50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2017

The Evolution of the Influencer Economy

thesiliconreview-promise-phelon-ceo-tapinfluence-2017Over the past years, social media’s explosive growth has created a tectonic shift in the way companies approach marketing. Today, insightful companies who are embracing the future state of marketing are engaging with influencers to promote their brand on various social platforms to their followers, fans, and friends. But brands are faced with the challenge of finding the right influencers, and then creating a successful commercial engagement. A successful engagement includes being able to measure the performance of the campaign, utilizing the industry’s fastest, platform-direct payments, and then post-engagement, the ability to harness the created content and utilize it across siloe’d marketing groups and channels. Given these hurdles, a company is likely to plan and choose poorly, causing results and ROI to suffer in the long-run. To mitigate such difficulties, TapInfluence  transformed its business model from an agency-focused business to a marketplace-based platform that connects brands to influencers that can create and craft content that inspires engagement leading to purchases.

Located in Mountain View, California, TapInfluence provides the industry’s leading data science-driven platform that empowers brands to find and engage with verified influencers that are the perfect fit for specific campaigns, markets, and products. This data-driven approach leverages insights to pinpoint the right influencers, who in turn create and distribute authentic content that brands can then re-purpose in additional cross-channel campaigns and initiatives, leading consumers to make better purchasing decisions. TapInfluence’s proprietary marketplace platform provides an efficient way for brands and influencers to manage and scale programs, track and measure results, and provide both clear pricing and frictionless payments for both parties involved.

Founded in 2009, TapInfluence is venture-funded, privately held company with humble beginnings as BlogFrog, an agency for bloggers based in Boulder, Colorado. The fundamental understanding of the power of authentic content has been pivotal to the company’s evolution, first as an influencer marketing agency, and now as a marketplace powering the world’s first end-to-end influencer content marketing platform for brands. Renamed TapInfluence in 2013, the company directed its focus to creating a platform-based marketplace with verified, authentic influencers who can spread the word for brands and marketers utilizing authentic content. TapInfluence has continued to grow and evolve as a new way of reaching consumers in what is increasingly becoming a socially-driven world dominated by ad blocker technologies.

Escalating in the marketing industry

TapInfluence is leading the evolution of the influencer economy. Over time, the company has built a marketplace of trusted influencers with a platform which is part of the marketplace. The robust platform enables campaigns from start to finish, from identifying the right influencers and agreeing upon terms and managing a project, to measuring the project, and auto-payment of the influencer by TapInfluence. “We were growing, but to achieve the growth we sought, my top priority was to figure out how to successfully transform our service business into a virtual, dynamic marketplace business,” said Promise Phelon, CEO of TapInfluence.

Creating the Influencer Economy

The progress of the Gig Economy seen in the last five years is rapidly evolving the future of work, and with the growth of marketplaces acting as exchanges, the trend of contract-based work has accelerated. This shift offers a flexible working lifestyle and allows people to earn money on their own terms, creating a more empowered and mobile Gig workforce uniquely qualified to partner with TapInfluence. Unlike other parts of the Gig Economy, Influencer marketing can enable a new type of elastic, independent workforce that is centered on subject matter experts creating and sharing content. Take for example, the average monthly income for an Etsy seller is $151, while the average active influencer on TapInfluence makes between $1,000 - $1,700 each month. As this trend develops and spreads, more Influencers and brands will be able to find each other and connect via the TapInfluence marketplace, thus creating and generating more financial freedom and better on-demand labor models.

TapInfluence has successfully created a marketplace where influencers and brands connect - enabling influencers to monetize content that connects audiences to brands and their products or services. This is good for brands, influencers, and consumers, with each having a true voice and developing trust in one another based on increased transparency, honest conversations, and better social commerce opportunities.

Meet the Pioneer

Promise Phelon currently serves as CEO of TapInfluence, and led the charge to successfully redefine and evolve the company from a high-touch agency business to a data-science driven marketplace.

TapInfluence is the only influencer content marketing platform with eight-plus years of data that is used by more than 500 of the world’s top brands and the biggest baddest agencies.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal named her a Woman of Influence in 2012, for her history of leading high-growth technology companies in rapidly-evolving industries and attracting brilliant talent who drive true market transformation.

“We’re evolving TapInfluence into a marketplace connecting brands and influencers with each other to generate authentic content that reaches today’s consumer.”