Discover the inspiring journey of Danil Saliukov, the founder and CEO of Insense, as he shares his motivation to bridge influencer marketing and paid advertising. Learn how Insense’s self-serve approach empowers creators, maximizes earning potential, and propels the influencer marketing space into the future.
Who Is Danil Saliukov and What Inspired Him to Start Insense
Danil Saliukov, the co-founder & CEO of Insense, shares his inspiration for starting the platform. He explains how his brother’s success in e-commerce and influencer marketing led to the idea. Danil emphasizes the importance of authentic UGC content in ads and sees an opportunity to combine influencer marketing with paid advertising.
Danil discusses the challenges he faced when trying to connect with creators and pitch them for UGC content. Existing influencer platforms lacked the specific focus on UGC and were not scalable for his needs. This led to the vision of creating a self-serve creator commerce marketplace like Insense.
He shares, “The combination of both influencer marketing and paid advertising is the key to success. People want to be treated like humans and value authentic recommendations from creators.” This vision drove him to build a platform that empowers both creators and brands, bringing them together in a supportive marketplace.
Today, Insense has over 20,000 vetted creators in its network, making it easy for brands to find the right creators for their campaigns. The platform’s dedication to creators’ success has impacted their lives positively, with many finding new opportunities and turning their passion into a full-time career.
What Is Insense and Its Role in the Influencer Marketing Space
Insense is a cutting-edge creator commerce marketplace that serves both creators and e-commerce brands. According to Danil, their vision is to connect the demand side with the supply side, offering a platform where creators can easily showcase their talents to potential clients.
With over 20,000 talented creators in their network, Insense allows brands to identify the perfect creators for their campaigns and pitch them directly through the platform. Danil highlights their self-serve approach, making it hassle-free for creators to submit applications, upload branded content portfolios, and get selected for exciting campaigns.
“We really care about creators,” Danil emphasizes, stressing that Insense values their creators as equal customers to clients. He shares how the platform educates and supports creators, changing their lives by empowering them to pursue their passions full-time.
Unlike some competitors, Insense is more than just talk; they’ve been making a real impact in the creator economy. Danil recounts a touching story where they personally reached out to a creator facing tough times, proving that they genuinely care about their community.
How Insense Leverages User-Generated Content or UGC in Influencer Campaigns and the Benefits of UGC for Brands and Influencers
According to Danil, Insense effectively utilizes user-generated content (UGC) in three significant ways within its marketplace.
The first use case focuses on generating direct response creatives for ads, particularly on platforms like TikTok.
The second approach involves traditional influencer marketing. Brands connect with creators who promote their offerings, leading to increased traffic and installs. As Danil explains, “I need to find creators who will give a shout about my service.”
The third use case revolves around creator ads. Brands can directly run ads using influencer content & identity on platforms like Facebook, Instagram or TikTok. “That’s like the three major use cases that are happening inside our marketplace,” Danil highlights.
When asked about the key benefits of incorporating UGC into marketing strategies, Danil stresses its essential role for e-commerce businesses. With evolving regulations like GDPR and iOS 14, creative production and testing become crucial for audience engagement. “Creatives are a new paid targeting”.
Danil credits TikTok for revolutionizing audience engagement through humor and authenticity, setting the new standard for advertising. “It’s more about how to engage with the audience…UGC is the king right now,” he affirms.
How the Creator Economy Evolved in Recent Years and the Opportunities It Presents for Brands and Influencers
According to Danil, the creator economy has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, with startups investing heavily in creator-focused products. Although some claim that growth has slowed down, Danil believes the creator economy is already established. During the pandemic, many individuals sought to become creators, leading to an explosion of content creation and consumption across various platforms.
Beyond just video content on platforms like TikTok, the creator economy also includes musicians creating music for marketing purposes. This democratization of creativity allows brands to collaborate with creators who already have substantial audiences. As Danil puts it, “Everything is democratized. Everyone has access in the distance of their iPhone.”
