GroupM launches own influencer platform where creators will work until ‘guaranteed’ targets hit

Sam Buckingham-Jones – Deputy Editor

GroupM has launched its own influencer platform – and says if the influencers don’t deliver, they will keep content coming until client metrics are hit – because it is guaranteeing outcomes. But INCA said it also has other levers to pull.

What you need to know:

  • GroupM has launched its own influencer marketing platform, INCA, in Australia.
  • The media agency claims it can guarantee outcomes for brands – and will add more influencer posts, or negotiate extra ones, if content doesn’t perform.
  • Influencer marketing is expected to be a A$18 billion global industry in 2022.

GroupM says its influencer marketing platform, INCA, can guarantee sales, reach, video views, landing page visits or other commercial outcomes for brands and it will get “extra value” from influencers, or add new ones to a campaign, when posts fall short.

The WPP-owned holdco today launched INCA in the Australian market bidding to tap a global market forecast to be worth A$18bn in calendar 2022.

“The industry is often bought on a CPM [cost per 1000 views] basis, and as a rule of thumb, the pricing of the influencer goes in line with the size of the influencer – the more followers you have the more you should be able to charge for a piece of content. Very simplistic metric,” Arthur Altounian from GroupM’s APAC INCA team said.

“But often what we’ve seen is there is no accountability in terms of delivering the outcomes. So it doesn’t mean that (because) you have a significant amount of followers that you’re going to deliver a real impact for your brand.”

Around 80 per cent of influencers in Australia are smaller scale, described as “nano influencers”, meaning they have 1,000 to 5,000 followers, or “micro influencers”, with 5,000 to 100,000 followers.

But many larger influencers and celebrities are managed by talent agencies that may prefer to work directly with brands – and not with agency tech platforms. That’s fine, Altounian said. Brands can manage the relationship themselves, if they can. Otherwise, INCA’s team will project manage the campaign and measure it using the platform.

Whatever the structure, INCA says it can set a minimum outcome for influencer campaigns. While brands are primarily asking for reach and video views, a push into e-commerce and social commerce means more are asking for influencer campaigns to attribute direct sales and ‘add to basket’ metrics.

“We do take accountability on the outcomes,” Altounian said.

“In case the campaign doesn’t perform – because that happens – we will create or we will work with the influencers to get extra value, extra pieces of content, or if we think that once the campaign is live and running we are short in terms of reach or in terms of views or in terms of engagement, we will also suggest additional influencers to the client and not charge for it, for example. So that will be on us if, for example, we mis-predicted the level of engagement we will deliver.”

GroupM said INCA, which is used in 30 countries and has placed 35,000 pieces of content, can identify brand safe influencers, develop content and lets brands see which influencers competitors are using.  

The original headline to this article used the term influencer ‘factory’. A GroupM spokesperson said that was inaccurate.

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