with an MVP, basically, as a side project. That started enjoying really good organic growth. And when the pandemic - I mean, obviously, for a lot of industries, it has been not the best development - but when anything online, including influencer marketing and freelancer markets, this has been quite an amazing, you know, change in opportunities and systems and platforms. So we were fortunate enough to receive router investments, proceeded with the developments. And basically, last year has been the year of us working on both verticals: on the freelancer vertical on the influence of vertical, gain ourselves positioned in the market. The company name, obviously, it's kind of catchy, so it's becoming quite recognisable in the space. Obviously, we're not up there with the large and huge behemoths of the industries. But I think the cool thing about that is that as a startup, we are able to very quickly change direction or adjust to different situations. I think the paradigm of influencer marketing has experienced a really big shift right now. On so many things that we'll probably get into a little bit later in this conversation, but a company or a provider of the service or the brand that is using influencer marketing that's capable to stay on the cutting edge of everything that's happening is going to benefit tremendously from everything that's going on.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Okay, and what are you guys is up to now? Because you mentioned you avenues so you used last year to establish yourself on both of these fees of users. And now?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

Yeah, one of the biggest developments that we are looking to do is adding another group of users to the platform. The original aspiration for Brybe was to be a true marketplace. I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of the bazaar. So basically, that's what we're doing. We're trying to build a digital bazaar that will help the end-user which in most cases, buyers or individual verses of the services to find almost everything that they need. So the missing link was the educators and the coaches. As you know, at this particular time, there are a lot of coaches a lot of people that share their expertise, and an even higher and faster-growing audience of people that would like to get that knowledge and get it fast and get it communicated to them. So we are adding new coaches to the platform, we will be able to offer their courses for sale from the platform and as the user, you will be able to go on to Brybe, learn more about some conceptual enterprise that you're looking into then have freelancers - basically create your digital assets and then influencers, promote your company or promote your idea. And all of that is with an incredibly large quantity of professionals that are offering their services at very, very competitive rates. So what the previous year has shown to us is that the freelance industry and especially the influencer industry is shifting into the providers that are called the smaller ones, like the Nano influencers, the micro-influencers, the smaller, less-known providers of the new services like NFT's or crypto blockchain technology. Yet, on the same level with your regular logo design, and website design, all those small providers now can find a tremendous amount of jobs because even the large enterprise has shifted to getting more and more and more work, because it's a lot easier to work with, it's a lot more competitive pricing etc. But we should not forget that the most underserved group in this particular space right now are small businesses. Because they're used to doing everything by themselves. I am a small business owner back in the day, I remember, I used to do anything from plumbing to electrical to website design to promotion. But now they must realise that they have the plethora of talent that is available through platforms like Brybe, like any of our competitors, to get a lot of that stuff done from by somebody with expertise, for a lot less headache, and for a very, very, very competitive rate. What we have done, from the very beginning is focused on small to medium-sized businesses, as well as small to medium-sized providers. And I think this is the wave that a lot of larger companies are focused on large enterprises and missing. But also, it's incredibly important to make them realise that they are supported by platforms like ours. And they can actually sell their services as well as have their services bought.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

One question here, because you mentioned creating a bazaar for virtual people that need all these areas of service. And there was a question popping into my head, I'm curious whether you guys are looking at integrating that within the platform at any point in the future? And that could be something to the likes of affiliate marketing or you know, having people that are integrating this form of payment as well, apart from just like purchasing courses, but actually having somebody that produces something with people on the platform, being able to promote via the people in the platform, which are influencers and maybe pay a commission. So that side of the business.

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

Now, absolutely, this is a great question, because this is something that we actually have been doing from the very beginning. Along with developing the platform itself, we have built a separate engine that is called Brybe affiliates, which is an affiliate platform. And originally, it existed apart, these two were completed two different things that serve different purposes. But we have created an integration now because we're coming out with these e-commerce solutions. And we're coming out with some different levels of subscription for enterprise buyers. So this will come incredibly handy. Plus, I think, affiliate marketing, to some is the unknown, and to some is, you know, the gold rush over the past 12 years. I think, again, we're getting back to the shift and general paradigm of how you build your business, how you promote your business. And you can invest millions and millions of dollars in Google ads or run TV ads etc. Or you can turn to the online community. Somebody that, as you said, is already present on our platform, or and the affiliates they're all over the world always looking for new opportunities. We actually will be presenting some of the stuff that I cannot tell you about right now but we will be presenting it at the Affiliate World Expo in Dubai in March of this year. So stakeholders maybe you can do a follow up with that because we're coming up with some really crazy stuff. It all boils down to just the simple thing. Thank you for asking that question, but I feel it's there to promote the services that we are using, we will be using them. Definitely, definitely.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

