Online products and company pages can get countless likes, shares, and tweets but do those people who engage online actually buy in real life? What is the percentage of who clicks ‘like’ and who clicks ‘checkout?’
With companies increasingly looking to harness the power of social influencers to leverage their products, they are using complex analytics tools to measure the social engagement between users and products to assess their impact. The sheer amount of data collected can be overwhelming but, at the same time, there are many bloggers who miss the mark, wasting a company’s resources.
Brisbane startup Scrunch is an influencer marketing platform that enables brands, retailers, and agencies to connect to online platforms, giving them access to over 20 million global influencers. They minimise the risk of partnering with the wrong people by using data to analyse and rank influencers from top performing to least engagement.
As an influencer directory Scrunch wants to uncomplicate the standard analytics tool by offering matchmaking technology to forge organic partnerships between brands, agencies, and influencers.
Once Scrunch has engaged a blogger to promote a brand, clients can track their campaign on an easy-to-follow dashboard. The dashboard lists the top performing influencers, showing their social reach, post engagement, and website traffic. Clients can look at analytics and see if their bloggers have produced any capital that’s driving a return on investments for their business. The platform monitors who’s saying what on social media and aggregates activity for every post to see what’s having the most impact.
Cofounder of Scrunch Danielle Lewis understands that brands who use influencers receive a higher online engagement.
“Nearly nine in ten consumers make a purchase after reading about a product or service on a blog and consumers rank blogs and social influencers as one of the most important sources that they look to before making a purchase decision,” she explained.
To assist clients with influencer marketing, Scrunch offers an agency consulting service to help companies launch their campaigns. Some of the biggest pain points marketing managers have is finding the right social influencers. Scrunch offers a directory to help marketers find their particular niche, which may be travel bloggers, models etc. Scrunch tracks what social media platforms they use and connects them to their analytics platform. The collated data of engagement rates, post frequency and individual social followings is streamlined for clients to picks and choose what data they want to view. The Scrunch inbox is more of a personalised, easy to read spreadsheet with lists and bookmarks.
“We’ve created some really powerful sort, filter and search functionality to help brands really hone in on the right blogger for their brand because they can filter down by people talking about their brand, people talking about their competitors, in a particular location, on a particular marketing channel to really find that diamond in the rough blogger that’s right to work with for their brand,” said Lewis.
There are many startups popping into this space, offering similar analytics and data collecting tools to improve a brand’s social media presence. Recently a new player VAMP entered the space with a focus on the Instagram niche. Socio Folio is another that helps to monitor and manage social media platforms, presenting collected data in app form for clients on the go. Arguably one of the biggest Aussie influencer startups is TRIBE, founded by media personality Jules Lund, which already has backing from major media companies with investment from figures including the founders of Catch of the Day.
These are just a few of the social media influencers that are harnessing the Australian market. This begs to ask the question why more startups are entering this space. The simple answer to that is social media advertising is worth around $151 billion globally. If we look at the US, they have spent $40 billion on online marketing, with ten percent spent on social channels and six percent spent specifically on influencers. Applying the same formula to our $4.6 billion yearly spend online here gives these Australian startups a local addressable market of $27.6 million.
Scrunch launched in December last year from Brisbane and is already looking to relocate to New York mid-year. The startup has received funding from Scale Investors, a fund that invests primarily in women-led startups. Lewis says that the platform already does a lot of business in Sydney and Melbourne but the opportunity in the US far exceeds the Australian market.
“The US being such a big market and both LA and New York having so many brands and agencies that we can tap into, moving to the US is really about business development for us, it’s really about US people really wanting to be face to face, they really value that. So having a presence there is really important for our expansion, so it’s something that we want to do quite quickly,” said Lewis.
It’s going to be a big test to see if another Australian influencer startup has what it takes to endure the US market. Lewis insisted that Scrunch offers a more unique service by not focusing on a niche – rather, she said, Scrunch is a data driven platform and unlike many other competitors, it doesn’t just focus on fashion bloggers or one social media site.
“We connected into every major blogging platform and social media platform to source our data, which is why we’ve been able to develop a database so big, with twenty million influencers,” explained Lewis.
“2016 for us is really about customer acquisition and growth, so that’s the main focus both in Australia, and when we go to the US. We’ve built the product, got it to a stage where it is commercial, we’ve raised enough capital to execute on that so really it’s about marketing and customer acquisition.”
Image: Salvatore Garozzo, Danielle Lewis and David Novakovic. Source: Supplied