In under two years, influencer marketing platform Model Village has established itself as a pioneer of high-end influence, running successful campaigns at scale on behalf of premium brands (Estee Lauder, LVMH and Chanel to name a few) by tapping into their unique community of agency-signed talent on Instagram. We’re excited to have them on board as a category sponsor at the Influencer Marketing Awards which takes place next Tuesday, March 26 at the Sheraton Grand on Park Lane.
In the run-up to the ceremony, we spoke to Model Village CEO William Soulier to discuss all things influencer marketing and their excitement of the 2019 awards.
First of all, could you give us a quick overview of your company and what you do?
Model Village is an Influencer Marketing Platform dedicated to agency signed talent on Instagram.
What key developments in the industry have you seen within the last 12 months, and how has your company manoeuvred with them?
Model Village has continued to champion the role of Influencer campaigns within the wider Marketing mix over the past 12 months, and one of the key developments we’ve noticed as a consequence is how Brands and Agencies are moving away from short-term campaigns & one-off bursts in favour of more long-term partnerships with us and our community of highly-engaged talent.
This is hugely beneficial for both brands and influencers alike who wish to create and share authentic content. Additionally, by building these long-term relationships with preferred influencers, brands are more likely to receive organic content as this continued brand experiences develop.
Another key trend has been the domination of vertical content. Ever since Instagram first announced IGTV as their latest video tool in 2018, brands and influencers have transformed their media production, creating purely vertical content in order to further enhance the mobile experience. This has meant a vertical focus for both brands and influencers when it comes to content creation. Model Village has responded accordingly and we recently launched our new Instagram Stories feature, which enables clients to approve Stories before they are published and gain advanced data insights whilst building long-term relationships with top tier Talent, responding to this key development.
Our new tool also allows brands to gain real-time management of Stories, providing them with an approval feature that will be especially beneficial to Brands wanting to amplify events, and well as those who more generally want to establish their voice within the influencer space.
Are there any exciting trends within the influencer marketing space right now?
The most exciting is the use of Tech and how we can develop it to not only combat bad practice but more importantly to create more meaningful measures and insights, such as ROI.
At Model Village, we have a dedicated team of software engineers whose mission is to address both these challenges. Most obviously it is to be one step ahead of the latest trends in bad practice so that we can reassure potential and existing clients of the validity of their audience figures. More excitingly it is to establish what is next so that we can continue to develop tools and measures that are unique to Model Village and our clients.
And the biggest challenge faced?
In a word: credibility.
There are too many negatives surrounding the industry and there is a real risk that those companies tolerating, or even encouraging, bad practice end up shaping the narrative.
We must have a zero-tolerance policy to anyone whose actions challenge this credibility, whether it be fake followers and engagement or unreliable measurement and metrics, also as an industry we should have no qualms about calling out those that do.
In your opinion, what kind of attributes stand out in a successful influencer marketing campaign?
If the rationale for an influencer campaign is creating an authentic connection that resonates not only with the brand and the talent, but with their audience as well, then one of the most important attributes is identifying the right talent in the first place. This is one of the reasons we created our Dual Targeting technology which allows us to target profiles based on both the Influencers values as well as their audience demographics and match profiles who align with each brand identity.
The quality and style of the content is another massive factor. This is of key importance for brands to recognise, as whilst we know that audiences are alert to the fact that influencers are being paid for their posts, we must also ensure that they don’t feel the talent has “sold-out” in order to make a quick buck, and have stayed true to their values.
Finally, measurement. It’s paramount that everyone is clear from the outset what the aimed results are, and that the correct processes are in place to ensure these client objectives are met so that once the campaign has finished these results are shared. Consequently, each report needs to be clearly detailed on what was achieved and ideally exceeds client expectation.
How does it feel to be sponsoring the category for Best Beauty Campaign at the IMAs?
It’s certainly inspiring for us to be sponsoring this year’s category at the IMAs, especially as our clientele maintains pivotal focus on recognition on beauty.
We are excited to be a part of this journey and look forward to attending the ceremony and support the success of the event.
You’re also been shortlisted in two categories: Best Fashion & Style Campaign and Best Sports & Fitness Campaign. How does it feel to be nominated for two awards?
It’s an amazing achievement to receive this industry recognition, especially for two categories which ultimately represent the diverse range of our expertise within the influence space.
Lastly, how will Model Village help drive the influencer marketing industry forward on a global scale in 2019?
In 2019 our mission is to become the leading Premium Influencer Marketing Platform that continues to provide a high-quality, fully managed & end-to-end service for brands on a global scale.
Our technology will continue to transform the space, enabling clients to maintain full control over their digital identity as we react and evolve alongside the mobile-first generation and respond to upcoming industry demands and trends.
The diverse nature of our talent pool will also evolve during 2019, responding to the demand for talent collaborations who have true expertise in their field, thus giving them the authority to talk about a given topic with credibility.