So in terms of the markets, where are you focusing at the moment? I mean, what do you feel is the biggest rush when it comes to you know, we can talk about all of them so influencers, freelancers as well, small businesses, obviously, they're everywhere. But where do you feel is the biggest opportunity now for brands to collaborate with influencers and see results.

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

I think the biggest opportunity, just like I mentioned, is the micro-markets, the micro providers, and there are many different reasons that are completely transparent and very well understood and have been understood. However, the whole concept of influencer marketing still, a lot of times rotates around big names like the Kardashians or Lionel Messi or you know, Antonio Banderas, Jordans. And that's why it creates an entry barrier for smaller businesses or smaller influencers to promote their services. This has been our bread and butter from the get-go, but even if you look at the stats, a lot of companies already released the stats for last year. So micro-influencer business has grown by LIKE 2% share of the general influencer side. So this is actually, it may sound not very significant, but it's a huge huge improvement because the brands are now realising that segmented promotion when you use maybe geocentric or industry-centric groups of micro/nano influencers that have a much higher engagement, as our average engagement rate, is between 4 to 8%. We have nano influencers on our platform, which was like a 12 to 14% engagement rate. And that, compared to 0.8, 0.5 engagement rate over regular megastar. That already tells you what kind of how your message is going to be seen and consumed. Whether you pay the same amount of money that you would spend on one post to the megastar. Or you can run a six-month long campaign with a group of nano influences, which is basically bound to have a much bigger effect on your bottom line, on your return on ad spend. As opposed to running, like just one big and very expensive pose.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

I love that you brought this up because actually, this has been a discussion that we've been carrying, from the agency side with all of our clients really, when trying to draw these comparisons between: is it worth investing let's say 10k dollars, or euros into a partnership that can provide you with maybe like a blog post and an on feed post on Instagram, or somebody super popular that has 5 million followers that are or are not following their content actively and being engaged with that content, and maybe just follow them because they're popular, so everybody follows them. But rather than investing the 10k in, I say six or maybe not six, but three months, campaigns with smaller influencers, that have targeted communities that actually follow them because they have a word to say in that niche. And of course, they can provide better engagement and better brand recall, as you run with more at the same time and have longer-term collaborations. And another thing that we discovered and our clients were able to use very well and I'm curious to see whether this was on your side as well as the same feedback or you will notice the same interaction through the platform in the data that you're capturing, that collaborations with smaller influencers were actually able to provide much better quality assets to be potentially reused in social media, for example, or in a content marketing strategy. And at a higher volume, than maybe, you know, having one blog post that can provide maybe one backlink of higher domain authority, but all right, and then maybe one picture. What have you seen from the other side? So from the data, from the platform front?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

You are 100% correct. And actually, not even on the data side, there is an additional development that is taking place towards the word taking place at the end of last year now going into this year. On the legal side, if you look at any kind of agreement, I'm sure you've seen this side of things. Whenever you have a UGC, user-generated content, most of the time the purchaser retains all the rights or they try to build their contracts the way that all the rights are retained. The Creator, just created. And that's it, they're done. The general tendency right now, exactly for the reasons that you mentioned, is because a lot of smaller influencers create, they care more. They create their brand, they're actually building, what is becoming their brand. So two things influences actually becoming brands as opposed to just promoters or ambassadors. But at the same time, there is a general motion to bring in new clauses into these contracts where the use of user-generated content will have that brand or that creator, at least cited for the creation. And I think the similar thing, there's a lot of talk about NFCs, NFS s and everything else. If a lot of that content, even if it's bought as an NFT, and owned completely and entirely by somebody else that underlies my contract actually includes the reference to the creator. So we're seeing exactly the same thing. We actually are finishing up building what's called Brybe Academy, which is going to have several different levels of educational programmes for influencers or freelancers of the brands or anybody else who participates on the platform. A lot of stuff there includes information about what to expect because it's no longer about ROI. ROI and influencer marketing is incredibly hard to calculate. And if anybody tells you they can do it, or they can improve, it's probably marketing talk, not financial talk. Return on ad spend is a lot more down to earth number that you can actually see and figure out for what you're spending on a campaign, your return on ad spend will depend on how impactful the message is. And the message is no longer is mostly impactful because of the name of the influencer, it's also incredibly impactful by the quality of the content that is created. And these guys, they now realise that there is a huge competition out there. And they come up with methods of photography or video creation, or a very original presentation of the products that highly paid marketing teams of large enterprises are still unable to come up with because they're not in the space fully. So the influencers that we're talking about, and freelancers that, you know, just the creators of digital assets, they're out there, they're actually a few steps ahead in the technology that's coming out or in the news that are coming out the colour palettes, the behavioural factors of the audiences, they learn things that before used to be only privy to, like highly analytical departments that ran you know, presentations and the pie charts and whatever. Now regular influencer is completely holding their hand on the pulse of the industry and the developments because this is how they stay alive. This is how they build their brand. And ultimately, this is how they earn their living.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

