Today we are thrilled to release what we’ve been internally calling Montage. Montage has been over a year in the works and is the foundation of the vision that helped us recently raise an amazing venture capital round (more on that soon). With this release we’re ushering in the second act of our company and hopefully contributing to the second act of the influencer marketing industry in general.
We’ve heard from both influencers and businesses that there is no easy way for everyone to keep in touch. Our users tell us they don’t fill their Instagram feeds with businesses they might want to work with. They also say it’s a crap shoot if they approach a brand with a collaboration proposal, as the business might not even be running a campaign at the time. At best, influencers hear about collaboration opportunities by having accounts on multiple influencer platforms and constantly checking the opportunities there. Conversely, companies put tons of work into outreach and discovery of great influencers when they are in campaign-mode, but don’t have anywhere to keep the conversation going between campaigns or with influencers who weren’t a fit at the time but might be later on. The whole process of building relationships between influencers and brands just doesn’t exist. The most advanced companies we talk to still use giant spread sheets of influencer names and data that they admit are out of date and cumbersome.
But we all are very used to keeping track of companies we’re interested in online. We are all used to the idea of following a store we like on Facebook or Instagram in case they announce a sale or following companies we might want to work for on LinkedIn in case they announce the job opening of our dreams. Why doesn’t this format exist for the influencer-business relationship? With Montage, now it does.
With the Montage release, we have completely redesigned our Business Pages. Every member who had a brand or agency page before has been upgraded to the new Business Page format. Business Pages have all the information that existed on brand and agency profiles before but now also include all the members of that businesses’ influencer community. With a familiar post and feed format, businesses can keep their influencers up to date in only a few minutes a week. We’ve already heard from our charter Business Page users that they can’t wait to use their pages to announce the steady stream of opportunities they have for influencers. These might be campaigns or even local events like pop ups or activations that influencers can get involved in. They also want to show off the amazing work their influencers and ambassadors are doing, and their pages are a great place to do this.
Keeping Up On The Industry
We also heard loud and clear from influencers that information about the industry is very fragmented. Some go to blogs for news, some get it from YouTube or newsletters, and few have any idea what their peers are really working on and thinking about.
Your home screen on influence.co is now a familiar feed-based format that is a collection of what’s happening on the platform, industry news, original content from our shiny new content team, and amazing work from our community. We hope that this feed becomes your influencer marketing homepage online – a place to start your day and keep tabs on the most important news from the industry and community. Best of all, it’ll give us all a place to start having discussions and dialog around issues that matter to the influencer industry and to our own community.
Building Your Professional Presence
Lastly, the Montage release is taking the first step towards providing you a more complete toolset for you to build and manage your professional presence as a member of the influencer marketing industry online. Past our beautiful, dynamic profiles, we give you growth stats, access to shareable demographics, the ability to follow brands and your peers, and the ability for them to start following you. As you add more content to your profile, you can keep your peers up to date on who you’ve been working with, what tools and techniques you’re learning, and how you’re growing as a professional in the industry.
We’re Learning Too
We love feedback! The good, the bad, and even the cringe-worthy, and we’re going to need a lot of it with this release. There are many concepts we’re introducing that are new ground for everyone in the industry. What activities do you want to share? What could the value of building an audience of your peers be? How do you talk to influencers on an ongoing basis and keep them engaged in your brand? If you want to give it to us privately you can always DM @influenceco on the platform. If you want to give it to us in public forum, feel free to comment on the @influenceco posts we’re putting out. We can’t wait to see what you all think.
More than anything, we’re just over the moon at how quickly our community has grown and the acceleration we’re seeing right now with influencers and businesses. We hope to earn a tab in your browser every morning, and we’ll keep working hard to make that the case.
And from me, the CEO of influence.co, a hat tip to the incredible team we have working on this project. Everyone red lined it in July to get this done and I could not be more proud of how we all pulled together to make it happen. Ryan, Shane, Faith, Dom, Paul, Jeff, Brad, Lynn – awesome work all around. Here we go!!
-Niel and the influence.co Team