Influicity leverages the influencers

The Toronto-based company is working with Target and Kotex for a summer campaign tapping YouTubers.
search results view profile

Jonathan Davids, founder & CEO of Influicity, a company that connects brands with influencers, has a front-row seat viewing marketers put more emphasis on connecting with consumers in the social sphere.

Davids recalls one company he works with spent around $20,000 on a campaign with Influicity three years ago, while recently it had a budget of $150,000. The company announced yesterday it is working on a partnership with Target and Kimberly-Clark brand U by Kotex to bow this summer with creative from Geometry, and has six other campaigns under development.

With figuring out how to best leverage local social media influencers top of mind for Canadian marketers, particularly in the health and beauty and fashion spaces, Davids says his company provides tools to help ensure strong results.

Founded in 2010, Influicity recently announced its market platform of 140,000 YouTube influencers is now self-serve, meaning marketers can use the platform to search for influencers through filters such as age, gender, ethnicity and subject matter, then use it to purchase their services. The company says its aim is to license its software to five brands or agencies in the coming months. Media industry veterans Stephen Tapp and Kevin Shea recently joined its advisory board, while Paul Lefebvre, who built daily deal site, is its CTO.

Already, Influicity has had success running campaigns with retailers like Loblaws and brands like Garnier, Puma and John Frieda.

For instance, one campaign done with U by Kotex and Loblaws last year, paired fashion vloggers JuicyTuesday (Teresa Ulrich) and Jessica Harlow in a charity fashion challenge, asking them both to select a look for the fall, then encourage viewers to vote for their favourite, with the winner having money donated to the SPCA or SickKids Foundation. U by Kotex’s slogan, “Only you should decide what works for you,” ran in a banner along the bottom of the video, and viewers were offered a coupon offer at the end of the video. While Davids cannot share sales results, the campaign amassed 33,500 organic video views distributed through the vloggers channels, received 190 comments and 750 likes and was turned into a 30-second spot, which picked up 2.5 million views.

This summer Influicity is again partnering with U by Kotex to reach its target demo of millennial females, this time on a campaign to drive sales at Target stores. While the creative hasn’t been completed, Influicity has helped identify four influencers in the fashion and beauty space who will discuss their favourite buys for the season, including U by Kotex products available at Target. The influencers are then also responsible for distributing the video across their social channels.

Given that brands have to give up more control than what they’ve come to expect to execute a campaign with an influencer – Davids says, “once the influencers go out to do the video, aside from hitting talking points, everything else is really up to them,” – he says technology like Influicity’s is important to help brands connect to the right person.

“If you choose influencers wrong, everything that comes after is going to be a pain,” he says. “We make sure that influencers are able to speak to the product authentically and transparently – they don’t feel like they are selling out by using this product.”