Antoine Forest, co-founder and CEO of Stargazer, talks influencer marketing [interview]

Partner Post - Stargazer The influencer marketing agency to create branded content at scale

Posted: March 25, 2020

Antoine Forest is the co-founder and CEO of Stargazer, the leading ROI influencer marketing company. Stargazer’s mission is to make influencer marketing campaigns scalable while delivering the highest possible ROI.

What is Stargazer and how does it fit into the influencer marketing landscape?

Stargazer is an influencer marketing agency powered by technology. From influencer identification to the report of a campaign’s result, we handle the entire process for brands looking to enter this exciting marketing realm.

To make that happen, we developed a platform that allows the campaigns to be run effectively but also at scale. So not only are we the facilitators, we also ensure that we bring better results than if the brands were trying to do it all by themselves.

What do you see as the current biggest trend in influencer marketing?

The first major trend is definitely affiliate influencer campaigns. As the entire industry grows, we have more and more creators entering the field – and they are all looking to monetize their accounts. But not all advertisers necessarily want to pay a flat fee to enroll the influencer. So, the type of arrangement we are increasingly seeing is where the influencer gets paid per result (per view, per sale, per install, and so on).

We are also witnessing the massively growing popularity of TikTok. The platform is still a relatively new social media that can be leveraged for cheap impressions and with great engagement. Running influencer campaigns on TikTok is still in its infancy but the promising performance shows that it will grow immensely over this year. One thing to keep in mind is that 60% of the app’s monthly users are 16-24 years old, so it’s ideal for brands in the app or mobile game space looking to speak to a young crowd.

What are some great examples of influencer marketing campaigns?

One of our clients is a fashion marketplace that works as an app. We’ve been running ongoing campaigns with thousands of YouTube influencers. The content keeps attracting many new customers at a very good price – generating brand awareness equal to what a large TV campaign would.

Another campaign I really enjoyed was the collaboration with a chat messaging app looking to expand its operation. Using social influencers, the brand launched successfully in six new territories. And the impact was maximized by channeling the efforts around the same days, making sure that the app hits the highest popularity ranks on the App Store.

How do you measure the results and ROI of your influencer marketing work?

There are three levels of influencer marketing ROI we observe. The first level is awareness, relating to the reach, the number of impressions, and the engagement the content secures. The second is consideration: Here we take a look at the number of actions taken by consumers, be it clicks or swipe-ups. And finally, there’s the conversion aspect, where we measure the app installs or sales.

We get this data by tracking everything through trackable links. These are placed in every influencer post or deal, such as a coupon code. Then, especially for brand awareness, we carry out surveys to see how the perception has changed throughout the campaign. This is a systematic process ran several times before, during, and after the campaign to really measure the impact it has made.

How do you ensure that the influencers you decide to work with are a good match for your client?

Making sure that an influencer is a good fit for a particular project seems like an instinctive decision but there’s science behind it. One of the things we look at is the alignment between the brand and the influencer’s audience – we pick creators that speak to users the brand wants to target. The pricing is also key: Brands that overpay naturally end up with lower ROI. That’s why we use a predictive technology to guarantee we set pricing that’s fair for both sides.

But let’s not forget about content. At the end of the day, we are talking about pictures on Instagram and videos on YouTube, so the creative aspect is fundamental. Brands need to come up with solid creatives or collaborate with the influencer to really generate action from the consumers.

Is influencer marketing appropriate for every brand?

Every brand can leverage influencer marketing – but for some, it may be more effective than for others. Different things work for different brands, so first and foremost, it’s about finding out what is your own sweet spot.

Still, I believe that anyone can run a successful influencer marketing campaign, though it will depend on how well it’s designed to connect with the target audience. Choosing the right channels is key: If your audience is above 40 years old, you might not want to work with TikTok influencers but instead with creators on Facebook. Or if you are B2B, why not approach LinkedIn influencers?

How much marketing budget would you recommend brands dedicate to influencer marketing?

Like with any other acquisition channel, you always need to test things out first. Obviously, the more budget you put in, the more space you will have for trial and error. For influencer marketing, I suggest spending some $10,000 because that allows you to experiment with diverse influencers, creatives, strategies, and platforms. This investment is enough to tell what works best and which way to head in the future.

Also, remember that influencer marketing is a way to enhance your overall marketing. It works best when coupled with other acquisition efforts – personally, I would recommend to complement it with social media ads and any other type of marketing.

If you want to learn more about influencer marketing, visit the Stargazer website.

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