Part of any successful business is good management, and that certainly applies to influencers. Talent agent Marienor Madrilejo from Abrams Artists Agency works with influencers and digital creators, helping them build long-lasting and meaningful brands. From managing brand-sponsorship deals, business monetisation and providing professional advice, Marienor knows a thing or two about making it as an influencer, and creating authentic successful brand collaborations.
Influencers are redefining modern celebrity. Marienor Madrilejo, a talent agent from Abrams Artists Agency, specialises in managing influencers and developing purposeful brand partnerships. She spoke with VidCon Asia ahead of the event.
Firstly, can you tell us what you will be speaking about at VidCon Asia in December?
I will be speaking on the Changing Nature of Talent panel, where I will join other talent representatives, sharing our experiences of managing digital influencers.
Can you tell me a little bit about Abrams Artists Agency and what you do?
I work at the digital branding and licensing division. The majority of our roster includes high net worth influencers and celebrities who have a digital footprint or following. What we do is hone in and understand who that audience base is, and what kind of business we can build with that. We approach every talent with a custom game plan based on who they are, what they do and what they are great at. Then we figure out how to build a business from there.
How are successful influencers building audiences today? What does best practice look like?
I find that brands and creators who have content that is less polished, more raw, and really just themselves are taking off at the moment. Their audience is more captivated and connected to that influencer because they are open and honest about who they are, their imperfections or any trials and tribulations they can communicate with their audience. Influencers who have a strong relationship like that are the most successful because they have a more emotional connection to their audience.
You work with some incredible talent in the US. Who have been the most inspirational people you’ve worked with, and why?
Nabela Noor stands out. She is a Bangaldeshi Muslim plus-size beauty influencer who always had a vision of what she wanted. That vision helped me understand the road I needed to pave with her. With any brand partnership or campaign we do, it always includes her message of positivity and inclusivity. She is a beauty activist, has spoken at the United Nations, and has launched her own clothing line embracing body inclusivity. Her brand is all about promoting a new inclusive community.
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Are you seeing the influencer become the modern celebrity?
There are a lot of different celebrities now compared to years past, with new platforms providing greater opportunities. It’s become an ecosystem where they know each other, and there’s a crossover between digital influencers and traditional mediums. Everyone now wants to be a part of the same ecosystem, and it’s developed to become more dynamic.
Branded content is changing rapidly. Can you tell me about an innovative recent campaign you’re particularly proud of?
This year we worked with MAC Cosmetics, which had a big push highlighting its augmented reality (AR) features on its website. We thought that was really new and different. MAC Cosmetics have been taking advantage of these new features using AR and were also one of the first to use Instagram shoppable features. I know they are very forward-thinking and we’re fortunate to work with them. The most recent MAC Cosmetics AR campaign involved two of my clients, animation dancer Dytoo, and beauty / lifestyle influencer SoothingSista.
On a similar note, what has been the best video-based campaign you’ve seen in the last year? What made it stand out?
I have definitely been part of awesome campaigns. Brands are doing Instagram TV campaigns more than ever. We’ve done this quite a bit with lifestyle brands and influencers, like Tampax for example. The P&G brand have been particularly innovative.
What advice do you give to aspiring influencers today? How do you help them successfully monetise their businesses?
It’s important to have a strong sense of self and what you do. With the influencer market so saturated, there are a lot of brands and influencers trying to make money. You have to be well defined and strong willed when paving a path for yourself. This helps you develop your voice, your brand and build your celebrity.
There are endless ways to monetise a business -- we can build a brand, product, retail distribution, even an animated series or performance-based opportunities. But you need to know who you want to be, because nobody can be everything. Having that idea helps us build a meaningful business.
Meet Marienor and other leaders in the influencer marketing world at VidCon Asia. Early-bird tickets are now on sale. Get yours now.