Who is Alex Roa?
Curious about what it’s like working with an agency, monetizing your content to become a full-time creator, and more? Alex Roa, president of The Culture Club, shares all in today’s interview.
What is The Culture Club?
“We work with a lot of social media influencers, both on like an exclusive management roster, but also we serve as a digital marketing agency outside of that. So a lot of companies are either a talent management company exclusively or … the digital marketing thing, but we do both.”
Alex specifically notes that The Culture Club works with many diverse creators or creators who don’t have as much access to business opportunities.
The Culture Club recently began helping influencers more as Alex saw the lack of resources available to some creators. He notes that he comes across many influencers with incredible views and engagement who are suffering financially because they aren’t getting monetized or they had a management team that was scamming them.
Solving this problem quickly became The Culture Club’s WHY.
What Agencies Are Looking For
To help creators monetize their content, Alex pitches content creators to advertisers with which The Culture Club works. When considering content creators for advertisers, he looks for strong engagement. His strategy begins with looking at recent posts and their performance.
For example, if he’s looking at a content creator with five million followers but only 10,000 views on average for their recent videos, this is a solid sign of a lack of engagement. Another red flag is creators who don’t post frequently. If Alex sees a creator who has missed a month of posts, he knows that coming back on their platform with new content that is an ad will likely lead to poorer results.
Alex also looks for creators that take off during huge trends, and he will reach out to creators who have recently exploded in size. He will help rapidly growing creators find sponsors, monetize, and diversify their content. Sometimes creators may feel stuck in one trend or topic, but it’s paramount to their growth and long-term success to expand their content beyond that. Otherwise, their views may plummet after the trend peaks.
Music & Influencer Marketing
Alex has a background in artist management and development, which allowed him to quickly pick up influencer marketing and expand into the music industry.
“So we help facilitate that for all three major record labels and their subsidiary company.”
He helps artists grow social media audiences and their engagement online to do this. Often, this involves TikTok challenges. For example, he’s helped music artists create a single song, dance, or meme challenges to help their music take off.
Social Media Trends
Social media trends come and go quickly, so how does someone who’s career is based on social media and its trends keep up?
Alex jokes that he doesn’t sleep when significant changes in the platform happen or when he’s researching major trends.
However, he’s quickly learned that “A lot of times, as it’s gotten busier, I just ask my creators. So I’m like “Hey, what’s popping right now? What’s going on?”
This gives Alex additional insights into very specific trends, which can be highly specific to location, such as New York vs. Los Angeles content, a creator’s niche, background, and more.
“A lot of times, we’re taking a trend that already exists and then putting a song… or putting a brand into it. Cause people are already familiar with this trend that’s popping, and then when they see the brand, it’s like the engagement does better.”
The Influencer Marketing Campaign Process
Alex says that for all of his influencer campaigns, he begins by figuring out what kind of influencer and demographic would be best for the particular campaign. Manscaped, a men’s grooming company, was a recent influencer campaign The Culture Club facilitated that was especially successful. For Manscaped, he naturally started by narrowing the pool of candidates down to male influencers. His second strategy was to figure out what upcoming events or holidays were coming. Valentine’s Day was coming up at the time of this campaign, so he themed content around the holiday.
Then, Alex created a list of male influencers that fit the content style and submitted it to Manscaped. The company then gets back to him about which influencers they liked best. Next, Alex and the company will discuss types of content, such as vlogs, skits, TikToks, etc. After deciding on the content with the company, Alex brainstorms content with his creators.
The underlying question in Alex’s mind for any influencer marketing campaign is:
“How do we bring the brand high-quality conversions where people are either downloading the app or going to buy the product or checking out the song or whatever it is, how are we converting and getting an ROI for our clients?”
Alex’s Tips for Influencers & Brands
Alex has worked with many influencers and offers the following tips to anyone looking to make content creation their job:
- Keep a level head and open mind. Many influencers grow big audiences when they are very young, so Alex does see some influencers who let this huge audience go to their head. While having a large social media following is a great asset, it’s not everything.
- In response to influencers who ask for significantly higher rates, Alex says, “If you want to be an influencer and you want to be this as your job, you’re going to have to sacrifice on volume. And that’s my opinion.” Consider this especially as you’re growing your audience. If you are constantly being offered sponsorships and not taking companies up on any of them, you may want to assess your personal and financial priorities.
- Meet deadlines. Alex is usually the facilitator between a big brand and the influencer being paid to complete a sponsored post or campaign. During our interview, he noted that he frequently waits around for influencers to turn in brand content, which puts immense pressure on him and doesn’t reflect well on the influencer who constantly turns things in late. If you’ve signed a contract with a company, honor it and turn your work in on time. Treat your content like a job if you want to make money from this.
For brands, Alex has the following advice:
- Automate your influencer process. Agencies can cost a lot of money, so pivot your influencer marketing process to make it internal if possible. This will save you money in the long run. In the past, The Culture Club has directly connected brands to influencers and digital teams that created successful campaigns for them.
Alex’s Future Plans
The Culture Club is moving towards more in-house music, TikTok, and YouTube content. Eventually, Alex sees his company being an influencer in itself. He also researches music trends and provides services through The Culture Club, which completes research for companies and labels looking to compare music performance.