With a plethora of influencer marketing agencies out there, it's outright dizzying and hard to know who to invest with. This is a question clients looked to me to answer in my past life (just two weeks ago!) as an influencer marketing professional largely working on the agency side of things. For a decade, I've watched influencer tech companies/networks rise to the top and then slowly fizzle out of favor. So why, ON EARTH, did I leave my cushy VP of Influencer Marketing title at a top Manhattan PR firm to work with The Cirqle? I'm so glad you asked!
Businesses all around the world are familiarizing themselves with influencer marketing. Yet, non-profit organizations have also recently caught on to the wave. They are starting to identify a natural fit for crowd funding and fundraising through the use influencers.
One of them, Pink Ribbon, reached out to us in order to raise awareness for their cause through influencer marketing.
As part of the Dutch Cancer Society, Pink Ribbon finances projects and research in the field of treatment, aftercare and long-term effects of breast cancer. For many years now, Pink Ribbon develops new products such as agendas, bracelets and notebooks in order to raise money and awareness towards breast cancer research.
We advised them to work with 27 female influencers across the Netherlands over 4 different channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Blog), in order to reach a relevant audience of potential donators.
The influencers created authentic and honest content that generated highly relevant engagement with their audiences. This created a real awareness of the cause Pink Ribbon is defending as well as the products enabling more and more donations every year.
By delivering their message to the right people, Pink Ribbon was able to reach more then 1M impressions!
If you want to also help drive change and participate in fighting breast cancer, check out: https://www.pinkribbon.nl/.
A few examples of the content produced:
The Cirqle has partnered with the Red Cross and NOS to help launch the #NederlandhelptSintMaarten campaign.
On the 6th of September, the devastating Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and caused unimaginable damage, particularly on Sint Maarten. Up to 70% of the houses are badly damaged or destroyed, food and water is extremely limited, and despair is spreading. In order to help the victims, the Red Cross needs funds and has consequently organised together with NOS a national action-day on Friday 15th of September.
The Red Cross has invited us to further increase awareness for the event, and to help amplify its impact. Naturally we offered to put all our resources to help this cause, and encouraged our entire community of Dutch influencers to share information about the event and mobilise their followers to take ACTION. In addition, some of our influencers will be showing their support on-site by visiting the event in Hilversum.
The event will be broadcasted on radio and television and will take place at the Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum. It's aim is to inform Dutch citizens about the urgency of the situation and raise as much money as possible via Giro 5125.
We hope that this cause is as important to you as it is to us and we encourage you to take action in any way that you can.
One of the values we live by here at The Cirqle is shipping beautiful product(s). This encapsulates our belief that shipping is just the beginning; that getting features in customers’ hands is the quickest way to get feedback so we can continue to iterate to drive our vision.
While it’s easy to get excited about shipping big, shiny new things – last year we launched a whole ton of those (read the post here) – there’s also lots of value in shipping regular, smaller improvements and features too. They may not necessarily justify a big splashy announcement, but smaller improvements can add up to a significant impact.
We’ve already shipped over 8 big new features and updates this year. We still have a shiny thing or two up our sleeve, of course, but here are some of the highlights of what we’ve shipped so far in the first half of 2017.
iPhone & Android App
Jup, you read it right. We shipped both an iPhone and Android app. Our team worked around the clock to make it happen. Influencers now have the ability to track their growth across all their social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr and Google Analytics), join campaigns in a more efficient and convenient way and get access to campaigns in their nearby location.
Through the app, our clients now have the unique ability to target influencers based on their location. Think location-based event activations, in-store promo's or exclusive launches. Get in touch to learn more about it and to join our private beta.
We’re always working to make it easier for you to support your customers at scale, so that as your business grows, The Cirqle grows with you.
Traditionally, there's a lot of hand-holding involved in running influencer campaigns. We’ve added several new features that make it easier to for agencies to run campaigns across different account managers, countries and brands in one comprehensive overview.
Through this update, we enable agencies to effectively scale campaigns with influencers across multiple account managers.
- Global Team and Client Logins
Assign campaigns to team members who can monitor, manage and share campaign status with their clients directly, in one safe environment..
- Full Feature Access
Agencies receive full access to all systems, tools and features of The Cirqle and are free to share data reports with their clients.
- 24/7 Support
A team of dedicated account managers help assist agencies with running campaigns.
- Webinars and training
Access to webinars, training sessions and in-house education programs.
Location-Based Influencer Campaigns
Through Cirqle, clients now have the ability to trigger geo-based campaigns with the goal to drive footfall and promote influencer store visits. Influencers curated for your campaign are allowed to join when they are within the vicinity of one of your stores.
Selected influencers can view the tasks they have to do in return for the reward mentioned in the brief. E.g. receive a Scotch & Soda outfit and $500,- cash in return for in-store / product exposure on Instagram.
API-integration and CSV download
For those building on our platform, we launched an API our clients can tap into so everything you need to build on our platform is in one accessible place. Plus, we added some new features to automatically run CSV exports of your data-reporting so you're able to integrate into e-commerce solutions such as Custora.
Integrated Shipping Tracking
If you need to ship products to influencers in your program - millions of deliveries of all shapes and sizes are now tracked across all major delivery providers. This way, products that are send out for shipping to your influencers are auto-tracked and you're updated of the process along the way.
