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Q&A: Anthony Richardson on How Kitly Business is Professionalising Influencer Partnerships

Earlier this week, Australian influencer MarTech startup, Q-83, launched its new talent and collaboration management hub, Kitly Business and Kitly app for talent. We caught up with managing director, Anthony Richardson to find out what challenges the new the technology is solving and how they are helping professionalise the way talent, brands and agencies manage and execute partnerships.

What led you to launch Kitly and Kitly Business and why now?

Q-83 launched in August 2018. Initially, we had a strong focus on the authentication of social media accounts, value through verified media kits and source data directly from the platform’s APIs. After working closely with many talent, brands and agencies, we quickly learnt that there was so much more we can offer to help professionalise the industry. With this in mind, we split the Q-83 platform in two.

The first half is the heart of the system, Kitly, an Android and iOS app that provides productivity and management tools to talent to help manage the day-to-day operations of their business. Talent and their agents are able to securely share everything they need for a collaboration with the client without having to join a new platform every time.

The second half, Kitly Business allows brands, talent and creative agencies to report and measure on talent activations, even after they have ended. Its suite of tools also includes access to talent’s performance and audience insights, media kit creation and sharing as well as collaboration and deliverable management.

How do Kitly and Kitly Business work together?

We’ve designed the two platforms to bring brands and talent closer together, something which we think is really important.

Kitly is a suite of tools for talent, helping them to professionalise the way they pitch and manage brand collaborations. Information from the Kitly app then feeds through Kitly Business to help brands and agencies manage talent activations at scale.

The ultimate goal is to drive greater campaign effectiveness as well as deliver and measure real return on investment. It was essential that both work in harmony to simplify and professionalise the way all the entire eco-system does business. It’s a transparent and efficient way both sides can work together for the best results. 

What services will be provided for brands and agencies using Kitly Business?  

Kitly Business provides something that’s not been previously possible. Unlike print and digital advertising, that is taken down once the budget has expired, influencer content often has an afterlife. Kitly Business measures the long-tail campaign performance to help optimise ROI. We’ve seen that Instagram feed content can experience a 100% engagement increase in the 100 days following a campaign ending.

The platform has a unique collaboration feature making it easy for marketers to manage multiple talent and campaign activations from one place. Marketers can assign individual deliverables that feed through to the talent’s app to keep on top of deadlines. Once the campaign is live, marketers can then create single reports to track and monitor the success of a campaign with access to accurate performance-metrics in real-time – these reports can easily be shared with clients via the platform.  

How does the talent and collaboration management hub use first-party data? 

The insights we provide talent and agencies are essential to getting the best results. We’re a fully opt-in platform, which means talent link their social media accounts to Kitly. As such, exclusive audience and performance insights are pulled directly from the Instagram, Facebook and YouTube APIs. This provides talent and agencies access to accurate data, updated by the hour.

Ultimately, the goal is to be the go-to resource for sharing key insights with brands and agencies. Think of it similar to how the Audited Bureau of Circulation (ABC) and JICWEBS regulate print and digital publishing respectively. Kitly verifies talent insights and supports marketers in selecting the right talent to launch successful influencer marketing campaigns that align with business objectives.   

Tell us about the strategic partnership with News UK and how it’s evolved since Q-83 first launched?  

News UK’s influencer marketing agency The FIFTH became an exclusive partner in 2019, following Q-83’s launch in 2018. Through this strategic partnership, Q-83’s technology is used as part of The FIFTH’s talent audience verification, campaign management, and measurement process.

Essentially, The FIFTH will use the new talent and collaboration management hub to execute highly effective influencer campaigns for its brand clients.

We’re delighted that the partnership has now evolved with the exclusive launch of Kitly Business, Enterprise. The new suite of tools will support The FIFTH as an integral element to both the way we position their business and how they execute on campaigns for their brand clients.

Have you got any talent already onboard and how are you planning to sign-up up future talent?

Yes, all the 2000+ talent that have joined Q-83 over the past two years will automatically be migrated to Kitly. We have a number of agency partners and talent on board working with us to drive a new level of transparency and professionalism through our services. It’s exciting to see this level of talent that have jumped on board from the word go, and we’re looking forward to many more joining in the future.

What are your ambitions for the new talent and collaboration management hub? 

Our goal is to create an extraordinary product that talent love. Kitly aims to be the industry’s preferred and most widely adopted method of sharing commercial value with brands. By providing talent the tools to professionally share their value as publishers or creators, Kitly will help strengthen the whole influencer marketing ecosystem.

As our network of brands, agencies and talent continue to grow, we are looking to bring on new channels over the next 12 months including Twitter and TikTok. We will also look to make the app more accessible by offering multiple language options. We have big ambitions and this is just the start of the journey. Watch this space!

What trend are you seeing in the industry that excites you now?

The rising level of education within the industry is very exciting. In just two years the industry has grown so much. Talent, marketers and industry leaders have come together to build foundations for best practices and industry guidelines helping the industry move to a more professional setting.

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