Home Featured Caspar Lee and Armaan Mehta Discuss Influencer Marketing and TikTok

Caspar Lee and Armaan Mehta Discuss Influencer Marketing and TikTok

Caspar Lee and Armaan Mehta Discuss Influencer Marketing and TikTok

Caspar Lee, cofounder of influencer.com, and Armaan Mehta, cofounder of Odore, sat down with Kathryn Hopkins, senior beauty editor of WWD, to discuss how to build advocacy, loyalty and authenticity when brands do content creator campaigns.

Odore is a digital product sampling platform that enables companies such as L’Oréal, Shiseido and LVMH to create and manage targeted campaigns for customer acquisition. When people receive samples from the campaigns and start posting on social media, it generates not only user-generated content but also buzz and excitement.

After speaking with 5,000 aspiring creatives, Odore found that 75 percent post about two to five brands every month and 80 percent are not officially part of any affiliated brand programs. Through this, Odore recognized that brand affinity and brand fans have the power to turn their followers, even those with nano-followings, into customers.

“When you have a community, it not only drives sales but it gives insight into product development, marketing and even pricing strategies,” Mehta said. “Communities are really powerful.”

Lee was a famous YouTuber from 2010 to 2019 and amassed an audience of 6 million subscribers. As a pioneer in the space, he started seeing the money that was starting to come in for creators, but it was often more of a PR afterthought or leftover budget spending. Lee saw the way things were being handled and knew there had to be a better way; thus, he cofounded influencer.com. 

“Now brands are spending millions of dollars,” Lee said. “And they need to do it effectively at scale. Our ultimate goal is to humanize the marketing industry.” 

When Lee started posting on YouTube, it was less an actual job and more for fun but now there are many levels to what types of creators there are and the followers they have. Lee noted that brand fans can be a vital component when doing influencer marketing on a smaller level and then working up to larger macro-influencers.

“Nano creators can create really interesting content, which is important today to humanize your brand,” Lee said. “You constantly need to create content with real people.”

Odore’s digital product sampling platform at WWD’s Beauty CEO Summit.

Kate Jones

Mehta agreed that taking a multilayered approach to marketing is key. “You can get the reach, but at the same time, the authenticity by touching these micro-communities. It’s important to build the relationship with the brand fans because one day they might be a larger influencer.”

Lee said that when he started out, subscribers were the most important factor when working with brands. But now that “algorithms have changed” and “reach has been democratized,” Lee said that just because creators have a big following doesn’t automatically guarantee a lot of views and vice versa for smaller following creators.

While Mehta said that there is a risk of losing authenticity when choosing to work with larger influencers, working with creators who are just starting and building a relationship for several years can counteract it and continue to have a deeper and more natural progression in their relationships.

“Brands have recognized for a while now that there are micro-influencers and brand fans posting. We see a big trend of brands trying to build this community around them and constantly build these long-term relationships. Now it’s about actually building a relationship with them over the long term,” Mehta said.