Our customer support team is on hand by phone and email to answer any questions that your or your influencers may have.
Track Social Performance, Review Content & Monitor Competition
Built-in best practices for assignment creation and a fully automated workflow mean better content for both influencers and marketers. Through our content vault, you're able to pre-approve content with the click of a button across all the influencers accepted into your program.
Amplify your best content at the most opportune time, by tapping into the world’s most powerful network of content creators and influencers.
We're extremely proud to be announcing that today we're launching a private-beta for our mobile app (iOS and Android). Our app will help brands find global influencers faster (and vice-versa) and with greater speed/accuracy at a fraction of the cost.
Beyond that, we're introducing a brand new feature called Geo-campaigns, enabling brands to target influencers within a certain proximity to i) invite them to enter their store (for a free goodie) ii) host an event or iii) firestart an army of influencers to promote a specific service.
The possibilities are endless and we're open up to receive ideas you may have by e-mailing them directly to email@example.com. You can now officially subscribe to our Beta-program by clicking the button below.
As you know, The Cirqle offers a cutting edge platform to identify the social influencers who will resonate with your audience and deliver the most meaningful engagements.
Our invite-only network is comprised of over 9,000 leading social influencer accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook, who are required to be in the top 15% of engagement on each platform to join.
They currently reach over 5 billion followers. Additional strengths of our platform are:
- Rapid campaign turnaround time
- Campaigns at a fraction of the cost of traditional PR
- Powerful analytics to justify your next Influencer campaign
- Cut workflow management by 5x
- Increase campaign throughput by 8x
Now we've entered the new year, we wanted to take a moment and reflect on what has been an incredible year for The Cirqle, and most importantly, for our customers. We’re proud of how we’ve evolved this past year, and look forward to keeping up the pace in 2017.
Here’s a quick look back.
EXCITING NEW FEATURES
We launched and introduced one of our hallmark products from scratch: the Brand Dashboard. allowing brands to recruit and select the right influencers for their campaign, measure the impact of their campaign in real-time and create and launch campaigns over 50 countries with the flick of a switch.
We launched Cirqle Pulse, allowing brands and agencies to quickly scan the social landscape for who's writing about their brand, and their competition.
We introduced a feature called Cirqle Radar, a quick and effective tool to add your competition into one overview to track their every move, and benchmark your performance against them.
As extension to our brand dashboard, we quickly discovered there was an opportunity for agencies to jump into the influencer marketing space. The Agency Dashboard allows PR companies and umbrella brands to manage campaigns across different markets, different account managers and different stages.
We collaborated with key strategic partners in Europe and the United States, including Azione PR and the Publicis Group. Partners who've been able to leverage our tech to help run their influencer marketing efforts.
We introduced Demographics data for influencers, brands and agencies. Allowing them to discover the distribution of their follower base, including age, gender, income, city, country and category of interest data. This features helps answer the question: when I work with an influencer from New York, do I actually target an audience in New York?
Brand Profiles allow brands to track their own social performance across their key social channels in one comprehensive overview.
OUR NEW NYC HEADQUARTERS
We completed the move into a beautiful new NYC HQ on Broadway. Subsequently expanding the team overseas and driving sales and PR from the beautiful city of New York.
IMPACTFUL CAMPAIGNS AND INITIATIVES
We managed to launch campaigns that enabled some of the world's biggest brands and retailers create unique content, awareness and drive sales. Some of the featured work:
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday feature for Century 21 Stores including over a dozen of key influencers in the cosmopolitan hub of New York.
We subsequently launched two campaigns per month over a period of 180 days for Scotch & Soda, one of the coolest underground fashion brands. Enabling them to drive traffic to their stores in the Netherlands and Germany.
For their Here Be Dragons campaign, Belstaff leveraged our technology to recruit over 20 influencers in the United Kingdom to help promote their latest campaign.
In a major effort to get the word out in Europe about their classic boots in the #MyClassicStyle campaign, Ugg Australia worked through the platform to find key influencers to share their personal stories about the UGG boots.
Notable other campaigns included Ford, Oliver Sweeney, Under Armour, Avenue 32, Shift, Samsung, Qlippie and the Municipality of Eindhoven.
The Dutch Government selected The Cirqle as one of eight startups eligible for the Partners in Business grant, specifically aimed at start- and scale-ups focussed on New York and the US market and providing support in finding, hiring and retaining talent, providing office space, swift visa applications and access to investors.
WHAT'S IN STORE FOR 2017
We have several key product launches lined up for 2017 that will make it even easier for brands to find their customers, both on- and offline.
In addition, a number of partnerships will be announced and we will quadruple the size of our team over 2017 to cover even more markets.
It’s been a landmark year for The Cirqle, and we are exceptionally grateful for your ongoing support. We’re excited for what’s to come in 2017 and to continue to help bring our customers’ inspiring ideas to the world.
Thank you for making 2016 so extraordinary.
Steven Lammertink, the company’s founder and CEO, says platforms like his actually make things much easier for brands, which often employ multiple ad agencies for a single social influencer effort. This often introduces a lack of transparency and friction in communication of ideas and results,” Mr. Lammertink said. Instead, with Cirqle’s platform, brands can get social ad campaigns—starting with, for example, basic brand mentions in an influencer’s content—up and running in 20 minutes, he said.