Faique Moqeet, Founder and CEO of Hamster Garage, worked as a consultant before joining Airbnb, where he managed a large global affiliate program. In 2019, he left Airbnb to launch Hamster Garage, a partner and affiliate marketing agency that manages affiliate programs for brands such as Airbnb, Uber, Brex, and Canva.
Along the way, clients would ask Faique and the Hamster Garage team if they worked with influencers on a performance basis, leading them to acquire Swipehouse, an app for influencers to connect with brands and get paid for sponsored content.
Faique Moqeet, Founder Of Hamster Garage, Shares His Thoughts On What’s Next For Swipehouse And The Influencer Space
What Services Does Swipehouse Offer Influencers and Brands?
Swipehouse was created by two Harvard students interested in building a social network for creators. After thousands of influencers joined the platform, the creators delved into monetization and helping influencers connect with brands so they could get paid.
Faique shares, “The app was initially created as a way for creators to swipe, connect, and message each other. Eventually, with thousands of creators, they added a brand marketplace where creators could discover brand to work with. Creators can see the brief, apply to campaigns, message brands, and get paid — all through the app. ”
Brands can post influencer briefs looking for either user-generated content (UGC) to post on their own social media accounts or traditional sponsored content posted directly on the creator’s socials. Many deals may also include a free product component.
Once brands post a brief, the platform’s vetted creators can directly apply to work with brands through the app. Creators typically have one to two weeks to create the content and share it with the brand for approval to get paid.
All influencer marketing campaigns completed through Swipehouse can be handled from start to finish in-app: outreach, approval, payment, and more.
Between Hamster Garage and Swipehouse’s service offerings, clients can access affiliate and influencer marketing solutions. However, brands can also use Swipehouse’s self-serve model without being a Hamster Garage client.
What Types of Brands and Industries Benefit Most From Working with Swipehouse?
Typically, retail brands are one of Swipehouse’s most common users, but other industries, like FinTech, subscription, and marketplace brands, can also benefit from Swipehouse’s direct connection with influencers.
All creators on Swipehouse are automatically vetted because they sign up using their social logins, demonstrating that they are the creators they claim to be.
A Creator-First Approach
Swipehouse has a creator-first approach. Creators initiate campaigns on Swipehouse by applying to work with brands they’re interested in rather than waiting for a brand or agency to email them.
Faique explains, “Everything we do in terms of our product and how we think about the future is about helping all types of creators monetize at scale.”
Measuring Influencer Marketing Campaign Success
With affiliate marketing, partners are paid when the sale occurs. This takes care of measurement and makes the affiliate channel typically a high ROI channel for brands. Hamster Garage’s clients benefit from a performance driven channel.
With Swipehouse, brand deals are structured with a set rate the brand pays the influencer followed by an additional variable component, typically based on how many followers the creator has. A creator with one million followers would receive a higher rate than a creator with 100K followers.
Since acquiring Swipehouse, the team has been working to introduce affiliate deals on to the platform. This would give Swipehouse’s tens of thousands of creators access to promoting thousands of brands via an affiliate link.
The Evolution of Influencer Marketing
Faique predicts that influencer marketing will continue to become more performance-based, especially since influencer brand rates have been climbing in recent years.
He explains, “I think the counterforce of that is right now, with the macroeconomic climate, every brand is focused on efficiency. Funding has gone down dramatically, so startups who normally have spent a lot of money are less inclined to spend $5,000 on an influencer unless they know it is going to work.”
He adds that this is good news for Hamster Garage as affiliate infrastructures are heavily rooted in ROI and performance metrics, which allows brands to see immediate results from their influencer campaigns and track long-term performance.
Rates, tools, infrastructure, and KPIs are all aspects Faique expects to see fine-tuned as influencer marketing continues to grow and evolve.
He would also like to see more ways for influencers to connect with each other.
He explains, “I think one of the things that we’re really interested in is how we connect influencers. How do we suggest that they work with the right brands? Because in the affiliate world, when a creator is working with a brand as an affiliate, it’s up to them to convert the user. It’s a harder thing for the influencer in that framework.”
Finding brands that are excellent fits for the influencer makes converting the viewers much easier and more authentic to their personal brand.
Nurturing the Growth of Influencers
Faique explains that his team fosters the growth of influencers in two primary ways: helping creators educate themselves with insightful information and allowing them to access affiliate deals easily.
The latter is critical because access to affiliate programs can come with a steep barrier to entry for smaller creators, limiting their ability to make money and scale.
Some affiliate programs require a certain number of followers or take months to be approved, so a direct and faster route for creators to become affiliates for brands they love makes a huge difference in influencer growth.
As for education, Faique shares, “One of the things on our roadmap down the line is introducing a content and education section where we want to have best-in-class content for creators. Think of content like – This creator made $100,000 last year. Here’s how the revenue breaks down.”
The goal of the content is actionable, relatable, and easy-to-understand information to help creators become better at making money earlier in their careers.
Upcoming Plans for Swipehouse
Currently, the team is working on the next iteration of Swipehouse, which will allow creators to join the platform, become an affiliate to thousands of brands, and get paid quickly – with easy ways to withdraw that money. All of this is in addition to Swipehouse’s original design for connecting creators with other creators.
Faique shares that this iteration should be available in the near future.
He explains, “Everyone else makes money from charging brands a SaaS fee… For us, it’s how do we help creators monetize and become better? Because if they get bigger followings, they can command higher rates. The social side of Swipehouse feeds into that. If they connect with other creators, they have more friends who do the same thing.”
The ability to sign up for affiliate deals on top of one-off brand deals can also help creators earn more and scale their businesses.
Above all else, Faique shares that Swipehouse’s mission will continue to prioritize creators with its design.