It’s wild to think that less than a decade ago, the field of influencer marketing was just blooming into the powerhouse that it is today. No matter where you look on social media, content creators are using their platforms to serve their audiences with the clothing, skincare, gadgets, foods, and other goods they love. And brands are seeing the true power of an influencer with a strong voice and dedicated following.
Raissa Gerona was one of the first brand-side leaders of the influencer marketing movement, pitching her idea for an influencer trip to her new employer, Revolve, as a way to build buzz, engagement, and sales through social media. The idea was a runaway hit, and now influencers are a key element of Revolve’s marketing strategy.
I’m so excited to hear from Raissa about this growing and ever-changing space. In this conversation, you’ll learn about the evolution of influencer marketing, advice for starting and growing your own business as an influencer, as well as how to leverage the power of this unique type of marketing for your own products. Ready to dive in?
Revolve Around the World
Raissa Gerona entered the Revolve ecosystem as a designer (press play to hear the full story on that) but the founders of Revolve recognized that while she was a good designer she was great at marketing. At the time, that distinction felt like a let down because designing sounded “glamourous”, Raissa told me. But when she moved over to the marketing side, Raissa realized that’s where her skills were best put to use. And that became a proven fact when she pitched her marketing idea for Revolve Around the World.
“I presented this concept of traveling and that I wanted to be able to take influencers out to a place where it felt really fun and aspirational and where they can take our products that we sold on Revolve and put it against a backdrop that was the most authentic and the most natural,” Raissa continued, “And then publish it on a platform called Instagram.”
Instagram was barely two years old at the time, but Raissa didn’t view the idea as new or revolutionary. She compared it to going on vacation to Disneyland and your mom printing out photos and framing them up when you got home, except now those frames were squares on Instagram.
Whether she viewed it as revolutionary or not, it didn’t matter. The amount of new followers and engagement they gained after that first trip was huge. The idea was a success and they’ve been doing trips like it ever since.
The Power of Micro-Influencers
Raissa explained that Revolve started working with primarily the big, most-followed Instagram influencers and bloggers because that’s who existed at the time and that’s who fueled the platform. Now, Raissa says that micro influencers are incredibly powerful on their own because of the connection they have with their smaller, dedicated audience resulting in better engagement.
“They’re probably more easily able to answer DMs and questions and comments and such,” Raissa commented, “And then they also have selling power. So it’s been for us a more dynamic ecosystem to have all types of influencers in the network that we work with.”
If you’re considering influencer marketing for your brand or product, Raissa says there are two primary considerations when exploring this type of promotion. First, make sure you have a great product. It doesn’t matter how much you sell it, market it, or “if you have Kendall Jenner wear it,” Raissa explained, what matters first is that the product is great.
If you know you have an excellent product, then number two, you need to identify who is excited about the product. Who is authentically eager to drink it, wear it, use it, post about it, talk about it, attend events dedicated to it, and beyond?
“I think a lot of brands probably don’t think about that,” Raissa explained. “I know it’s an overused word, but the authenticity part is so essential because the more you have people that really, really, really want to be a part of it, the more everything feels just better, like you have a perfect match.”
More from this Episode
What are the best ways to start leveraging influencer marketing in your business? What’s important when choosing the right influencer to share your product? Should you pay commission or a flat fee? Raissa shares so much industry insight for anyone looking to explore the influencer marketing space. Press play on this episode on your favorite podcast app to hear the entire interview.