Gil Eyal: Under The Influence
By Justin Epstein on Feb 09, 2018
HYPR Founder sits on One Show 2018 Social Influencer Marketing Jury
For better or for worse (and usually a healthy dose of both) social media has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives — and some individuals have truly harnessed the power of this medium. These influencers are followed by millions, and brands have been quick to recognize the potential of working with these people on such a unique canvas.
Last year, The One Show introduced a new Social Influencer Marketing category in order to highlight brands and influencers who have shined in this symbiotic relationship (you can see this year's winners here.) We are gearing up for the 2018 edition of The One Show, and we are excited to present the Social Influencer Marketing Jury — including Gil Eyal, CEO and Founder of HYPR, the world's largest influencer search and discovery directory.
We had a chance to chat with Gil about the ever-evolving world of social influencers, how internet fame can be fleeting, and how brands can maximize their relationships with social media superstars.
Can you give us a bit of background about how HYPR! came to be?
I come from a digital marketing background – everything I’ve ever done was driven by targeting and segmentation. In 2010, I found myself doing celebrity buys for a startup named Mobli. I was spending tremendous amounts of money on celebrities without knowing anything about their audience and it didn’t sit well with me.
I started seeing how smaller influencers with specific audiences were outperforming the celebrities and it all made sense. Traditional marketing fundamentals applied here, the same way they applied somewhere else. Everyone around me we starting to talk about activating social media influencers but they were looking at vanity metrics such as followers and likes, and I wanted to introduce real marketing metrics to this world.
In a recent article at Refinery29, you mention that controversial YouTube star Logan Paul runs the risk of 'disappearing.' What is the shelf life of an influencer and how does one evade the '15 minutes' of fame?
It’s extremely difficult to predict. Look at people like the Grier Brothers. Two years ago they were unstoppable. Look at the trend around them now.
The shelf life really varies. Influencers that are based on controversy will need to continuously up their game and create bigger controversies. They will always be competing with others that will be trying to do something even more extravagant. There’s no alternative to cultivating and audience and building a real and meaningful relationship with them.
What are your tips to building a large social following to secure the big money?
It’s possible that big money isn’t going to be available for long. Brands are starting to realize how replaceable influencers are. They way to command the most value is to dominate a specific niche. If you are a must have, you can negotiate with brands. Look at Unbox Therapy. It’s very hard to find an alternative. There are plenty of smaller channels, but if he doesn’t review your product, it’s glaringly missing.
Influencers have to realize the shortcuts aren’t something that can last for long. You can do some crazy things and get instant fame, but the results will be similar to this video. A lot of it has to do with luck or being caught on trend. Just look at the kid of Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl selfie — he's already verified by Instagram).
The real way is to work hard. Create quality content. Tag relevant brands to help them know you exist. Respond to every comment. Go over your DMs and communicate. Become influential and not just Famous.
"It’s possible that big money isn’t going to be available for long. Brands are starting to realize how replaceable influencers are."
Why do you think Social Influencers are so important in digital marketing right now? Do you think this marketing channel has longevity?
Acquiring a customer on traditional digital channels costs 3 to 4 times as much as it used to. It’s only going to get worse. Ad blocking, click fraud, two players dominating the channels and keeping a large part of the pie. Advertisers have no choice but to look at other channels. Two years ago there were 20,000 jobs on Indeed with the keyword SEO and 0 with Influencer Marketing. Last month it was 9,000 to 7,000. Where there are jobs there are budgets, and influencer marketing is just getting started.
As we head into The One Show 2018, the number of entrants are sure to be wondering what makes for a successful collaboration between influencers and brands. As one of this year's judges, what are your thoughts on this?
There’s a combination of art and science. There has to be a chemistry. It has to be believable. The content has to be real. But you can’t ignore the science. There’s no point in working with influencers who don’t influence your audience. Chasing fame instead of influence results in a lot of people who don’t matter that are familiar with your brand. A successful collaboration starts with choosing someone who actually influencers the audience you want to reach, and building a relationship with them, that their audience trusts and believe.
The One Show 2018 entry deadline has been extended to February 16, 2018.