And in terms of the platforms now, because you mentioned there's something that was very important, which is, you know, them being the brands. So then, you know, earning a living by the fact that they are in tune with everything that's moving and being able to produce high quality, high end, modern content. What have you seen in terms of platforms? So we have all seen Tik Tok increasing quite a lot and influencers on Tik Tok from our experience with the agency and clients that we work with, tend many times to become more expensive to work with. It's not a general rule. But we encountered this a couple of times. Maybe because on Tik Tok, the organic reach can be higher if the content is good, as opposed to Instagram maybe in general, since the algorithm is working a bit more productively when it comes to organic content. So to sum it up, what's the trend that you're seeing on the platform and with the influencers that we're onboarding in terms of their reach, where they are building their brands? What they're advertising what types of accounts like they used to visit Tik Tok? Is it Instagram still?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

I think anybody who is getting into this on either side should still have representation across the board or at least across the major platforms. As you know, the whole buzz of last year is that Tik Tok went to 13% market share, so they beat Google YouTube's 10% market share. Instagram is still holding, like 94% market share in providers in general, users and user-generated stuff. And very closely behind is Facebook which everybody already buried and said that it's dead. No, it's not. Trust me, it's completely not dead. It's just you need to know why and how to use all of these engines because, for a company, it gives you a well developed, well-rounded marketing campaign that addresses different sides for you one because even if you produce a product, you can still sell it to multiple different markets, right? One of my favourite case studies was Dollar Shave Club. They just went Instagram, all in subscription razors really cool the visuals. Nothing was working. Then what they did, they redirected their targeting from just men that need to shave to mothers, girlfriends, wives and sisters. Basically say, hey, no more ties, no more books, no more belts, no more socks, your guy really needs a razor, which is always sharp, and you know, it gives some groomed. And you'll need a well-groomed man. So here's your present. Their sales blew up. And this is a subscription-based company. What they did, they ran a Facebook campaign that addressed a more mature audience with more textual information with more case studies, more applications, then they ran an Instagram and the reels campaign, which basically addressed quick, flashy, hey, this is cool, really perceptive advertising. So this is another great example. Then as you can see, over the past three years, the shift went from graphic to video, right. And one of the biggest things that we're noticing right now is that obviously this is called Tik Tok when completely gone around the world because it's a short video, people are becoming more and more like goldfish, so they need, you know, the information right there. And then you can just digest and get hit with it and try not to forget it. But realistically, what we're seeing is still, as a Tik Tok influencer, you now have, obviously an opportunity to run much fresher, cast a wider net for following and run a more impactful message if you're trying to influence the following. But at the same time, for any platforms or any businesses that are trying to work with such influences, A, little tough to reach. B, if you work with agencies, then you're looking at, you know, lengthy negotiation as larger rates. Tik Tok itself has been completely prohibitive of integration with other platforms. So a lot of my colleagues in the space find that it's still almost impossible to tie the Tik Tok to your own API. So what is happening is because Tik Tok has, you know, rolled out their own suite of services where the influencers can run their influencer campaigns. Which is phenomenal, because that validates the whole existence of this space. Because the larger companies like obviously, Tik Tok or Instagram have their own developer suite now, digital creator suite. So all of these companies, all of these platforms are giving you more and more tools to run both sides as a brand or as a buyer of the service to identify who and how you want to work with. But then this is where, you know, we come in, because there's that disconnect. And for the providers of the service to give a larger scope or larger package of services where they can run the video on Tik Tok, where they can run textual stuff on Facebook, where they can run real-life stories on Instagram etc. So use them the opportunity to give to provide more service to earn obviously higher profit on that. And for brands, again, for the same money, you run a much, much more effective campaign like if you were to do it otherwise was just one channel like ads on TV etc.

