StyleHaul, a contemporary marketing influencer agency and home to the largest global style community of content creators, develops multi-platform content strategies for brands, such as CoverGirl, Walgreens, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Sephora, through highly targeted campaigns designed for the 18 to 34-year-old female demographic.
Could you tell us more about StyleHaul’s creation and purpose?
I’d read an article in FastCompany predicting that brands were going to need to build social networks to compete in the future. I decided that I wanted to be in the digital space. I met Allen and Aaron DeBevoise through the team that founded Machinima and they agreed to co-found StyleHaul with me. Our vision was to translate the fashion and beauty editorial space into digital and social content. It’s now evolved into a vast network of more than 20,000 content creators across 86 countries.
You’re calling yourself a “marketing influencer agency” and not an MCN anymore. Are you changing your strategy?
To me, the MCN movement as you and I know it has gone in different directions. The whole space evolved to an MPN – a multi-platform network – so it’s more of an industry movement. What links these businesses is that we’ve moved across the multi-platform. We focus on the conversation, and what we can learn across platforms. For example, right now we’re looking at the fact that YouTube has become more of a consumption platform than a creator platform. We’re seeing trends completely changing. Facebook is more for consuming, Instagram is more for creating, and YouTube is still for creating and consuming.
Can you describe your global market?
We’ve found that being global and doing multi-region and multi-language campaigns has been very successful. For one P&G brand, we were able to run a campaign simultaneously for 5 different markets across South East Asia using the same products and the same line, which was a new advantage for them.
Where does your data come from? How do you organise it?
We have our own proprietary product, Society, which collects data from many sources, such as YouTube CMS, authenticated video and social channels, public APIs, indexing and much more, to provide unique cross-platform insights and strategies. Essentially, the data comes from first-party authentication from all of our 20,000 creators across major four social platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. More specific data, such as sentiment analysis, comes from a variety of third parties that we work with.
Tell us about your technology called the “Eye”.
Until now, we’ve only been able to analyse an Instagram campaign by who liked it, who shared it, who commented on it; the typical engagement behaviour. The Eye allows you to see anyone who saw the content and created their own content as a result, as well as micro-groups within that. For example, we did a programme for a cosmetics products retailer, and by using the Eye, we found that there were hyper-passionate subgroups such as hair, which is only one small section of the products they sell. We could tell who the leading voices were and what type of content they were passionate about in the hair group. When they were going to launch new hair products in their store, the company could be practical about their ad investment, and consequently more effective as they’re targeting a very specific group of customers.
How do you select the creators?
We have a certain set of criteria and engagement metrics that our talents have to meet to be part of our network, so we can say to a brand that they’re all relevant, vertical and within a certain engagement threshold (e.g. how many followers on Instagram, how many monthly viewers on YouTube).
Do advertisers always follow your recommendations on the YouTubers choice?
It’s really brand dependent; some brands still come in with a set idea of who their creator should be, others are open to learning from the data. A couple of years ago, we created the Vlogorithm to help advertisers understand our data-driven recommendations for creators. It allowed them to gauge what was most important to them, such as the demographic reached by the creator, the creator’s age, if they were a mom, etc. It scans all the data points that we store on creators – hundreds of millions of likes a day – and give advertisers a list ranking the positive communication about their brand.
What’s the big difference between the Vlogorithm and the Eye?
The connection between the two of them is that they’re both part of Society, which is the StyleHaul product that captures all of our campaigns and our data, but they’re not the same.
The Vlogorithm is a tool to help advertisers choose the best creators for them. For example, one brand was really fond of a particular creator, and although I agreed with her, the products were only carried in one or two retailers at the time, and she indexes really highly with the competitive retailer. She wasn’t the best choice because her audience would end up buying similar products from the competitive retailer.
The Eye shows us everyone who saw the brand’s content on Instagram, and who created content as result of that. Those are their most highly engaged users. From there, we can show advertisers how to use the data to re-target users and continue the relationship with them, such as encouraging them to purchase or sign-up.
What makes you unique on the market?
We’re fashion, video and style, now we’re female and male with the launch of Hauk, and we’re a focused group of individuals who are passionate about those topics. More than 80% of our community makes household decisions. In the land of MPNs, we’re leading the way with data strategy and internal products, with tools like Society and the Eye, and our work with targeting, re-targeting and localised modeling.
STYLEHAUL, A MARKET LEADER
Founder & CEO of StyleHaul
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