For this week’s Technology Speculator session, James and Maeve from influencer platform ZINE joined us to discuss the strides the marketing world is making in partnering influencers with brands through open, smart and easy-to-track online tools.

ZINE is a three-year-old start-up founded by Caroline Duong, a former equity analyst who discovered the need to provide a data-driven platform that redefines industry standards, is transparent and acts as an influencer-brand relationship builder rather than owner.

The ZINE website allows influencers to sign up for free, create a profile that links with their social media platforms, and specify what kind of brand collaborations they’re looking for. These media kits are a dynamic and engaging way of creating an online portfolio that is accurate and accessible. In return, brands and their agencies can browse through a database of over 30,000 influencers in 120 countries spanning an array of industries and hobbies, check out their audience data and build influencer campaigns.

Influencer Strategist Alison Metcalfe gave her insights into how H+K is expanding its services in this arena: “We’re often challenged with influencer briefs that have multiple elements and require a variety of talent. It’s here that in my opinion we provide a bespoke offer that combines proposals developed from both the data-based truths and insights, as well as our knowledge of the industry to identify the best possible talent for the activity.

“This can often mean sourcing talent from different industries who are represented by different agents globally. In these instances, we can provide streamlining to manage multiple talent agents and management teams, insure alignment to any wider comms strategy and collaborate with a range of influencers. This offering allows us to execute full 360º campaigns to ensure the client gets the best possible results.

“ZINE is unique in how easily accessible and in-depth their influencer insights are – they go over and above the standard demographic breakdown to also look at who the talents’ most influential followers are, and provide a sophisticated level of engagement analytics. They’re looking at how to address current challenges in influencer marketing such as fake followers, and how best to develop their offer and remain agile in such as fast-paced industry.”

This week’s session got us thinking about the pace in which influencer marketing is developing. With brands and influencers building transparent and mutually beneficial relationships, the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) needs to catch up and define their roles and responsibilities in these partnerships.

We’re looking forward to seeing how marketers learn more about the audience data and technology that sits behind social media, and how this can help their marketing budgets and campaigns travel further.