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Andrei Tiu ย 

Okay, and now talking about API's and integrations. Let's talk a bit about tracking. The marketing managers out there that you know, maybe are trying to integrate influencer marketing, but they are concerned with tracking performance or justifying budgets. How are you guys tackling this aspect, this subject? Are you tapping straight into the platform and getting insights from there? Do you have any types of integrations with or feedback loops with influencers? Do you have a workflow management system integrated within Brybe? How are campaigns being tracked?

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Igor Fedenkoff ย 

Well, there are actually a few different things that are happening. Again, the business model of Brybe is very different from your regular influencer marketing platform. Because that's not what we are. We are a live two-sided marketplace. But what we do we run integrations with third-party providers like Hypeauditor, for instance. A phenomenal company, they basically lead right now on Instagram stats in the market. And with their reports, our buyers are able to A) track the efficiencies and the, you know, eliminate the fraud with influences that went before we're working with them. Then while they run the campaigns, there are companies like Q Mocha, which are insane! Like, we'll spend years building something like this, and it's readily available. What these guys have created is an analytical approach to any kind of post, they analyse the post on what's in it, what colours when it was posted, how many people are in it, what facial expressions, they go so deep. And these are the tools that now are at the fingertips of anybody who is ordering such services. What we do, and like I said, we collaborate with providers of analytical stuff like that, because our main goal is to create a platform that facilitates the communications between the buyers and the sellers allows them to control the flow of funds. And by that, we actually lower the amount of fraud that can potentially happen. The promises are fulfilled. And at the same time in that communicative process, they're able to use the third party applications where they would actually kind of check on both of each other, and the impact of the platforms and track the statistics. And most importantly, as I mentioned before, figure out their return on ad spend. Which is incredibly important. For anyone who is especially doing it on a budget.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Um, can you please repeat the name of the platform that you mentioned? The one with that is analysing the colours and everything within the image? How do you spell the name?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

Q letter Q Mocha like, like a coffee drink.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

QMocha. Okay. Nice. So we can all have a lookup there. See what they do. Thank you for the tip.

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

Yeah, absolutely.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Okay, um, so in terms of now going towards the bigger picture from last year. So looking back. From our discussion so far, it seems that the trend of collaborating more with micro-influencers, nano influencers and brands considering them more and more, as viable opportunities for them to tap into the channel is a continuous trend. Right? Then what else? Oh, what other data trends have you identified? Is there anything to do with the growth of budgets that are being allocated to the channel or range of industries, maybe that can start to consider this channel? Since before it was more towards direct, I mean, directly towards maybe commerce or lifestyle brands? Are you seeing an expansion there?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