This democratization paves the way for the rise of new entrepreneurs, known as creators, who will likely found numerous e-commerce businesses. For brands, partnering with creators offers a solution to the challenge of marketing products to a new audience.
With creators already possessing an established following, brands can focus on developing their products and leveraging the creators’ reach for effective marketing campaigns.
How Insense Supports Creators and Influencers in Maximizing Their Earning Potential
Danil sheds light on how insurance supports creators and influencers in maximizing their earning potential within the creator economy. He highlights three key strategies they employ to achieve this goal.
Firstly, Insense focuses on driving more deals to top-performing creators within their platform, ensuring a stable income for them. “We want to make sure that certain core audience of creators will earn constantly and enough to pay bills,” says Danil.
Secondly, Insense aims to provide free education for Insense creators through its Creator Academy. This pre-recorded course covers various aspects of content creation, editing, working with brands, and optimizing platform-specific strategies. Danil emphasizes the value of this initiative, stating, “There are a lot of things that creators never heard or thought they could learn so much from.”
Lastly, Insense offers unwavering support to creators who face challenges with brands or their earnings. They act as intermediaries, intervening on behalf of creators to resolve issues and ensure fair treatment. Danil says, “We really care about creators and are here to help them.”
The Role of Data and Analytics in the Influencer Marketing Campaigns Facilitated by Insense
When asked about the role of data and analytics in influencer marketing campaigns at Insense, Danil explains its growing importance. “There is a big demand right now for these analytics,” he says, as marketers and creators alike want to understand the true impact of their campaigns.
To address this demand, Insense is actively working on providing comprehensive campaign analytics. Their goal is to ensure both sides have clear visibility into the performance of the content, whether it’s in organic or paid channels. As one of the creative tech partners of major platforms like Meta (Facebook), TikTok, and Snapchat, they can access valuable performance first-party data directly from these platforms.
“We’ve been working on this over the past months,” Danil says, referring to their efforts to collect essential metrics like likes, comments, and views. However, their vision goes beyond that. They aim to integrate conversion data to understand the actual sales generated and CPMs (cost per thousand impressions).
This wealth of data will enable both marketers and creators to produce better content and engage with each other more effectively, optimizing their campaigns for greater success. By leveraging real, tangible data, Insense aims to elevate the influencer marketing space and create more impactful and result-driven campaigns.
Danil’s Thoughts on Ethical Considerations Surrounding Influencer Marketing and Ugc
Danil delves into the crucial ethical considerations surrounding influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC). He highlights the significance of transparency and disclosure in sponsored content, particularly in light of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) releasing updated regulations.
Danil emphasizes, “It’s a big topic right now,” and expresses the importance of proper disclosure to avoid misleading potential consumers. This transparency ensures that audiences can distinguish between organic content and sponsored collaborations.
To address these concerns, Insense has integrated official allowlisting features for Partnerships Ads to run ads with influencer handles. This allows creators and brands to fully comply with FTC regulations, making it clear that the content is sponsored.
Moreover, the conversation expands to the intersection of AI and UGC. While AI-generated content is evolving, Danil firmly believes that genuine human influencers will retain their value due to their audience’s trust. He adds, “AI doesn’t have the audience,” and believes regulations will keep the distinction clear between human-created UGC and AI-generated content, especially in sensitive areas like healthcare.
How Danil Sees the Influencer Marketing and Creator Economy Evolving in the Future
Firstly, Danil believes that influencers and creators will increasingly adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, transforming their gigs into full-time careers. He says, “They’re not gonna be approaching that as just side gigs, but it’ll be really a full-time job that will allow them to leave the good life.”
Secondly, Danil predicts that many influencers will venture into launching their own brands, becoming entrepreneurs themselves. He notes, “They will be launching e-commerce Shopify stores or some other stores and selling some products that other companies can support them to create.”
Thirdly, Danil acknowledges the potential impact of AI on the influencer marketing landscape. He believes AI can empower influencers to create high-quality content with more variations, leading to better compensation for their work. AI won’t replace influencers & UGC but augment it.
However, he remains skeptical about some services surrounding influencers, like credit cards for creators, and emphasizes the importance of focusing on areas where automation can genuinely bring value.
