In this interview we catch-up with James Plumb, who is the Paid Media Manager at Evolution Power Tools (https://evolutionpowertools.com/uk/). James shares his views on the influencer marketing industry, how Evolution Power Tools use influencer created content to drive their business forward and their strategy to enroll micro-influencers as powerful brand advocates, for their tools and products around the world.
What does ‘influencer marketing’ mean to Evolution Power Tools?
To us, Influencer marketing means building relationships with content creators and thought leaders, aiming to turn them in to brand and product advocates. Influencer marketing is for us the most cost effective forms of advertising. We can reach highly targeted audiences and generate highly engaging, shareable content without ever touching a camera. It arms us with an arsenal of user generated content that can be amplified in a variety of different ways.
How do you integrate influencer marketing into the mix?
We use influencer marketing in a variety of ways. Primarily its an awareness and content engine. We generate awareness and engagement through our collaborations and can even create direct response campaigns with the help of tracking links. It has also begun to be part of our product development process, the feedback and opinions gathered through influencer reviews helps us shape our design, manufacture and fulfilment process.
In addition to this, the content that is created by Influencers becomes a content bank that we can dip into when required. They create authentic, honest pieces of content that features our products. When that is coupled with positivity and a high level of consumer trust – it becomes a powerful tool, especially when its backed up with paid social media campaigns.
How do you discover and vet the right influencers to work with?
A lot of the time discovering Influencers is a manual or organic process. We very much ‘live’ in the community when it comes to social media. We circulate regular organic and paid content across a variety of channels and interact daily with 100’s of profiles and users. This creates opportunities to engage with influencers on a personal level and build relationships from there. In addition to this, when scaling a campaign we will actively search YouTube and Instagram using a variety of industry, tool specific and competitor search terms and build contact lists in that way. Occasionally we are approached by Influencers and advocates themselves who reach out to us in order to set up collaborations and product tests. Once we’ve established that initial contact and connection, we use Dyzio to assess their social media presence, which Dyzio automatically ranks, from Micro to Mega. So it is easy to know exactly who we are dealing with.
What changes have you seen in influencer sector?
The biggest change I have seen in this sector is the growth. Two to three years ago ‘Influencer marketing’ was treated with suspicion by marketers and probably rightly so.
Now there are more ways to track success with tools like Dyzio, readily available to marketers. Companies like MVMT watches, The North Face or GymShark have really shone the spotlight on the power of Influencer marketing. For us, it means we have more backing for campaigns at board level as they can see the power of this tactic. We now have more budget to allocate to collaborations and building influencer relationships. This means an increase in workloads, and Dyzio has helped us keep a handle on that.
What are the biggest challenges you face when running influencer campaigns?
For Evolution Power Tools specifically, the hardest part of running Influencer campaigns is the outreach and fulfilment stages. With over 600 influencers operating in local languages (outside of English) contact and delivery can be a challenge.
How do you define success for these campaigns?
Several different ways depending on the objective of the campaign. Currently we are breaking in to new markets, new languages and new territories. For us the most important things right now are brand awareness and views on content featuring our tools. By working with high profile YouTube vloggers in the DIY, Project, First Fix and Maker communities we are able to gain targeted exposure in new markets for a relatively small cost. This year we are hoping to achieve over 5 million views on video featuring our tools.
What trends do you see having an impact on the industry?
In terms of trends, I think relationship strength and trust is a huge factor in the world of influencer marketing. I believe people are too hung up on Influencer follower counts, and not focusing on the engagement from each influencer. We personally work with a large amount of “Micro” and “Macro” influencers, we find that collectively – they have just as much power as one high profile influencer. A genuine and long term brand and product advocate at micro level is often more powerful than a high profile ‘one and done’ approach. I would encourage marketers to build true advocates that are looking for more than just a pay day for a one off post. In terms of opportunities, TikTok seems to be on the rise and could present an excellent opportunity for brands to engage with a younger audience demographic.
How do you use technology to support your influencer activities?
We use technology in a variety of ways in order to make Influencer campaigns successful. From hosting all our briefs, agreements and documentation on the cloud in multiple languages, to utilising CRM software in order to keep track of relationships and campaign progress. Platforms like Dyzio allow us to collate, analyse and act on data in real-time. It makes decision making more streamlined and data driven instead of relying on gut feelings and follower counts.
How do you think technology should develop, to support companies who are working in this space?
The more insight, data and detail the better. As influencer marketing develops it’s important that technology allows marketers to develop with it. That could mean quickly adapting to new platforms and social networks where influencer content is being published, to assisting in influencer outreach and on-boarding. As our campaigns get bigger, software solutions must do all they can to make dealing with large amounts of information easier.
What’s the one influencer campaign that you’re most proud of?
Our current Spanish brand and product awareness campaign is one that we are particularly proud of. We’ve launched a new range of products in collaboration with a Spanish retailer, so we were looking to gain exposure on their exclusive range. We were targeted to generate 400K views on content featuring our tools. We created a Spanish outreach list, fulfilled all collaboration requests and have generated over 1.5 million views on content featuring tools within the range.
Examples of Evolution’s influencer content
Check out Evolution’s social channels
About James Plumb
James has almost 10 years of marketing experience and specialises in paid and earned media. He’s worked in a variety of niches – including power tools, sports and fitness supplementation, automobiles, fashion/footwear and outdoor pursuits. At Evolution he is responsible for all international influencer and collaboration campaigns, as well as paid social media campaigns. He’s a big believer in working smarter, not harder and try to adapt to the latest marketing technology to make the most of what’s available.