Victoria Luck, UK MD of Naples-born influencer marketing platform Buzzoole, talks to Gorkana about moving from international advertising at Hearst Magazines into influencer marketing, why PR and media are merging and which brand she thinks has nailed its Christmas campaign this year.
You joined influencer marketing platform Buzzoole in February this year. Tell us about what the platform does and what attracted you to the role.
Buzzoole connects brands to their ideal audiences through our data-driven, automated platform. Influencer marketing platforms are a bit like the programmatic of the influencer space; using automation makes finding the right influencers and running campaigns easier. Automation offers transparency, efficiency, accountability and all important scalability.
What attracted you to the role?
After working in traditional display advertising for 17 years, I was keen for a new challenge in an exciting, emerging space.
You previously headed up the international advertising division at Hearst Magazines and then international sales at ad tech business InSkin Media before joining Buzzoole. What made you move over from advertising to influencer marketing?
I’d started to notice more of my clients asking about working with bloggers. Back then “influencer” was only just becoming a buzzword, and I wanted to stay ahead of the curve.
The chance to grow a business from scratch was a big draw for me too. I’d built international divisions from the ground up before, and heading up Buzzoole’s entire British offering was an amazing opportunity.
What do you see as the core differences between advertising and influencer marketing?
First and foremost, advertising and influencer marketing have the same goal. Brands need to reach their audiences – but traditional display advertising is something that consumers are actively resisting. As more of us turn away from traditional media, using adblockers for instance, brands are starting to realise they must find new ways reach consumers.
Influencer marketing offers a more organic, authentic approach. It hinges on real people, promoting brands they love to a following that will listen.
What role do you think influencer marketing plays in the PR industry?
For PRs, the power of influencer marketing hinges on amplifying their message. And engaging with an influential figure’s audience can significantly boost a campaign’s reach.
Up to now influencer marketing has been almost exclusively run by PR agencies with a focus on celebrities. Right now, however, we’re in a transitional stage where PR and media are merging. Automation is accelerating this and making the influencer marketing industry more accountable, measurable and scalable.
What’s your favourite part of your current role?
The best part of my role has been seeing the business in the UK expand. From humble beginnings (just me and my laptop) to a team of six and growing, we’re on the verge of building something first-class. And of course, going to Buzzoole’s amazing head office in Naples isn’t bad either.
What’s the dream brand you’d most like to work with?
I’d love to work with Burberry. Fashion goes hand in hand with influencer marketing and Burberry’s presence on Instagram demonstrates this to a T. What’s more, it’s founded on really smart marketing strategy.
We’ve already worked with other fashion brands like Tommy Hilfiger, with outstanding results, and Burberry really would be a dream client.
Which brand do you think is running the best Christmas campaign so far?
Nostalgia is a powerful tool and Barbour really nailed with its Christmas campaign this year. It’s hard to believe Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman is almost 30 years old now; Barbour did well to take a delicate approach to such a classic.
To find out more about influencer marketing, download the free Gorkana Guide to Influencer Marketing, which launched this month. The Guide analyses how an “influencer” is defined, what impact influencers have on PR, whether an influencer campaign can really be determined as earned media and what PRs need to think about before trying to find the right person who can positively impact their brand.
Download your free copy here.