Telling Story Through Influence: Q&A with Trend CEO Ramon Berrios
Jordan Kelley, Content Director, BrandStorytelling.tv
Influencer-generated content, when done right, has the ability to tell a story that informs and entertains rather than interrupts. With attention spans as fragmented as they are, every extra second a consumer takes to engage with your influencer partner’s content is valuable. There’s even more value to be found in the ways influencer-generated content is used. These are the values and ideals held up at Trend, a platform for connecting brands with micro influencers.
Brand Storytelling caught up with Trend CEO Ramon Berrios to learn more about the value of tapping an influencer network like Trend and the value of turning influencer content into UGC ads.
What need did you see in the marketplace that inspired you to create Trend? We saw that influencer marketing was starting to become more structured but not to the benefit of brands or creators. Most platforms were just scraping social media platforms and adding influencers to their database without their knowledge.
So the result was that brands were still spending a lot of time on outreach and creators getting pitched on products they weren't interested in. It became very transactional and time-consuming for both parties.
So we created a no-nonsense marketplace with pre-negotiated rates and a curated, invite-only network that gets to apply to brand campaigns instead of brands pitching them directly.
Brands could spend less time finding creators and could complete campaigns in just a few weeks. They could also scale this process. For the creators, there were no surprises and they could work with more brands faster. More focus on relationships than just transactions.
What sets Trend apart from other influencer networks and agencies? We are invite-only. Every influencer on the network has to apply to join Trend. We thoroughly review every profile that applies and vet for content quality (our #1 factor), engagement, audience, and more.
By having a curated network, we're able to get campaigns completed much faster for brands, and with better quality. Our network gives us a lot more control on making sure the end product is excellent.
At Trend you have your own philosophy on implementing influencer generated brand content, can you elaborate on what that is? What that means is that the value of influencer content doesn't just come from the post. That's a part of it but if you only focus on the post you're missing the opportunity for greater value. Influencer content does great on ads, can be whitelisting, used on your website, landing pages, emails, and more. There's just a ton of extra value you can generate from the content.
Specifically for ads, we've seen brands swap their creative for influencer content and 4X their existing return on ad spend.
What value do you place on UGC over traditional ad buys? Both are important to run and they should be done hand in hand. Creating UGC and using it in performance marketing is the way to go!
In what way(s) should brands prepare to search for an influencer partner when using Trend? For brands, all they need to do is create a free campaign on our platform. Interested influencers will apply and brands can select the ones they want to work with. Just $100/creator.
Based on the relationships between brands and influencers that you’ve observed, what piece of advice might you give brands who haven’t previously found success working with influencers?
Make sure you are not judging the success of your campaign just on the post. You need to reuse the content you receive from influencers in ads, your site, social media, email, etc. You also should have a goal for your campaign - what kind of content are you trying to acquire? Understand that content is the most important piece of this exchange.
Learn more about Trend here.
About Ramon Berrios
Ramon Berrios is the CEO of Trend, the marketplace facilitating bespoke original creative for brands by top influencers.