Tanaz Dizadji is no stranger to entrepreneurship, having founded search-centric city guide Insydo in 2016 and garnering over half a million users per month.
Fast forward just a year later and Dizadji has already launched her second venture, Middle East micro-influencer platform Brand Ripplr.
The concept aims to solve the “logistical nightmare” of facilitating influencer marketing campaigns, an issue she herself faced when working with brands for Insydo. As for the Brand Ripplr name, it refers to the engagement waves that micro-influencers have the ability to create through social media thanks to genuine followers.
We chat to Dizadji on why, and how, she set up Brand Ripplr and what keeps driving her forward.
Why does the influencer market need Brand Ripplr?
While everyone is talking about the benefits of influencer campaigns, the reality is that it is a difficult, time-consuming and very manual process. Whether you’re an individual, an SME or a big brand, the same industry frustrations exist when trying to bring an influencer marketing campaign to life.
These problems include finding and booking the right influencers, performance-tracking issues, pricing, and concerns about the actual effectiveness of a campaign that you are investing time and money into. Brand Ripplr has taken all these issues and translated them into a product that automates the entire process, allowing clients to work with influencers and create start-to-finish campaigns online.
Why the decision to focus on micro-influencers?
There is a social shift right now where customers are more likely to follow recommendations from micro-influencers as opposed to over-commercialised macro influencers, and brands are starting to realise that. Micro-influencers also have higher rates of engagement from a more trusted audience. A group of micro-influencers can achieve better results than macro-influencers for a lot less money.
Social media platforms such as Instagram introduced guidelines to try and regulate influencer marketing campaigns. Do you think the market needs more of it?
Yes. There’s definitely a stigma attached to the word “influencer” right now. There is a need to combat issues with pricing, data and performance, which is exactly why Brand Ripplr exists. The Federal Trade Commission in the US is ahead of the game, and they’re now imposing far more regulations to enforce transparency. If the content is strong and there’s genuine interest, an influencer’s audience don’t mind such collaborations. It only goes wrong when there is a mismatch of influencer and brand or over-commercialisation of the influencer.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when launching Brand Ripplr?
Educating brands about the global shift from macro to micro is definitely a challenge in a city that can often be swayed by big names and big numbers rather than true capability. It’s important to look beyond the numbers and the social media mask; brands need to dig deeper into data – location, gender, age, and engagement – to decipher the effectiveness of an influencer.
What are some of the technical difficulties that come with such a concept?
Influencer booking technologies are relatively new, so delivering a product like Brand Ripplr has its difficulties since the platform can’t be benchmarked yet. The social media landscape is also always evolving, so reacting and adapting to change is key. Since we track performance and data, we have to constantly react to major trends that are typically rolled out by global giants such as Facebook and Instagram.
We’ve seen what happened with Logan Paul. Is working with the wrong influencers ever a concern for you?
Buying into a profile, an identity, is always going to be a concern, especially when they have a mega audience like Logan Paul... At the end of the day, you cannot control people, so you are vulnerable to what that influencer may have done in the past or may do in the future. However, you can alleviate the level of risk and avoid vulnerability as a brand. Working with micro-influencers can be a safer option since the micros do not have the celebrity status to cause a global outcry.
What are some of your concerns about influencers here?
Reliability. However, we have ensured that our system has trigger communications in order to avoid such issues as far as possible. It automates a lot of the processes to facilitate both brands and influencers, allowing them to move through the journey efficiently and effectively.
What is your business model?
Brand Ripplr receives a percentage commission for the posts that clients buy through the platform. There are no subscription fees or sign-up costs. The clients only pay for the posts that they like, so the quality of our product and the micro-influencers’ is of utmost importance to all stakeholders.
Some experts argue that social media influencing is a bubble that will soon die out. Agree?
Yes, for the mega influencers – which will allow for the shift to micro-influencers. Unless the likes of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat disappear, influencer marketing won’t die out. Brands will need to connect with content creators for compelling campaigns that can reach relevant audiences.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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