The expansion goes actually into the industry that is not mentioned, like I said, not very glamorous. But the rise of nano and micro-influencers in very, very different categories, has given the rise to orders from the companies that never thought they could use stuff like that. For instance, I've mentioned this in the previous discussion with another professional like yourself. It's really funny, we traced a rise in one of our categories, which is animal husbandry. And they use it as a case because not a lot of people even know what it is. I didn't know what it was and why the hell we had it on the platform in the first place. But there was one representative back in the day, one influencer that actually specialised in that so we added the category. And we've seen the growth because not only it's an obviously huge industry, especially in the United States, especially those southern states where there's, you know, a lot of cattle, but there is a huge satellite industry that comes with it. Technological appliances, belts, the construction stuff, anything that has to do with you know, animals making babies and certain surrounding industries. It's incredibly, incredibly large. So that was the industry that stayed to very, very niche marketing through just low call newsletters, pharma digest etc. Now, they're able to use influencer marketing, and a lot of freelancers on the digital side to create assets and to actually run campaigns that are geocentric to, you know, their area of expertise or their area of influence, which runs excusing impactful campaigns at the end. So the general trend right now is that, thanks to COVID, and you know, people are gonna hate me for saying that, but everything has changed. And online is some ephemeral space that used to be used, you know, for just jokes and information by a certain amount of people. Now, 98% of people around the world are online for their needs that they never used to have. Medicine delivery, food delivery, any kind of Uber-style services, and obviously more and more business online. So coming to your original question, sorry, for my own deviation. One, definitely huge trend is that more businesses, apart from your regular beauty, lifestyle, sports, and travel, which are dominating basically the influence marketing, the rest of 340 categories that for instance, we have on bread, actually, are seeing, and whether it's incremental, larger rise over the past year and going into 2022. There are more and more like I said, micro and nano influencers that are using the services of platforms like ours, because they're no longer at, you know, number 10, or number 100 page of search. They're able to be upfront right there because now the filtering and the search is a lot more detailed. So by speciality, not only by your followers, by speciality, by geo, by what you do by how you do it. And the filters are becoming more detailed, the industries are becoming wider. And the span of the influence done by these professionals is obviously becoming much, much wider.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

What about the budgets? Obviously, each influencer has their own fees, which I guess on your platform to our you know, showcase, and then there might be some room for negotiation. But when you are looking at us campaigns that you saw were successful, or maybe you received feedback from super happy clients that had you know, maybe their first campaign is the first more integrated campaign and worked well. In 2021, what were the average budget or the minimum and the average budgets that were invested into influencer marketing collaborations?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

We are looking at actually your general almost classically standard rate on the microsite. Some even of the larger and more impactful spending was done with teams of nano influencers and micro-influencers. And average, per service, average ranges at about, you know, 200 to $220. So you're looking at either a live post or a story post or two to post with somebody who has more than 10,000 followers. Now, we have run, obviously on multiple network campaigns. So for that, we educate our influencers to price themselves not based just on the following but actually based on your potential return on ad spend that you can offer to the company. And mind you again, we are not an agency. So we facilitate that need but we also offer a lot of educational information and a lot of tips along the way. So if an influencer has about you know, 5000 followers, and they're offering their services for 500 to $900. We do give them a little notice, you are free to post that, but you probably are not going to get as much attention because you should be probably within the 180 to 220 range. So the budgets, well, this will be the pricing. And the cool thing about that from like Brybe is that the professionals can actually post preset packages. Like I do the post for 50 bucks, I do the post and a story for 200 bucks. I'll do a week-long campaign you know for 500 bucks. And then when a company or a buyer comes in, they can just click on that and get going. Or if they want an individualised negotiation then they could get to that. On the side of the brands and the buyers, we've seen actually a huge step. The companies that ran the most impactful campaigns last year, were smaller companies, with a budget of about five to $10,000. But they were able to build campaigns. Like I said, with multiple influencers and multiple freelancers. So they created a really, really cool impact. We had companies that basically the largest campaign for last year was for approximately half a mile. And that was a larger marketplace. We have developed really cool relationships with some of the talent agencies in the US and across the world, that allows us to showcase their mega-stars on Brybe. So they're not self-registered, they're being showcased. And any brand collaborations that come to them from Brybe, we basically facilitate those. But the cool thing is, we're not going to sit, you know, and pray for the fact that Messi or Ronaldo or Penelope Cruz or Antonio Banderas will come to Brybe, self-register and start looking for campaigns, that's never gonna happen. We have all of them on Brybe, represented through their companies. So the marketplace that I mentioned, came to us having been exposed to mega celebs, their presence on the platform. What actually subsequently happened is that budget went into the medium to micro size, segmented campaigns that were run for a couple of months. And they couldn't be happier. Because like I said, they didn't get the exposure of the larger name through us, they actually were able to get it through a direct agency collaboration with somebody else. But they ran incredibly important, impactful social media marketing campaigns that they actually shared, I cannot share the numbers, but they shared with us that they could trace an increase in geo sales in those particular geographic areas where they ran those segmented ads. And for us, that was just like, you know, finally, what we've been talking about makes sense. So we are in negotiations with this company to run another set of campaigns this coming spring. It's a marketplace, so they do a lot of fashion stuff.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

