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How The Digital Dept.’s Merger Is Setting New Standards For Authenticity And Innovation In Influencer Marketing (3)


How The Digital Dept.’s Merger Is Setting New Standards For Authenticity And Innovation In Influencer Marketing

Industry Leaders Merge to Transform Creator Economy

Two industry experts, Ali Grant and Sarah Boyd, have joined forces to establish The Digital Dept., a full-service agency poised to redefine the boundaries of the creator economy. As co-CEOs, Grant and Boyd bring a wealth of experience and unique perspectives to their visionary venture.

“We are the co-CEOs of The Digital Dept., a full-service influencer marketing agency specializing in talent management, brand strategy, and experiential services,” Grant explains. “Ali Grant was previously the founder of Be Social, and Sarah Boyd was the president of Socialyte and founder of SIMPLY before that. Both of us have extensive experience in the worlds of influencer marketing, social media, and public relations.”

How The Digital Dept.’s Merger Is Setting New Standards For Authenticity And Innovation In Influencer Marketing

Synergies and Strategic Foresight Pave the Way

The merger between Be Social and Socialyte, forming The Digital Dept., was a strategic move driven by the synergies between the two companies and the foresight of Grant and Boyd. “As we were both working at influencer marketing companies previously, we often worked together on projects and had built a great relationship through various projects and partnerships,” Boyd recounts. “After both falling under the Dolphin umbrella, we knew there were a lot of synergies between our two companies and knew that merging our teams into one full-service agency would enhance all of our offerings to our clients.”

With their combined expertise, Grant and Boyd bring unique perspectives to The Digital Dept. “Video content has become the dominant content form in recent years, and we don’t see that slowing down anytime soon,” Grant observes. “As creators strive for their videos to feel authentic, brands are searching for that as well. Consumers these days are far more discerning and skeptical of sponsored content, so authentic-feeling partnerships and content will help move the needle more than overly-managed, overly-scripted, too-polished advertorial content.”

How The Digital Dept.’s Merger Is Setting New Standards For Authenticity And Innovation In Influencer Marketing

Charting the Course for Creators and Brands in the Dynamic Creator Economy

As the creator economy continues to evolve, Grant and Boyd are well-positioned to guide both creators and brands through the ever-changing landscape. “Algorithms are always changing and social media platforms are constantly reprioritizing what they value with what content gets pushed, so at the end of the day, content creators must stay true to themselves and focus primarily on building a strong relationship with their audience through authentic, trusted content and community building,” Boyd advises.

Recognizing the importance of monetization and brand partnerships, Grant offers insights for creators: “Audience development and fostering a strong community is so important for creators who wish to make this their full-time business, as those dedicated followers are ultimately the ones clicking links, purchasing products based off a creator’s recommendations, and engaging with the content.”

From a brand’s perspective, Boyd emphasizes the significance of organic affinities: “The best brand partnerships come out of natural and organic affinities for those brands. Brands need to look at a creator’s profiles and see themselves naturally being integrated into the creator’s content and life. You can partner with the most popular creator in the world, but if their audience doesn’t buy that the creator uses your product in real life, it won’t be an effective partnership.”

Authenticity in the Age of AI and Deepfakes

As technological advancements continue to shape the digital landscape, Grant and Boyd recognize the importance of maintaining authenticity and trust with audiences. “With the rise of AI-generated content and deepfakes, audiences will have to be more discerning about what they see online,” Boyd acknowledges. “But we feel that they will quickly be able to identify the uncanny AI and deepfake content from truly authentic creator-made content.”

However, Grant and Boyd understand that simply relying on audiences to discern real from fake is not enough. “It’s imperative that creators and brands take a proactive approach to fostering authenticity,” Grant states. “At The Digital Dept., we work closely with our creators to ensure their content remains genuine, transparent, and true to their personal brand.”

This proactive approach involves implementing robust content vetting processes, providing ongoing education and guidance to creators, and promoting best practices for maintaining trustworthiness in the face of AI-generated deception. “We encourage our creators to be open and honest about their creative process, share behind-the-scenes glimpses, and engage in authentic dialogue with their communities,” Boyd explains.

Moreover, The Digital Dept. emphasizes the importance of leveraging cutting-edge technology to detect and combat deepfakes and AI-generated content that could undermine the integrity of the creator-brand relationship. “We are actively exploring advanced detection tools and partnering with industry leaders to stay ahead of the curve,” Grant asserts.

Nurturing Talent and Driving Industry Transformation

As a talent management firm, The Digital Dept. is committed to identifying and nurturing promising creators, setting itself apart through its comprehensive approach to creator representation. “We are always searching for creators who are on the rise and growing, as that is the perfect time for us to provide our assistance in bringing them to the next level of content creation as a career,” Grant explains. “We provide strategy and content plans for our talent, as well as updates on the latest trends, platform news, and updates so that they are constantly in-the-know about where the industry is heading and how they can optimize their content moving forward.”

With a finger on the pulse of the industry, The Digital Dept. is poised to shape the future of influencer marketing. “We’re excited to continue expanding into new content verticals and provide more opportunities for our talent and brand clients,” Grant enthuses. “Most recently, we announced our new Skincare Experts division as well as our Young Adult division, and we cannot wait to give more details on future specialized divisions within our talent roster.”

As The Digital Dept. continues to forge ahead, Grant and Boyd’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to authenticity position the agency as a driving force in the rapidly evolving creator economy, reshaping the boundaries of influencer marketing and redefining the way brands and creators connect with their audiences.

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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