Services Offered: Influencer DiscoveryCampaign Management
Channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest
In the very first post on this website, we made a big point about defining what influencers are—or, rather, who they are. Unlike celebrities, we said, “influencers can be anywhere. They can be anyone.” If anyone working for Mavrck read that post when it was first published, I imagine they were thinking something along the lines of, “Well, duh.”
Like a lot of influencer marketing software platforms, Mavrck began life as something very different. In 2012, the company launched as Splashscore, and its Fan Grader tool promised brands to find out who their 100 most engaged Facebook fans were. Brands could then use the list to reach out to these fans and try and get them to post things on their behalf, for whatever terms the two sides might agree on. You know, basic influencer marketing stuff.
It would be wrong to call Splashscore a failure, but it certainly wasn’t a success, either. If it were, it would still be around. Better than that, learning what didn’t work with Splashscore helped the company to identify better ways to serve the influencer marketing industry. And this is why you can’t call Splashscore a failure: the lessons learned there paved the way for something new and unique. Fast forward a little bit, and lot changed by 2014: they didn’t just rebrand, they rebooted. Splashscore became Mavrck, and their software became—well, also Mavrck, because that’s less confusing.
The end result is something that’s still deep in the influencer marketing game, but is playing by wildly different—and innovative—rules. The whole notion of spending time, searching through influencer search engines and filtering down to find people who fit into your vertical, match your style, have the right number of followers and engagement stats—that has its place for long-tail campaigns where the aim is a bigger, more loyal audience. Eventually, though, the point of building that audience is to turn them into customers. The idea behind Mavrck cleverly flips that normal process on its head, asking the question:
This question itself is already a unique—but common sense—approach to influencer marketing. When brands search for influencers, they typically like to start with someone who has already demonstrated an affinity for their company or products, and has a large following. Absent any brand affinity, they’ll settle for the big numbers. But then it can become a long courtship to activate that influencer—you’re essentially marketing to that one person in the hopes of future access to her audience. And you’ll do that despite all the evidence that the more followers an influencer has, the less engaged her audience will be.
Mavrck skips all that by finding influencers—micro-influencers specifically—from people who are already your customers. It’s part of a thoroughly programmatic approach to all aspects of influencer marketing.
Summary: Quick Jump Menu
Access to the Mavrck platform is sold on a subscription basis and the pricing is customised based on customer needs. If you’re wondering if it’s in your budget, here are two relevant facts that should help you figure that out:
- Mavrck’s current roster of clients features many big names: Gillette, Dunkin’ Donuts, Universal Studios, New Balance, Proctor & Gamble, Sears, and JetBlue. The list goes on, and you’ve heard of every company on that list.
- Mostly, influencer activation happens at checkout time—when a customer logs in and purchases something through the web or mobile. Because the point of the platform is to market at scale, this implies your e-commerce channels are already processing hundreds, if not thousands, of transactions per day. Mavrck’s own case study stats refer to results in terms of “per 1,000 influencers.” Read another way, that’s “per 1,000 customers.”
Mavrck works by connecting with your existing digital presences. You can set up a white-labeled standalone microsite, or use it as a plugin with your existing website, mobile app, and even email newsletter. The process for influencer identification is simple: customers log in to your site using their Facebook profile, at which point Mavrck grabs all the public and opt-in data associated with the account. The number of followers, posts, engagement (likes and comments), brand affinities, favorite movies, hometown—all of that gets ingested and parsed by the Mavrck algorithm. At this stage, what’s most important is the customer’s influence, measured by all the standard metrics for reach and engagement. At this point a determination is made about how influential this customer might be, and is automatically activated into a campaign that she’s qualified for.
Perhaps it helps to back up here: before any of the identification and activation can happen, you’ve got to setup and define all the kinds of campaigns you want to run. This all happens in the backend, where you can use one of Mavrck’s 20 predefined “digital activities” for your influencers to do. This could be something like sharing a coupon with friends, or even the creation of their own content featuring your brand. Your customers, of course, earn rewards for sharing these things out. You can segment your influencers based on a wide variety of criteria, from demo- to psychographic information—and you can assign digital activities to them based on the segments they land in. You’ll have set this all up in advance, before you get to the point of influencer activation.
Back to influencer activation: your customer signs on with her Facebook account, and Mavrck analyses her profile, immediately placing her into one of the segments you’ve defined. She is then offered an activity to complete, and she’ll get rewards for completing it. Since social is the engine that drives these activities, that means plenty of content floating around with your name on it. Customers then have the opportunity to connect three other social channels Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Mavrck’s focus on micro-influencers, whom they define as having between 500 and 10K followers, doesn’t mean those are the only people activated onto the platform. All that content the influencers create on your behalf is designed to get people back to your site to register or buy something. At that point, they can sign on, too, and you’ve now got direct marketing access to them—not just email but all of the data they’ve supplied to their social network.
Once you’ve got all your programs/activities/segments in place, Mavrck pretty much takes it from there. All that’s left to do is sit back and watch your dashboard, which is loaded with data. The Mavrck database currently holds:
- 10.6 million micro-influencers
- 102.3 million social profiles, and all that that entails
- 2.1 billion social posts
- 142.6 billion likes, comments, and shares
Rest assured that you’re going to get to know your new audience. You’ll see how many influencers you’ve signed on, as well as total activations (their followers). You’ll see statistics about the total reach and engagement of your pool of influencers (and be able to drill down into any segment or individual). You’ll also see the actual dollar amount of sales you’ve made as a direct result of Mavrck campaigns—campaigns which happen continuously and without need of intervention, collecting new customers and influencers alike all the while.
Since viewing the demo of Mavrck, I found myself describing it to others on the IMH team as “influencer marketing, where your influencers don’t know they’re your influencers.” While that’s true, it also sounds maybe a little evil—which really isn’t the case. To the customers activated as influencers through the platform, the whole experience feels like an advanced loyalty program. They get special offers, rewards on purchases, incentives for sharing content, coupons. And even if they don’t know they’re part of some wider marketing campaign, they certainly understand that the brand or product benefits when they share content around it—and it all sounds like a fair deal.
So, to revise my earlier description: if an influencer marketing platform could have a baby with a loyalty/rewards platform, that baby would be Mavrck. That baby’s clever as hell, too.