First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Alex Frolov: These are difficult times. Accepting that this situation is stressful and beyond your control is the first step to choosing how we respond to that stress. It’s normal “not to feel normal” at this time.
I am focusing on keeping my family and myself safe, healthy, and happy, no matter what. This mental attitude helps me a lot.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded HypeAuditor
Alex Frolov: We founded HypeAuditor 3 years ago. As it happens with startups, initially, we did a different idea. We wanted to create a platform for brands to find the right influencers to advertise.
And almost immediately, we faced the problem of fraud. Influencers bought fake followers and fake engagement (comments and likes) to charge more money from brands. But brands did not benefit from such collaborations because bots do not buy goods.
We saw a real problem with influencer fraud and made a tool to solve the problem and check the quality of influencers’ accounts.
How does HypeAuditor innovate?
Alex Frolov: HypeAuditor helps marketers create effective influencer marketing campaigns using a data-driven approach.
Brands and advertisers are searching for the most effective ways to share their message to the masses online. As one of the few viable ways advertisers can connect with audiences, online influencer marketing will continue to grow.
Our main goal is to make influencer marketing transparent, fair, and effective. We believe that Influencer marketing should be measured correctly and give predictable results.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Alex Frolov: COVID-19 made its adjustments and slowed down the industry’s growth, but Influencer Marketing didn’t suffer as much as other industries.
“In a time of disaster, people rely more on social services. We are seeing surges in traffic, especially in areas most affected,” Mark Zuckerberg said during a conference call. “People want to stay connected while being asked to maintain social distancing and eliminate loneliness.” The use of social networks is growing, and therefore the amount of advertising money that is being redirected from offline to online is also growing.
Based on the comparison between money spent on sponsored posts and stories in the first quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, we estimate that the Instagram Influencer Marketing market size will grow from $5 billion to $6.5 billion in 2020.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Alex Frolov: It wasn’t easy to switch to remote work. The company employs over 40 people. Before the COVID, I did not think that we would be able to work as efficiently at remote work, but reality made us move quickly, and now after half a year, I can state that it even benefited the company- the growth rate has increased.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and HypeAuditor in the future?
Alex Frolov: I am a calm person. Every day in the morning, I do a special set of exercises and breathing exercises.
I love nature. I love to travel to the mountains with the team. We traditionally go on a trip with the team every August. Closeness to nature can help clear your mind and gain a clearer vision.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alex Frolov: Many companies do social media analytics, but among the competitors, I would single out a few CreatorIQ, AspireIQ, Mavrck. These are large companies that have been on the market for a long time, but we have many significant advantages. With the help of HypeAuditor, clients discover influencers with the audiences they need within a 19M database. It saves time and gives a larger scale of influencers to choose from. Searches are done based on 35+ filters such as keywords and categories, audience quality and demographics, similar accounts, and brands mentioned. To choose the best influencers from the search results, clients use HypeAuditor analytical reports.
With over 45 metrics and best in class Fraud detection, Reports help to find the most effective and authentic influencer for marketing campaigns. Our clients don’t lose budgets on fake followers and fake engagement. HypeAuditor gives its clients a complete understanding of how and where are influencer’s engagements coming from.
HypeAuditor simplifies the process of Influencer discovery and selection, saves time and money, helps to avoid influencer fraud, increases ROI, and makes influencer campaigns more predictable.
Your final thoughts?
Alex Frolov: The world is changing very fast. I’m glad we are at the forefront of change. We analyze social networks, and through this data, we can observe what is popular and what is trending now.
Our main goal is to make influencer marketing transparent, fair, and effective. To do that, we develop the best Influencer Analytics, Discovery, and Fraud Detection tool, сonstantly conduct industry researches and educate marketers on what metrics to pay attention to and how to interpret them.
We believe that Influencer marketing should be measured correctly and give predictable results.
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