Influencer marketing start-up, Visual Amplifiers (VAMP) has appointed former George Patterson Y&R general manager Amy Luca as marketing director.
The hire comes as the start-up ramps up activity and planning for 2016 after a strong founding year which included campaigns for major brands including Uniqlo, eBay, ASOS, Toby’s Estate, The Horse and General Pants.
VAMP kicked off the year with an Instagram campaign for Samsung Australia and its Galaxy Tab S2 as many predict 2016 is set to become the year of the social influencer.
During her stint at George Patterson Y&R, Luca helped lead the agency’s turnaround and growth, as business director for just over a year followed by becoming the agency’s general manager for two years.
Her previous roles include business director at Y&R in Shanghai and Y&R’s Shanghai agency Agenda, where she was digital strategy director. Before Agenda, Luca was interactive account director for Pepsi at TBWA\Chiat\Day where she worked on highly regarded campaign, The Pepsi Refresh Project. Her career also includes a stint at G2, Grey San Francisco and American Golf Corporation.
VAMP co-founder Aaron Brooks said, “With over 15 years’ experience in Australia, China and the US, helping brands develop digital and traditional communication and engagement strategies, Amy brings a wealth of knowledge to VAMP and it’s great to have her on board.”
“This is an exciting time for VAMP, as we have some great campaigns coming up, technology in development, and with a number of senior appointments, including Amy, we are solidifying our position in this emerging market.”
VAMP provides a single end-to-end solution to brands from recruiting, product distribution and talent payment. VAMP-recruited Instagram talent produce high quality, custom content, designed to increase exposure and reach of the brand through mass aggregation of talent audiences.
According to Luca, some of the influencer marketing trends in 2016 include a focus on engagement over reach, product placement over endorsement and authentic alignment between influencers and brands.
“Brands tend to chase influencers with large audiences but as influencers’ audiences grow, engagement rates tend to decline, which is why it is important to carefully select talent with an engaged audience rather than just a large audience,” Luca said.
“Our selection method focuses on recruiting influencers, or talent as we call them, that have a natural and authentic alignment with the brands they are promoting then letting them creatively represent the brand for their audience. It’s this approach which sees our campaigns consistently outperform Instagram benchmark engagement rates, and correlates to increased sales.
“Consumers will not be influenced by someone’s content if it seems inauthentic or contrived, and thus we wouldn’t ask our talent to promote a product that doesn’t align with their own brand,” Ms Luca said.
According to Nielsen’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising Report, passionate brand advocates can be powerful allies to amplify a brand’s message, with 83 per cent of consumers trusting opinions from people they know and 66 per cent trusting consumer opinions posted online, and marketers are now starting to turn to brand advocates to generate not just buzz but campaigns that lead to sales.