Social media influencer startup VAMP has brought on Leo Burnett’s Todd Sampson as a non-executive director as it looks to dominate the Australian market in 2016. The appointment is quite a coup for the startup, with Sampson’s involvement highlighting the growth of the social influencer market and the shift in marketing dollars to the space.
An influential leader in the Australian media and communications industry, Sampson believes that VAMP is well placed to capitalise on the growing social influencer marketing industry.
“Social media continues to disrupt how brands interact with consumers. We’ve moved far beyond creating an ad and posting it. Innovators in the industry, like VAMP, are really playing in the ecosystem, using social media, and its passionate content creators and curators, to work smarter and more authentically for them,” he said.
Launched last year, VAMP – Visual Amplifiers – is a platform focused on Instagram, helping clients manage their market influence to enable authentic brand connections and engage audiences with innovative marketing that resonates on a personal level.
According to Sampson, the online ecosystem naturally cultivates influential personalities, which means there is a lucrative opportunity for brands and startups like VAMP to amplify word of mouth marketing through social media and different channels that focus on visual mediums.
Sampson is co-host of the Gruen Transfer and a regular panelist on The Project, as well as non-executive chairman of creative agency Leo Burnett and a member of the Fairfax Media board. He is described as an innovator and philanthropist, and will help VAMP to be dominate the marketplace both nationally and internationally. He is also open to investing in the startup.
“Todd brings to the table a vast amount of experience and industry knowledge. Our ability to attract influential industry leaders of Todd’s calibre to the board within the first 12 months of launching is testament, not only to the growth potential of social influencer marketing, but also the strength of VAMP’s unique model,” said Ben McGrath, cofounder of VAMP.
Leveraging the power of these social influencers can spread a brand’s popularity and increase its national and global reach with reports showing positive statistics towards the impact of social media influencers. According to 2015 Global Trust in Advertising Report, 83 percent of consumers trust opinions from people they know with 66 percent trusting consumer opinions posted online. Marketers are now turning to brand advocates like VAMP to generate buzz and social media campaigns on platforms like Instagram to drive sales.
“You only have to look at the quality of the content our talent has produced for clients including eBay, Samsung, Toby’s Estate, ASOS and Uniqlo to see that influencers are progressive marketers in this channel. VAMP is currently focused on Instagram because it is a positive visual communication channel that is a fertile and a growing opportunity for brands,” McGrath said.
VAMP was launched by startup foundry Digital4ge to provide brands with an end-to-end management solution for marketing campaigns. The marketing service connects brands with the biggest names on Instagram and provides everything from talent recruitment, product delivery, and talent payments all the way through to reporting, analytics and optimisation.
After an official launch in September last year, VAMP raised a “substantial” amount of funding in a series A round with Digital4ge. Before the raise McGrath and his team were selling into brands and agencies to secure monthly campaigns. VAMP operates on a campaign basis that is defined by viewer reach and was initially focussed on fashion and Fast Moving Consumer Goods verticals (FMCG). This year the company is growing their foothold in the Australian marketplace across more verticals.
Currently VAMP are working on to improve Instagram’s three percent engagement rate through their influencer platform, which is also designed to incorporate other social media platforms in the future like Facebook, Snapchat, Youtube and Pinterest.
Image: Todd Sampson. Source: Business Insider