First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Angelo Damiano: We are doing well. We’ve been blessed with good health during these times. While the pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on everyone with the lockdowns, we’re grateful everyone is safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Powerspike.
Angelo Damiano: My co-founders and I first started Powerspike out of a dorm room at Syracuse University. Before starting Powerspike, we were content creators ourselves and began our careers on YouTube and Twitch. After building our audiences on those platforms, we found first hand just how challenging it is to monetize content. We wanted to create a platform that made it easier for creators like ourselves to make content creation a full-time career.
How does Powerspike innovate?
Angelo Damiano: Powerspike is 100% programmatic influencer marketing. We take the busy work out of creating, managing, and hiring for influencer marketing campaigns. Our technology matches brands with the best influencers for their brand, automatically negotiates prices for them and tracks key performance metrics. We’re taking the best parts of platforms like Google and Facebook ads and enabling brands and advertisers to purchase authentic influencer content in the same way.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Angelo Damiano: Coronavirus offers various challenges to Powerspike; however, we’ve been able to find strong footing as we’ve seen influencer marketing’s importance rise since March.
With many traditional marketing channels struggling due to the lack of live events and other COVID-imposed restrictions, marketing through influencers has largely gone unaffected. Coronavirus can’t shut down a Twitch streamer’s daily broadcast, which can reach thousands of people live. Overall, viewership is up over 50% last quarter, and we’ve been working hard to support the influx of new talent with additional opportunities.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Powerspike in the future?
Angelo Damiano: The obvious answer is one day at a time. What has been beneficial is leaning into the opportunity created by COVID-19. While sports leagues, movie theaters, concerts, and other major events were shuttered, we saw a rise in Twitch stream viewership and greater interest in video games. That was encouraging for us, given we work exclusively in the Twitch space.
People tend to look to media and entertainment for comfort during crisis times, and we found ourselves at the intersection of that. Even though sports have largely returned (without a live audience), we still see a strong interest in video game streaming. The opportunity for advertisers to reach their target markets still exists – and we can provide it.
Going forward, we are eager for a COVID-19 vaccine and a return to normalcy. Still, this whole experience has helped legitimize the influencer marketing model and introduce it to those who previously ignored it.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Angelo Damiano: GRIN, Upfluence, and other influencer marketing platforms.
Our goal is to make influencer marketing as easy as buying a Google Ad, and we deliver on this vision. Brands can easily sign up for Powerspike, start building a campaign, and in less than 24 hours, hire the best influencers for their goals.
Other platforms offer dashboards, stats, and long lists of people who may be interested. There is an expectation that you will do all the work; the platform just enables it. You would have to dedicate a staff member to managing influencers, negotiating contracts, ensuring deliverables are sent and met – it is just a lot of unnecessary and time-consuming work.
Powerspike lets you skip all that busy work so you can focus on what matters. It really is as simple as setting up your campaign, listing your goals and deliverables, and then letting our technology and team do the rest.