Who is Gabe Gordon?
Gabe Gordon began a prosperous career in advertising after working at William Morris Agency. During his time here, he worked alongside some of the most iconic brands in the world such as General Motors and Pepsi. After leaving that position, he partnered up with his friend Frank and began establishing the foundations for Reach Agency. Gordon describes this process in more detail.
‘My partner Frank had an opportunity and we took Purina, the pet food company, and originally we were going to do the same thing and push them into entertainment. This was right when YouTube started to become popular. Any new business owner realies at some point they couldn’t get paid until someone in Hollywood had made a film about a dog or a cat, which happens but it isn’t very sustainable for business. YouTube had done their premium channels and launched two pet channels and we said ‘Hey, let’s do this’. From there, we realized that there was a huge opportunity.’
In its 10-year history, Reach Agency has joined forces with a plethora of high-value brands and has helped them to produce and promote engaging and entertaining video content.
Building Trends in the Video Industry
Gordon understands the significance that video content has on the wider aspects of the social media industry. He further explains how Reach Agency was able to pioneer video content at just the right time.
‘At first, it was, we’re going to be a YouTube agency. Of course, there were challenges with that too because 10 years ago, when you went to everybody and said, ‘We’re a YouTube agency’, people said ‘Why do we need that?’ But, then what we saw happen was that Facebook started video, and platforms like Snapchat came out. Video proliferated and we became this social video agency.’
The founder of Reach Agency continues by explaining the positive impact that influencers can have on a brand’s marketing strategy.
‘We were designed to sort of help brands reach people and places that traditional agencies couldn’t. For us, it’s always being beyond just social. If you talk to brands, it’s ‘social verse’. Because of our close relationship with influencers, in our history with talent, I think what we say is we think brands need to be influential. So, we call ourselves a full-service creative agency with influence at the center.’
Adapting to Changes in Social Media Circles
As Reach Agency continues to grow in terms of success and client portfolio, Gabe Gordon has kept a close eye on the tremendous changes occurring within the social media industry.
‘I think everything’s changed. In the past 10 years, six months haven’t gone by where there wasn’t a significant platform change or different tools on these platforms. If you look at the growth of influencer marketing in the past 10 years, it went from brands just wanting a YouTube that got a million views, to now, if you look at what top brands are doing, they’re co-developing products with influencers.’
One of the agency’s most successful campaigns was called Pockets for Bits, a partnership with Hot Pockets to help expand their presence on Twitch.
‘With Hot Pockets, they had two targets. One was Moms and one was Gen Z. Mom was the one going into the supermarkets and buying Hot Pockets. So they had to advertise to her to make her understand the pricing but also that it was nutritious for their children. Then there’s a different marketing strategy for Gen Z, mostly for relevance. […] So we took a traditional couponing program, which was usually money off for Mom when she goes to buy groceries. But instead of giving money off, let’s give it to them on Twitch.’
Gordon goes on to further describe how he used influencer marketing and wider parts of the Creator Economy for this campaign.
‘To do this, we promoted influencers using live streams and the best part about all this is that we are really contributing back to the creator community because Bits on Twitch are used to tip other creators and support them. So we really wanted to do something that was intrinsic in the creator economy and help creators support other creators.’
The campaign was incredibly successful, building a 600% conversion rate and winning multiple honors at the Shorty Awards.
Innovating the Influencer Marketing Industry
Although Gabe Gordon recognizes the overall benefits of using social media marketing, he also notes how some brands are still not willing to make use of the concept’s full potential.
‘Let’s just say the modern state of social media marketing is 10 years old. There’s hardly been any innovation. If you look at the market, like 90% of it is still sponsored posts, and marketers seeing one-off single marketing posts. Influencers are treated mostly like media and the metrics around them are always reach and engagement. Frankly, buying media is way more efficient than using influencers to gain an audience.’
He goes on to explain how many brands are beginning to see the true value of using an influencer as part of their marketing campaign.
‘I’m looking at influencers more like creators. I think they are the future, you know, creative collaborators, storytellers, and even partners that want to help new brands. I think in the past year or two, I have really started to see brands really embrace the value of them beyond a sponsored post.’
Gabe Gordon also goes on to explain how he believes influencers can be a very cost-effective solution for brands that are emerging into the market.
‘There’s so much investment in deciding what the brand is, testing it in the market, and so much media and creativity that has to go behind and building what that is and building the equity in that brand. Creators can solve that problem instantly. Not only being able to drive sampling with their audience but their equity is instantaneous brand building.’
Reach Agency has stood alongside developing trends within the industry and aims to bring more validity to the Creator Economy as a whole. Gabe Gordon ends by explaining his hopes for the agency in the near future.
‘I think we’re wholly focused on deepening that relationship with influencers and brands, driving creativity and marketing. That’s from NFTs to the Metaverse, to branded products. Even things like longer-form storytelling getting past the media unit.’