“While one of our friends was taking pictures of the food at a restaurant before we ate, we realised if we posted the picture of the food, we were actually advertising the food for that restaurant,” said Jonathan Eg, co-founder and CEO of influencer marketing platform Partipost.
“That led us to thinking if we could be paid money for it,” he added, in an interview with Vulcan Post.
Word-of-mouth is a time-tested and proven method of getting the best ROI for a business.
By sharing a food photo with a message, we are essentially “influencing” our family and friends with our perspectives. In other words, if the food is recommended by someone you know and trust, you are more likely to try it out.
This sparked the University of Illinois’ Electrical Engineering graduate to start Partipost in 2016 with his co-founders, Ben Ramli and Tony Jen, as he saw that there is market potential for it.
Literally Anyone Can Be An Influencer
The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to S$15 billion (S$20 billion) by 2022, up from as much as S$8 billion in 2019, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates.
Companies are increasing their spending on social media campaigns and working with more “micro-influencers”.
To put it simply, “micro-influencers” are everyday people with smaller audiences, but they focus on a specific niche or area.
It doesn’t take you to be a Kim Kardashian West or Kylie Jenner with massive followings to be an influencer. Literally anyone with a social media profile can sign up for influencer campaigns on the Partipost app, which is free to download.
Partipost’s main difference is that we believe that everyone can be an influencer. Even if you have 200 followers, you can be one.
We want to create a new market that we believe will be the future — everybody can post on social media, write a review, or give some feedback and be paid for it.– Jonathan Eg, co-founder and CEO of Partipost
“We want to empower everyone to monetise off their own data and influence and not just allow the big tech companies to do so. I believe most other influencer marketing companies or competitors focus more on the bigger influencers,” added the 31-year-old.
Curious, I downloaded the app to see what the hype is about. At a quick glance, I found out that I can earn anything between S$2 to S$100 for a campaign.
Basically, you pick a running campaign and submit an original post. It can be an Instagram post or video, or any form of content specified by the brand or campaign owner.
Before you do that, you have to make sure that you fulfil the requirements such as minimum number of followers, gender, et cetera.
Once your post is approved by the brand, you can then share your post on social media with your followers. The more engagement you receive, the more you earn.
Moreover, withdrawing your earnings from the app to your bank account can be done with a single tap.
“We believe that in the next five to ten years, this type of marketing will be considered mainstream and almost everyone will be taking part in becoming an influencer that promotes things that they genuinely and truly are passionate about,” said Jonathan.
250K+ Influencers And 900+ Brands Within 2 Years
Since launching its mobile app in 2018, over 250,000 influencers and more than 900 brands, which include Kellog’s, giga!, Pokka, Pepsi, ShopBack and Chope, have jumped onto the platform.
Over the past year, Partipost has helped conduct more than 2,500 social media marketing campaigns for these brands.
Its F&B client, A-One, saw a 40 per cent increase in usage of promo code. Meanwhile, restaurant-reservation booking platform Chope completed a 500 Instagram Story campaign within 24 hours.
Popular drink brand Yakult launched Yakult Ace Light Family Pack in March and with the help of Partipost, #yakultacelight was the top trending hashtag in Singapore for that month, according to Affable.ai.
“I believe Covid-19 accelerated the digitalisation of many industries and sectors. For influencer marketing in general, we saw an increase in new brands who were less afraid to try something new such as a platform like ours,” said Jonathan.
SEA Expansion With US$3.5 Million Seed Round
Just last month, Partipost raised US$3.5 million in a seed funding round.
The round was led by SPH Ventures, the investment arm of publisher Singapore Press Holdings, with participation from Quest Ventures and other investors.
“My prior work experience in an investment fund helped me understand how companies seek fundraising. I understand the motivations as an investor,” said Jonathan.
The funding will go towards growing Partipost’s current markets, Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan, as well as expansion into markets with heavy social media usage such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
“We are looking to expand into Malaysia and the Philippines later in 2020 and into Vietnam sometime in 2021. We hope to have a strong presence in Southeast Asia.”
“Along with our strategic business connections, launching in these three markets are the natural next steps in our expansionary plans in Southeast Asia,” he added.
What The Influencer Marketing Will Look Like In 2020 And Beyond
Based on Meltwater’s 2019 report, “Beyond skin deep”, Instagram is the most popular channel for influencers, followed by Twitter and YouTube across Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
This is largely because visual platforms such as Instagram are avenues for users to express themselves, visually, to a broader audience.
Moreover, social media drives the e-commerce market where platforms are used for product research, brand engagement and online purchases.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, nearly four in five (79 per cent) brands predominantly tap Instagram for influencer campaigns, compared with Facebook (46 per cent), YouTube (36 per cent), Twitter (24 per cent), and LinkedIn (12 per cent).
Partipost comes in and creates a new industry where everyone can be influencers, and link them up with brands.
“I foresee influencer marketing becoming even more mainstream as a channel and perhaps more performance-based in terms of ROI for the brands,” said Jonathan.
Featured Image Credit: Partipost