With adblockers taking more and more control, marketers have been looking for alternate ways to reach the masses, in pursuit of brand awareness, conversions, downloads, registrations, and — ultimately — revenue.
The spotlight has been on “influencer marketing” as the answer to traditional paid media, and today Glispa — the mobile performance marketing and adtech company — is casting its light on the marketplace with the launch of Voltu.
While Voltu is a traditional self-service influencer marketing platform in one sense, it has a trick up its sleeve: It focuses on helping you reach audiences in emerging markets.
There are two main branches of influencer marketing tools. In one corner, there are solutions that help you find influential people by ranking them — based on keywords and interests, discovered by scraping social media. You are then free to contact these influencers in the way your PR team finds, ranks, and contacts journalists.
In the other corner, you’ll find solutions that mirror how advertising matchmaking solutions work. However, instead of matching publishers and advertisers, these systems match influencers with advertisers. Some of these solutions use algorithms to match influencers with advertisers, and some don’t.
Voltu is firmly rooted in the latter approach — which is not surprising, coming from one of the biggest and longest-standing adtech vendors. But there are a few subtle, significant differences in how it works — compared to similar solutions — not least of which is the geographical areas it targets.
“We’ve been looking, in particular, at emerging markets for this product, such as the Brazil/Russia/India/China (BRIC), Latin America, and Southeast Asia regions,” Samantha Turner, commercial director and Voltu creator/ambassador at Glispa, told me.
The reasons behind this focus were two-fold, according to Turner.
“Firstly, these are mobile-first countries,” Turner said. “Secondly, in the U.S., in particular, and in other ‘tier 1’ geographies, there are a lot of established solutions in place that are — like Glispa — publisher-aligned.”
For Glispa then, this is a chance to help its clients chart new courses, while avoiding direct competition in established markets. Several solutions exist to help you leverage influencers popular on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook, but Voltu can expose your app to audiences of influencers who are popular on AfreecaTV (Korea), Douyu (China), VK (Russia), and NicoNico (Japan).
“Really, what we’re trying to do is unlock this opportunity for our client base, because we don’t see a solution in the space currently that provides this,” Turner said.
So how does Voltu work?
Voltu connects advertisers with thousands of influential content creators worldwide to drive app installs, brand awareness, and engagement.
When an influencer signs up, Voltu doesn’t use an algorithm to decide who gets access to campaigns. Instead, there is an initial qualification stipulating that the influencer must have at least 10,000 followers on one of their social networks. Then, influencers are offered campaigns from advertisers. An influencer applies for the campaign they feel will resonate best with their followers, and they are accepted or rejected by real people — not by an algorithm or machine-based qualification process.
Because Voltu is connected to the entire Glispa ecosystem, advertisers get access to the tracking, attribution, campaign management, reporting and analytics, quality optimization, and fraud analysis.
And while Voltu launches publicly today, it has been in beta for some time and is based on ten years of performance-based user acquisition and several years of working internally with influencers. There are already over 30,000 social influencers in its network and it offers over 3,500 apps to promote.
Of course, with every influencer platform comes the question of regulation and declaration of interest. To ensure influencers don’t fall foul of the FTC or any other regulatory bodies, platforms ought to be ensuring that influencers conform to the rules applicable in their country.
“We’ve been very careful about this,” Turner said. “We do, as an industry, need to do a lot more to warrant compliance. On our side, we ensure influencers are acutely aware of what they should and shouldn’t do.”
That’s a given for any serious influencer marketing platform, but the key driver for any regulation is to hit people where it hurts — in the bank balance. Turner is very clear about Glispa’s intentions here. “We would withhold payment if they don’t follow the rules.”
Voltu is available today and is accepting registrations from influencers and advertisers alike via its website.