How Insense Navigates the Challenges of Identifying the Right Influencers for Specific Brand Campaigns
Danil explains their method for navigating the challenge of identifying the right influencers for brand campaigns:
“We start with the ICP, the ideal creator and brand customer profile. Not every creator can become the right fit, so we curate our roster carefully. We bring together creators and brands with a match in verticals like beauty and fashion, based in the US, Canada, or the UK.”
Danil emphasizes their success rate: “Around 90% of influencer-brand matches are great right away.” However, he acknowledges niche challenges: “For specific requirements like skincare influencers over 50 on TikTok, we conduct outreach to find the right creators. We offer an advantage by connecting them with other interested brands.”
How Insense Approaches the Measurement of ROI and Success Metrics for Influencer Campaigns
“Well, it’s a great question. This is the part that we are still working on, to be honest. We don’t want to have fake ROI. Some tools out there calculate ROI based on followers and views, which can be misleading. We want to build everything on first-party data directly from commerce and social platforms to understand the real impact of influencer marketing campaigns.”
He elaborates on their progress: “Currently, we are integrating with commerce platforms, social platforms, and attribution platforms to ensure real and accurate data. It’s gonna be massive!”
Common Mistakes or Misconceptions Brands Make When Engaging With Influencers or Leveraging UGC
When asked about common mistakes brands make when engaging with influencers or leveraging user-generated content (UGC), Danil shares valuable insights from his own experience. He points out that some brands lack a solid creative strategy when working with influencers or even paid content. According to Danil, a successful content strategy requires a focus on performance and continuous learning: “You need to make sure that your content is gonna be performing really great and constantly learning.”
Furthermore, Danil emphasizes the importance of providing influencers with clear and effective creative briefs. While he doesn’t favor fully scripted videos, he believes that a well-structured brief with scripted hooks and calls to action, combined with creative freedom in the body of the content, can lead to magic. He tells us, “The hook and the call to action should be scripted, and the body, you should provide the guidance. And then the magic will happen.”
Another critical point Danil raises is the approach that some brand owners or influencer mentors take when interacting with influencers. He cautions against a purely transactional mindset, stressing the importance of understanding, motivating, and building relationships with influencers: “Creators are called creators because they’re creative. You need to shape them, you need to motivate, you need to build the relations.”
Key Lessons and Insights Danil Learns as the CEO and Founder of Insense
As the CEO of Insense, Danil has gained valuable insights from working closely with influencers and brands in the influencer marketing space. He emphasizes the importance of appreciating influencers’ creativity and treating them as partners in growth. He says, “We want creators to grow with us.”
Danil also advocates for fairness and understanding when dealing with creators, even when mistakes happen. He believes in a supportive approach, “Be fair with them… We’re still here to help you.”
Lastly, he highlights the significance of promptly removing bad actors from the platform to maintain a positive environment for all. He adds, “Always remove bad actors from the platform… It won’t work.”
Future Plans and Goals for Insense
Danil shares some exciting future plans and developments for Insense. One recent announcement was their strategic partnership with a company called Smartly, known as the biggest partner of social platforms like Meta, TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Danil expressed enthusiasm about this collaboration, stating, “We’re going to be in charge of working with the creators and delivering the content, while Smartly will ensure that this content will outperform greatly for the customers.”
Danil also mentions their impressive roster of customers, including renowned brands like Uber and Kayak, who have signed up on their platform. He adds, “Please do expect more exciting brands to come in place.”
Additionally, Insense takes pride in its Creator Academy, a platform that offers valuable resources and training for creators to enhance their skills and success. With all these exciting developments, there’s no shortage of exciting things happening at Insense.
Advice for Aspiring Influencers and Content Creators
Danil’s advice to aspiring content creators: “Never give up. If you truly believe in this space, be ready to learn a lot. Make sure your content performs great, and be patient. Try to find a coach, exchange ideas, and work with platforms. Reach out to brands directly. It won’t be easy, but stay consistent and dedicated.”