So I love it when I hear these types of success stories, because, you know, you guys are one of the younger companies in the space. And as you mentioned, two to three years, so it's amazing to see such fast growth and, you know, showcasing your value proposition to the world. So big up for that. So, in terms of the smaller influencers, it just popped into my head now a discussion that I had with, they were more like an influencer agency. But they had this issue that was brought forward by some of their independent small influencers or nano influencers. And when these nano influencers were trying to establish collaborations with bigger companies, or like with companies in general, there was this barrier, where it's more like a legal thing, but I'm just curious how you guys tackle this. They needed to, obviously invoice for the services. So they had to create a company and then you know, tackle the tax or, you know, be a freelancer and then again, tackled the tax, but what if some of them just want you to do it as a side hustle? And you know, just have it there? Maybe one campaign once in a while, but not leave out of their influencer career, let's say. How are these transactions through Brybe for example? Can anybody go as an influencer and start collaborating, and you guys help them with tax? Or do they still have to do it themselves? And similarly, from the brand's point of view, you know, invoices and these types of things.

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

There are a few things that I would like to mention because - thank you for bringing this up, this is incredibly important, especially for nano and micro-influencers that are new to the industry. One of the first things that I want to mention is whenever you get into a car, and you don't know how to drive, chances are things are not going to go the right way. By the same token, if you want to even just kick into the freelancing In industry or influencing industry, you must know what you can and cannot do. How do you do it? First, read the terms and conditions of any platform you're on. They are by the law of their geographical location, they're required to disclose certain things that a lot of them are pertinent to the legal or financial side of things. Like we are a US-based company. So our terms and conditions are longer than usual because they need to include a lot of exceptions, a lot of exemptions. A lot of privacy aspects, as you know, the state of California has their own privacy law, which goes around the world. So read the terms! Don't just check off the thing and like I've read the terms and let's go, let's earn millions. Read. Second, I highly advise finding sources of information that are credible, again, that is related to your legal and your financial rights. In our particular case, we collaborate with Robert Fronts. And I can give you the information later. He is probably the only attorney in the United States, they have put together an educational course for influencers, which gets them probably 90% of everything that they need to know about the legal side of things in the influencer marketing industry. Studying FTC regulations and explaining what they can/cannot do, what they can/cannot claim. What kind of hashtags they can and cannot use. How they can be prosecuted. For instance, in the US, before she did something wrong, the advertising penalty was you know, a couple of $100 Right now it's 46,000 per occasion. So if you're an influencer that ran a campaign, and earn your, you know, 200, 300 bucks, but then you got caught by FTC, and now you're looking at a $46,000 fine, you need to understand where exactly you're sitting in that particular case. So I'm not trying to scare anybody but as I said, this industry is becoming more and more validated for two main reasons. A) large players in Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tik Tok. B) the government is getting into the industry like the FTC now has regulations for influencers in the ads etc. And I'm sure companies in international markets are facing the same thing. So it's becoming an officially regulated industry. And while you get into it, you are responsible for knowing what your rights are, or what your responsibilities are. On our side as a platform, we are a double-sided marketplace, we facilitate but we don't create them. So we provide as much information as we can, regarding our geographical location, and as much as we can about GDPR and European regulations for people to know what they're responsible for. As a facilitator, we don't take control of that sale, the sale happens between the buyer and the seller. So they're responsible to know their rights and we provide as much information as we can possibly do.ย 

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Super useful. So you guys, listen to this. And maybe considering or already doing influencer marketing and wanting to get serious, we did make sure that you know, the regulations of the countries of where your clients or the companies that you work with are within, and also of course of your own, which hopefully, you shouldn't be already having down. Okay, so, Igor, as a sort of a closing note, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the trends for this year. You mentioned NFT's and you know, this is a hot subject is something that we've been discussing quite a lot like in the past two to three months, basically since the metaverse announcement from Meta so Facebook. What's your take on that? What are you what's your take on the industry as a whole? Do you have some highlights that you want to bring forward?

