Q&A: Influencer Marketing and the Importance of Global Payouts
It happens all the time on social media: you’re scrolling through your feed and see a post from a popular account you follow talking about a cool new product they just got their hands on. If it’s obvious that they’ve been paid to make an endorsement, you probably just scroll past (maybe a little annoyed). If you can’t tell whether they’re advertising or just sharing their genuine excitement about the product—well, that’s kind of the point.
Influencer marketing—a technique by which dominant social media users are paid to make positive posts about a brand or product, often under the guise of personal opinion—has become an essential component of the online advertiser’s toolkit. What’s not so clear, though, is how these relationships work. How do brands find and connect with influencers willing to share their audiences? How do influencers get paid? Who handles the transaction?
Recently, Hyperwallet began working with this emerging industry to help sort through these very questions—hence my curiosity. Bill Crowley, Hyperwallet’s Head of Global Innovation and Managing Director in Europe, was kind enough to fill me in.
The Recent Rise of Influencer Marketing
GH: Can you provide some context for the emergence of influencer marketplaces?
BC: Influencer marketing, as a practice, has really exploded over the past few years. Many brands today are partnering with authoritative social media users to speak directly with their target audiences. It’s not all about partnering with users that have the most followers, though: some brands work with a large number of small-audience influencers to target niche markets. This infographic from the Influencer Marketing Hub is a great primer for the uninitiated.
GH: How do brands typically reach influencers and develop these partnerships?
BC: The two simplest ways for brands to connect with influencers are by working with a traditional marketing agency—and preferably one that specializes in this kind of marketing—or recruiting influencers through an online marketplace. These platforms provide brands with a centralized database of influencers, allowing them to search users by specific parameters like age, sex, location, interests, and more. They’re also ideal for those brands that need to manage many influencers simultaneously.
Influencer Marketplaces Encounter Payout Difficulties
GH: Can you describe some of the payout challenges that influencer marketplaces are encountering?
BC: Most influencer platforms are very global. Brands want influencers from all over the world, and especially in markets where they’re trying to expand. Of course, this introduces the kind of payout challenges we see with other marketplaces: slow delivery, excessive fees, currency frustration—the list goes on.
Until recently, nearly all of these influencer platforms have relied on bank transfers to pay users on their marketplace. In addition to the other issues mentioned, banks transfers require a great deal of administrative oversight from the platform and—in order to collect payment information, ensure necessary funding, and upload instructions to the financial institution—typically result in between a 30- or 60-day payment cycle. Influencers often wait a long time to receive their payment, and they don’t always get full value.Most #influencer platforms are very global, and that means big #payment challenges. Click To Tweet
GH: How have influencer marketplaces attempted to improve their payout process?
BC: Recently, we’ve seen some marketplaces supplement their bank transfer model with payout products like Stripe Connect, which can streamline some aspects of the payout process. Still, with just a couple of dozen countries in their network, these providers can’t provide influencer platforms with a truly global payment solution. They also require funding via credit or debit card payments, and that’s something that big brands are generally unwilling to do.
Other marketplaces have come to Hyperwallet, and the results so far have been really positive.
Payment Solutions for Influencer Platforms
GH: Do you have any examples of how influencer marketplaces are using the Hyperwallet platform?
BC: Hyperwallet is helping influencer marketplace clients like Ghostlamp and Buzzoole improve their payout processes, and what’s been interesting for me is seeing the different ways that each company utilizes our platform. Some have opted for our Portal solution, which uses a digital, stored-value model to let payees manage their earnings and cash out at their convenience. Others have used our widget to automate administrative processes and embed payout functionality on their own ecosystem, or choose the Select solution to start paying as soon as possible. Every case study is unique.Hyperwallet is helping #influencermarketing platforms pay the planet. Click To Tweet
GH: Bottom line: why should influencer marketplaces choose Hyperwallet as their payout provider?
BC: Ultimately, what draws influencer marketplaces to the Hyperwallet platform is the scale of our capabilities. While other solution providers facilitate payouts to 20 or 30 nations, Hyperwallet can distribute payments to more than 200 countries and regions, with local clearing in over 95 of them. Hyperwallet also offers a more diverse range of payout methods, including bank transfer, physical and virtual prepaid cards, check delivery, cash pickup, and PayPal. Combined with extensive currency coverage, Hyperwallet provides fast, convenient, and affordable payouts to just about anywhere in the world.
Hyperwallet’s slogan is ‘pay the planet.’ That’s what influencer marketplaces need to do, and our platform is helping make it possible.