Brisbane Digital Spotlight is a blog series that aims to shine light on the exceptional talent within the city’s digital community. With each post, I uncover a devoted individual within my network who I’ve recognised to be deeply engaged in the digital industry. Whether it be a Digital Marketer, a Developer, a Co-founder, a Project Manager, or even a Recruiter – my goal is to highlight the work these remarkable individuals do; day in, day out.
In this instalment, I caught up with influencer marketing extraordinaire, Teagan West. Earlier in the year, I had the pleasure of collaborating with Teagan throughout my first influencer marketing experience. Teagan is an all-round superstar at Scrunch, who manages both internal content strategies, whilst also working with brands to drive meaningful influencer engagements.
Tell me about your past work history and how you ended up in the digital space?
While studying a Bachelor of Journalism at university I interned at Brisbane Threads, a lifestyle publication that highlights the best of Brisbane across fashion, beauty, food, events and lifestyle and helps put a spotlight on emerging and local brands. After the internship I continued to contribute to Brisbane Threads as I enjoyed exploring Brisbane and writing about everything our city has to offer, and I thought I wanted to be a lifestyle journalist, so it was great experience while I was at uni.
However, when I graduated, I fell into a marketing role as an Account Manager at a Digital Agency (Search Factory) and found my feet in digital marketing. I kept writing for Brisbane Threads on the side and eventually started to manage all aspects of Brisbane Threads on the weekends and at night (because you know, what is free time!). For most of 2015 I did a juggling act between full-time work and Brisbane Threads, until Danielle Lewis (Founder of Brisbane Threads and CEO at Scrunch) offered me a job at her startup Scrunch, where I’ve been hustling ever since.
In case anyone has been living under a rock, could you tell us a little about Scrunch and the exciting work they produce?
Scrunch is a data-driven influencer marketing platform. We connect brands and agencies to over 20 million global bloggers and social influencers, plus we’ve got the data to make sure they are the right choice for your campaign and align best to your brand, your message, and your target market.
Scrunch is a technology platform to help brands manage and run their influencer campaigns, and we have a team of experienced influencer marketing campaign managers who can support along the way, or execute the campaign on your behalf.
So what exactly are your working roles at Scrunch?
I started at Scrunch in Marketing and Content Development, with a big focus on the Scrunch blog, social media channels and copywriting to drive leads. We were constantly talking to brands about influencer marketing, best practices and the challenges of working with influencers, and then one day, Danielle said “Why don’t we make it super simple and manage their campaign for them” and the rest, as they say, is history.
My role morphed into Account Management with Content and Social Media Marketing on the side and as Scrunch kept growing (and we started working with some pretty freaking awesome brands) my role become dedicated to Campaign Management, so I’m now working directly with our clients and users to help them throughout their influencer marketing journey through all steps of the process – from strategy development and influencer research to briefing influencers, relationship management, reporting and optimisations, all with the help of the epic Scrunch platform of course.
You’ve been with Scrunch for 2 years now, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt when it comes to influencer marketing?
2 years – time flies when you’re having fun! As with any start-up that has plans to take over the world, a lot of lessons have been learnt along the way. Then throw in the challenges of influencer marketing, and the fact that influencer marketing is still a relatively new marketing channel and largely unregulated, the lessons were coming in thick and fast.
The first lesson I learned was the importance of a solid briefing document and formal briefing process when engaging influencers for a campaign, especially if they are receiving remuneration. While the large majority of influencers are great to work with and are professional and prompt, there are some horror stories out there (we’ve been pretty lucky though!). A solid briefing document with the key messages, moodboard, product information and deliverables is key to a successful (and less stressful!) collaboration.
The other lesson I’ve learned, is that you really need to dive deeper into the audience of the influencer and their engagement before engaging them for a campaign. While number of followers, location and gender of the influencer and content aesthetic is important, it’s irrelevant if the influencer doesn’t engage with your target market, because that’s the goal of influencer marketing after all. You’re not going to sell bikinis to millennial women if the model you are working with is largely followed by men (which happens, a lot). Scrunch has released a new Audience Analysis feature within the influencer marketing platform to dive deeper into the demographics and characteristics of the influencer’s audience to ultimately make better influencer marketing decisions. For example, when looking at the audience analysis data for an influencer I was going to reach out to, I discovered that 80% of their followers were located in Brazil, which is not ideal for a campaign that needs to reach an Australian audience (it’s also an indication of illegitimate followers too because it’s very unusual for an Australian micro-influencer to have so many followers in Brazil). This data is pretty epic, and critical in influencer marketing, yet so many brands aren’t tapping into the data that is available to make smarter influencer marketing decisions.
What are your predictions for influencer marketing as it continues to become a more popular medium? Are there any emerging trends we should know about?
As influencer marketing becomes more sophisticated and more brands jump on the bandwagon, basing decisions on data will become critical. I know I’ve already harped on about data enough, but it really is where it’s at in influencer marketing if you want to receive a return on your investment. Brands and marketers aren’t tapping into the data that is available, and instead select influencers based on how many followers they have, which is crazy considering you wouldn’t run an Adwords campaign, for example, without looking at the data that is available first to ensure your campaign has the best chance of success. Brands who have a data-driven approach to influencer marketing will be better off in the long run.
Because I can’t help myself – another trend I think will continue is the power of micro-influencers as marketers start to understand and realise just how beneficial it is to work with micro-influencers in their influencer strategy.
Any side projects you’re working on?
Apart from a pathetic attempt to make my sidekick @frankietheschmoodle Instagram famous? Nup!
What’s your favourite thing about working in digital?
This sounds corny and cliche, but I love that every day is different and there are always new challenges, new projects and new technologies to master. The digital space, and specifically the influencer marketing space, is evolving at rapid speed, and call me crazy, but I kind of dig it.
What are some of your favourite things to do around sunny Brisbane when not at work?
I am one of those people who treats their dog like a human (she comes to work with me, every day) so naturally, we hang out with our dog a lot on the weekend and love going to dog-friendly places around Brisbane. Our current favourites are the Milton Farmers Markets on Sunday mornings, Eat Street North Shore and any cafe in close proximity to a dog park (I’m looking at you, Bruno’s at Tarragindi).
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I’m a twenty-two year old Digital Marketing & Conversions Specialist based in Brisbane, Australia. With a passion for all things digital and tech, I aim to connect and learn from as many like-minded digital enthusiasts as possible. If you have a passion for emerging technologies and digital practices, I’d love to connect and hear your story.