September 5 2017

Forbes: Influencer Bryan Valle - The One-Post Model is Bound to Fail and Why You Should Visit His Warehouse

David Schwab, Thought Leadership, Forbes, First Call

Octagon First Call's David Schwab continues his regular contributions to Forbes in this interview with Bryan Valle of Team Edge.

We are asked every day by brands to evaluate and identify appropriate talent for their marketing – ranging from Oscar winners to scientists to digital influencers. While each talent category has its own challenges and quirks, brands continue to seek a greater understanding of digital influencers. And with influencer marketing on track to become a multi-billion-dollar industry in the near future, it’s no wonder brands want to maximize the value of their spend.

Where brand marketers have a clear understanding of their own budgets, processes and goals, what’s often missing is an appetite to hear the influencer’s perspective. Brands partner with influencers in an effort to gain accesses to those influencers’ followers. Trusting influencers’ expertise when it comes to what will and won’t work on their channels, and with their audiences, allows brands to re-evaluate and pivot strategies before investing too much in a campaign idea that may not be successful in execution.

With over 2.6M YouTube subscribers and numerous brand partnerships under their belt, challenge-driven group Team Edge is one of many influencers pushing for more open lines of communication between brands and digital talent. Hear from Team Edge creator Bryan Valle on why the one-post model is destined to fail and how a visit to the Team Edge Warehouse can create relationship and campaign gold.

DS: What have you done successfully to build your brand?

Bryan: Consistency in our message. Consistency in the actual number of videos we produce (three videos every week). We’re genuine. We don’t script our content, and we aren’t afraid to show our mistakes. We actually include bloopers in pretty much every video. We aren’t afraid to laugh at ourselves!

DS: What should brands be thinking about when hiring creators?

Bryan: Brands should understand how we align with their product and marketing message, and if we align with their core values. The Team Edge product is family friendly so if the brand is trying to appeal to both kids and parents, then we’re their guys. If that’s not their target, we don’t even consider working with them. We have a long-standing track record of being a consistently clean channel, and we’re going to continue to do that.

At Team Edge, we look to align our target audience with that of a brand’s before we even look at the product they’d like us to endorse. I am surprised when brands look at straight engagement and follower count without considering the actual fit.

DS: What do brands miss when working with talent and creators?

Bryan: Although the tide is turning, we still don’t see as many brands as there should be investing in long term relationships with creators. The one-post model is still the norm. If you think about it, it took our viewers some time to trust us as content creators. We didn’t just win them over with one video. Brands should really think about that because the more our audience sees a brand organically integrated into a video, the more they will be interested in pursuing it.

Communication is huge. Many times, brands will ask for one thing, then following production they’ll use the infamous “we actually were hoping for this” line. Both creator and brand need to take some accountability here, maybe the creator/their representation didn’t ask the right questions, but that’s why we think building longer term relationships are best. Let’s sit across a table and get to know another, come check out our warehouse and understand how we actually make our content, from pre-pro to post, and then let’s work together on how we can make the best branded videos.

DS: Where is influencer marketing heading?

Bryan: As Team Edge, we’ve been talking a lot about the crossover between the digital influencer space and mainstream media. Lately, YouTube has been tapping traditional celebrities to get involved in their content. It’ll be interesting to see how accepting digital and traditional talent are of one another once they are interacting more and more.

DS: Brand marketers are the experts on their brand and may come with a vision for the partnership, but they still need to remember why they sought out to partner with an influencer in the first place – the audience and platform, which is the influencer’s expertise. Any closing thoughts Bryan?

Bryan: We are creators who actually produce our own content, we are influencers in respect to influencing how certain products are perceived by our audiences, and we’re also an amplifier, open to helping brands boost campaign success, as long as it aligns with the Team Edge brand.