Following the success of this year’s Influencer Marketing Awards (IMAs), the ceremony is returning on March 25, 2020, in association with new marketplace Kindred. Kindred has just launched and has many tricks up its sleeve to shake up the influencer marketing space as we know it. That’s why we’re so pleased to have them involved in the glam annual London event. We catch up with Natalia Cortazar, vice president of advocate partnerships at Kindred about industry trends, cause-led campaigns and what they’re involved in at the awards. 

First of all, could you give us a quick overview of Kindred and what you do for those that may not know?

Kindred enables its users to share what they love and make genuine recommendations on their social channels, whilst promoting significant savings on some of the world’s top brands and local stores. As people accept recommendations, a percentage of these sales goes to the advocate and directly to a charity that they choose.Kindred is the new way for brands to engage directly with customers and harness the power of word-of-mouth. It’s creating a new global community of conscious consumers.

We are so pleased to have you involved in the Influencer Marketing Awards. What are you most looking forward to and why are events like this so vital for our industry?

We want to create a healthier influencer marketing space and you can only do that by supporting good practices, campaigns, platforms, and agencies. When we showcase a good case study, we add what we think is beneficial for the industry, and that’s why events like the IMAs become crucial as they provide us with the perfect place to make it happen.Giving back. We may be biased because this is our main goal and the pillar of our ethos but we really believe in the power of solidarity and cause-supporting campaigns. In fact, one in four influencers would be open to donating part of their campaign fees or commission to a charitable cause.

In your opinion, what elements make an influencer marketing campaign a success?

Authenticity, performance, and clarity on the goals you want to achieve. Success is not only up to the creator to achieve, we, as professionals, need to create insightful briefs, curate influencer lists and produce attractive and worthwhile campaigns, etc.For us at Kindred, the influencers hold the power in choosing campaigns. So it is imperative to research trends, team up with exciting brands and advise them on what’s the best they can offer to talent so they make the most of the partnership.

You are sponsoring the new Best Cause-Led Campaign category. How can we as an industry tackle big, global issues?

By focusing on those issues and listening to what charities really need. At our IMS panel earlier this year, Rachel Stephenson (from IG Advisors) highlighted the importance of donating RIGHT – consumers and brands don’t always support social projects in the best way possible. We need to listen, then act. Every little helps and it takes an individual person to start doing things right to create a movement and get people involved – look at Greta Thunberg, for example.

What ways can brands and influencers authentically engage users in a progressive, cause-led campaign?

As mentioned above, people are more and more conscious of helping each other. Many influencers refuse to work with clients that are not committed to a cause and giving back campaigns are on the rise. The best way to engage customers and influencers in charitable campaigns is to integrate them into their daily content sharing process. At Kindred, we pride ourselves on having created the perfect channel to make this happen. Influencers just need to share content and links as if they were doing an organic recommendation but they will be supporting a charitable project within the same action.

How are you seeing brands and influencers keep up with consumer demands and the fast-paced changes of the industry?

Although it is new, the industry is already fairly complex – awareness and ‘likes’ are dying and brands and creators need to raise their game if they want to be part of the industry. For us, the biggest trends are:
  • Conscious campaigns: sustainability, giving back.
  • Authenticity: payment for product placement is dying, consumers don’t buy this anymore and neither does Instagram’s algorithm.
  • Power to the consumer: Any individual has the power to be an influencer and we need to leverage their potential.

Lastly, what is Kindred doing to help push the influencer marketing space forward?

We firmly believe that influencer marketing needs to be divided into content marketing (branded) and people’s performance marketing (PPC). We need to stop paying people based on their followers or likes and start paying them for quality if what we want is content to use on our channels. Influencers can act as creators and production companies and should be paid for that.On the other hand, if we want to drive sales, these need to be tracked and influencers need to be paid based on performance rather than vanity metrics. Paying a non-creative influencer whose content is not curated just ‘hoping’ they’ll drive sales could be a mistake. We need to track ROI and pay accordingly. You pay PPC based on conversions, right? Why don’t we do the same with influencers when we want sales?That’s what we are on about at Kindred. We provide the environment for influencers to share the brands they really love and the ones they’ll drive sales to – and they’ll be paid for it. We are a success tracking platform that will uncover real influence and will reveal clear metrics for brands to effectively measure their influencer marketing. And we are supporting more than 50,000 charities worldwide whilst doing so!

Make sure you follow the #IMA20 hashtag and join in the conversation online. Final entries close on November 27. Find out more about the Influencer marketing Awards here.

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