Influencer marketing has become a pillar of marketing strategies. Ryan Detert should know; the 38-year-old CEO of influencer marketing firm Influential has been at the forefront of changes in the space.
Detert got his influencing start on Twitter making niche accounts like @travel and @automotive, and found they quickly gained followers. He saw an opportunity to sell posts on these accounts but knew they wouldn’t scale without data and brand safety standards. He made a checklist of the potential pitfalls that can happen in influencer marketing, like ensuring brand safety and content approval (i.e. no profanity or nudity). He also set out to combine organic influencer content with paid media in a way that is measurable for clients. That work became the foundation of Influential, which he founded in 2014.
Influential now has more than 3 million influencers on its platform, and is one of a handful of influencer agencies chosen to integrate with the new TikTok Creator Marketplace API. Influential also partnered with INFLCR, a content and compliance software platform for athletes, to create an exclusive name, image and likeness service enabling NCAA student-athletes to be compliant in their brand partnerships.
Recently, Influential announced it will be working with Unrealistic Ideas, Mark Wahlberg’s production company, as well as CrossCheck Studios. The latter was founded earlier this year by TikTok star Josh Richards, who has 25.5 million TikTok followers, and his partner, Michael Gruen. Influential plans to funnel all studio-level content needs through Unrealistic Ideas and CrossCheck Studios for brand and client campaigns to bring talent and production means to its Fortune 500 clients.