Building a global influencer marketing platform

An interview with Ben Jefferies, co-founder & CEO of Influencer

In 2017, ambitious entrepreneur Ben Jeffries teamed up with serial entrepreneur and YouTuber Caspar Lee, with the goal of empowering creators to lead a new type of media format that would elevate brands and enhance their influence on social platforms. The global influencer marketing market has more than tripled since 2019 and is estimated to reach a record $24 billion in 2024.

  1. What inspired you to launch Influencer?

Influencer was born from the desire to aid brands to be at the forefront of where consumer attention is in the modern age; which ultimately sits on social media. Influencer supports brands to have a voice on social media through creators, and to be able to build brand awareness from that.

  1. How does Influencer differ from other agencies?

We believe technology is really important to scale activations when we’re working with influencers, particularly as we could be working with multiple influencers (up to 1,000 at a time). The technology is important to scale the relationships, and to collect data to understand how a campaign is performing for optimisation in-flight. We see measurement as a hugely important part of the industry; the number one question I am asked by chief marketing officers is, “Can we measure the success of an influencer marketing campaign comparable to the success of our other marketing activations?” We’ve made sure we put an emphasis on what we call True Human Influence, which is measuring the success of an influencer marketing campaign beyond the social metrics. For example, understanding how a campaign has performed from a brand lift perspective, and looking deeper down the marketing funnel towards consideration and conversion.

  1. What has the growth journey been like at Influencer?

It’s been an incredible journey at Influencer, and the industry is moving so fast. We’re scaling quickly in the UK, with strong traction in MENA, and we’ve also launched in the US, which was a significant milestone to hit, considering it’s the world’s biggest advertising market. To be able to have cracked that market so quickly both with our partners and with clients such as Spanx (one of our first client wins in the States) plus P&G – it’s been a phenomenal opportunity to grow our presence with some huge brands.

  1. What does the future hold for Influencer?

Our growth trajectory is focused on not only being the agency of record with some of the biggest global brands, as we currently are for the likes of Google, but also working with challenger brands. We are working with them on one-off campaigns to introduce them to the concept of influencer marketing, alongside more tailored longer-term approaches. We’re doing this really well with brands such as SharkNinja, and also with ASOS, where we’re working in partnership with TikTok to showcase how it can improve its paid media results using creators at the heart of it.

  1. What have been the benefits of receiving external investment through Puma Private Equity?

The market was moving so fast, that we knew that growing organically was going to mean we were left behind. So, taking on external investment and expertise would be immensely valuable to help us scale internationally and scale our product and technology vision. It was about finding the partner that was most suited to those goals, and Puma really stood out to us for its track record and the experience of the team. As first-time entrepreneurs it was so important for us to partner with a team that we could work well with, and we really found that with Puma. It also means we’re part of a broader portfolio, so we have joined that community and have the opportunity to connect with other founders, which has been invaluable.