Technology connects entrepreneurial brands with top fans

NEW YORK – When Amber Atherton became a co-producer and star of the British reality TV show “Made in Chelsea” in 2012, celebrity makers from everything from cream cheese to leggings wanted to pay her big bucks to promote their products.

It happened even though he didn’t use most of the accessories.

That experience is now an instructive moment for 26-year-old Atherton. She also fought to find out who her influential customers were at her online jewelry company, My Flash Trash, which she sold in 2016. This inspired him to start a software company. A year later, Zipper merged brands such as Kellogg’s, Nestl এবং and cosmetics manufacturer Ritual with “Super Fan” instead of paying professional influencers.

Zyper, which relocated from London to San Francisco in 2018, analyzed data from public social media to identify the top 1% of fans of a label. Brands can then chat with those fans and list them to act as brand ambassadors on social sites in exchange for access to new products and events. So far, Atherton has seen these “super fans” drive twice the average order price compared to other traffic sources for many brands.

Zyper has raised $ 8 million in funding, and Atherton is looking to expand its clients – primarily consumer goods companies – to include automobiles and banks.

Atherton’s message comes at a time when influential economies are increasingly rife with fraud and deception. Influential people have been criticized for increasing their followers or even for not using the products they support. HyperAuditor, an analytics firm, has investigated nearly 2 million Instagram accounts and discovered that more than half of them have increased the number of followers by fraud. According to Roberto Cavazos, professor of statistics at the University of Baltimore, such influential scams cost advertisers an estimated $ 1.3 billion last year. Cavajos predicts that number will increase to $ 1.7 billion this year.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Atherton talks about why there is distrust in influential marketing and how brands are starting to look to the niche-based community to find their fans. Questions and answers are edited for clarity and length.

Q: How does Zipper technology work?

A: Most brands know who their top customers are and their top influential customers but almost none of them know who their top fans are – the daily fans of the brand who make an impact on a peer-to-peer level. Uses a combination of computer vision and natural language processing to detect very granular indicators of the zipper effect. We never looked at how many followers someone has. We take public data from social networks and customer data and then run complex queries to identify people who have a strong affinity for the brand.

Q. Then what?

A: Once we have identified the top 1%, we reach out to consumers and invite them to join the brand or interest-based community that is hosted on our software. It can be a dark community – a chat-based focus group with the brand or a public one where fans co-create content with the brand and expand the content. But the best part is connecting fans to each other in real life chats, exchanging skills – real friendships are built through these brand communities.

Q. Describe the influential market at the moment.

A: I started to see it bitter in 2017, when we launched Zyper with this anti-influencer message. Access barriers are so low, you can buy 10,000 followers in 10 minutes and easily use any free editing app to create great content. Anyone can be a billboard and anyone willing to make some simple money by posting a picture of toothpaste or leggings. But brands are waking up to the fact that what Facebook looks like as a quick fix to the rising cost of acquisitions is really a hoax that creates zero returns on investment.

Q. What do you see as the future of influential people?

A. The future is going to be difficult for the influential. Brands are saving and demanding real returns on investment. My advice would be to focus on becoming an expert in a particular niche for influential people and building their community.

Anne d’inosenzio, Associated Press

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