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Igor Fedenkoff ย 

The general trends are actually very obvious even if you look at any kind of influencer campaigns that are run by larger companies or smaller campaigns. As a general topic of our conversation right now, obviously, the rise of the micro and nano influencers should be considered by the buyers and by themselves, because they are becoming a much larger driving force of the space and that's on both sides in finance and freelancer because we work with both. Obviously, the rise of the video that's going to continue the message that is the most impactful right now has to be not only informative but extremely vivid. And there are many companies that run research on that. A lot of influencer platforms come up with their yearly reports, influencer marketing hub is a great resource if you want to look into that. I know that a lot of companies, I think we will be seeing trends of a larger enterprise doing two things. What they do is they use influencers on a smaller scale on their geographical location. So let's say New Balance has a location in Boston, and they will run micro, nano influencer campaigns for Massachusetts or for the Boston area, for their issues in their stores. So it's not going to be a nationwide campaign, not just doing it segmented. But simultaneously, I think there's the rise of the ambassador programmes, a lot of companies, instead of just using agencies or using platforms, create an opportunity for the influencers to come to them and become their ambassador, as long as they measure certain criteria. Which, you know, it takes business from companies like mine, on one side, but on the other side, yet again, a lot of influencers, a lot of professionals that are trying to get into Ambassador programmes, they may or may not get it to them, but don't just focus on one thing. Use many different avenues where you can, you know, send your message to a much wider audience. There's definitely a huge trend, I think, is a universal message. I don't know if you're covering that in your interviews, but it's no longer a gimmick, it's no longer a political statement. It's no longer anything but an acceptable way of marketing. So the universal message was potential, gender-neutral message in many industries is becoming more of a staple rather than something brand new. I think this is definitely one of the things that we're seeing, majorly transforming the creative industry. And I think there's a trend, which originally influencer marketing and Freelancer industries came into existence to remove the rigid HR based departments and employments. But, now on a different spin of this evolution, we are seeing influencer marketing going from individual to the group. So companies are using groups of like multi influencer campaigns as opposed to just one. So now you're in a way the companies are hiring the teams of influencers. And this is where the agencies come in because they definitely want to monetize on that. And there's a general tendency of enjoying working with somebody. And walking away from using many different people for different campaigns, but to do repeated orders, either on the Freelancer site or influencer side. So good and bad, because if it is repeated campaigns with the same team over the same providers, this is cool, because it's going to be to have the same impact, hopefully, with smaller depreciation over time. But that also, we were laughing about this at the office, because we have created all of this, to go back to contractual employments and to repeat it orders to somebody being constantly employed with a company. So I think this is a trend that is happening. But I think both the business well, all three of the businesses, the influencers, and the agencies, slash platforms, should adapt to this particular situation and actually create business practices that will help them to exist, but at the same time to bring, I think this idea, this concept, to a little bit of a different level, so that it doesn't go back to Brick and Mortar and departments and cubes. But it stays on the freedom of expression and freedom of creativity, but on a different business model than it used to be 20 years ago. So I think these are the main trends that we'll be seeing this year.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Very insightful. I really loved our chat today. What I particularly liked about it was that it was very pragmatic. And I think it was very information-rich for everybody that is on either side of the fence, to say so. So you know, professionals as well as companies, agencies, marketing managers. Igor, thank you so much for being on The Show today. Thank you for helping us have an amazing start to the new podcast season this winter. And for you guys tuning in today, thank you for sticking around to the end. Thank you for joining us and for being with us for you know, so long. As always, if you have any feedback or any questions, feel free to reach out to us. If you're watching this on YouTube, comment below and let us know your thoughts. Igor, if people have questions, or they want to get in touch with you personally for you know, business avenues that you could explore or other types of collaborations? Where can they best get in touch with you?

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Igor Fedenkoffย ย 

The easiest way would probably be LinkedIn. My name spelling is in the description of this podcast. So find me on LinkedIn, I can't promise that I'll answer right away. But I do my best in trying to answer all the messages that are coming my way that are not, you know, marketing spam. And for Brybe, obviously, just go to brybe.com. And check us out. It's a free platform. Play around with it.

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Andrei Tiuย ย 

Nice. So you guys would have the links in the description of this episode as well. Check these guys out. They're doing a great job as Igor was talking us through the story as well. Igor, until next time, wishing you guys all the best of success, looking forward to news in March when you are going to Dubai and who knows maybe we'll organise another session to debrief that, as well as potentially talk about some other subjects that we didn't have the chance to discuss so much. And I think it'd be a nice explorative conversation such as NFT's licencing, creative arts and, you know, more of the fancy stuff in the news nowadays.ย 

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