By Alex Banx
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 09/20/2018—The marketing experts over at #paid have over 13,000 influencers in their network matched up with the biggest brands in the world. Dogs, cat, birds, lizards, all our furbabies, interspecies roommates, and animal companions have soon-to-be fans eagerly waiting to follow them online so we don’t miss their next video or cute picture. But how do we reach those fans and what happens once we do?
THT asked Richard Wong, VP of Marketing & Creator Relations at #paid, the serious questions. Let’s start from the beginning:
THT: How and when did #paid get started?
Richard Wong: #paid got started as a way to help bring content creators and brands together in an effort to help content creators—often referred to as influencers—make a living doing what they love to do. It started off with our founders working with one of their friends before she ended up blowing up on Instagram and from there they worked with her and—the now—over 15,000 creators to make the process of working with creators more sophisticated and easier to scale.
THT: Photos and illustrators in Facebook groups seem like a great place to start to build a following. Can you discuss tips and tricks on how to turn our furry friends into social media rockstars?
Richard Wong: I’ll share the 3 tips for taking the steps to become a creator—my 3 C’s:
- It starts off with Consistency—start posting regularly and keep a consistent theme and voice for your furry friend.
- Once you’ve created some great content, then focus on building a Community—don’t forget that social media requires you to be social: follow other related accounts, leave personalized comments on those accounts, use the right hashtags, and engage with your followers.
- After you’ve developed a following and audience, then start Collaborating—reach out and work with other related accounts to develop content together, learn from others, and then start putting your account out to be open to work with brands through platforms like #paid or reaching out to the brands you love.
Photos and illustrations in Facebook groups are great ways to start creating content, but don’t forget there are many components of a social media post on platforms like YouTube and Instagram. On YouTube, the types of videos can range from daily vlogs to short videos of a specific theme. On Instagram, you can tell stories with post through photos, short videos, boomerangs, the written caption themselves, as well as Instagram stories. To share and get your content in front of the right eyeballs, participate in relevant online communities (there are a ton for your furry friends)—whether it’s a contest, getting featured, or engaging community members directly on their posts.
THT: Does #paid seek out animals?
Richard Wong: #paid seeks out any creator who’s creating original content (sorry, feature accounts that repost other people’s content) and meets our minimum threshold of 5000 followers on Instagram with an engagement rate (likes + comments) of over 1%. Our creators span from lifestyle bloggers, photographers, foodies, fitness gurus, and—of course—pet accounts.
THT: Feline Animal Influencer lovers have seen the Lil Bub & Friends doc and love Grumpy Cat merch; are they with #paid? If not, how are their marketing teams and #paid similar and different?
Richard Wong: Many mega accounts (think >1M followers) will have a full-time team behind the scenes—from personal assistants, business managers, editors, a dedicated talent agent, and possibly more. #paid works with a lot of these talent management teams on their brand collaborations. While we’re all working towards getting creators paid and working with brands, management teams are focused on their one or handful of creators on their roster, whereas #paid is an influencer marketing platform that will also use analytics and statistics on an influencers’ audience—including our AI-powered matching algorithm—to find the best roster from our 15,000+ community of creators. #paid works with micro-influencers—in addition to the large management groups—and uses technology to make it scalable and takes more of an analytical approach.
THT: Can we get breakdown of what #paid does for those pets that have already reached 5k or more followers?
Richard Wong: Pet owners with over 5K followers are now open for brands to connect with them to work on brand collaborations—after our creator relations team vets them for quality and originality.
- We educate creators how to become even better creators—ranging from engaging their online communities, connecting them with other creators, and how to be a professional creator that works seamlessly with brands.
- We help them price themselves and ensure that they get paid what they’ve requested—no low-balling, no negotiation, and they have a team of experts working with them from the start to the finish.
THT: Why do pets want to sign up with #paid?
- Get paid! – We’ll make sure you get paid your true value.
- Collaborate authentically— We make sure that the brands you work with are natural fits and extensions of them
- Focus on content creation, not pitching—Many other services will require creators to put together a pitch, proposal, and requires a lot of back and forth between the teams. By signing up, we bring deals to them, so they can focus on engaging their community and creating world-class content.
THT: We’ve seen the popularity of Animal Influencer’s help with raising awareness and acquiring funding support for animal healthcare struggles and other charitable contributions, it’s amazing what these pets have done. Any other tips or advice?
Richard Wong: One of the incredible parts of social media is the celebration of those that are unique and different, as well as giving a platform for those facing medical needs and allowing the public to rally around these causes. For all readers out there, embrace social media as a platform for this—whether it’s creating your own account to share what you might be going through or sharing your support for those great causes online.
THT: Thank you Richard, and #paid.