Discover the insights of influencer marketing expert Michael Diego, CEO of Wise Assistant, as he discusses hyper-local influencers, successful campaigns, and the future of influencer marketing. Gain valuable knowledge on the effectiveness of micro-influencers versus macro-influencers, common mistakes in influencer marketing, and Wise Assistant’s plans to be an omnichannel platform.
About Michael Diego
Michael Diego, the CEO of Wise Assistant, is an influencer marketing expert with a strong background in social media management and marketing. With a passion for local news and media, Michael began his career in influencer marketing in 2016.
After gaining experience managing clients and working in product management at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Michael took a leap of faith in 2020 and founded Wise Assistant. The platform specializes in hyper-local influencer activation, focusing on community building and grassroots engagement.
“We connect brands with influencers who have a genuine connection to the local community,” says Michael. “Authentic, local voices can make a significant impact and drive engagement on a grassroots level.”
Wise Assistant’s experiential marketing campaigns have resonated with clients in the hospitality, restaurant, nightlife, and local attractions industries. Under Michael’s leadership, the company continues to empower brands to leverage the power of hyper-local influencers and build meaningful connections with their target audiences.
How Wise Assistant Started
The idea for Wise Assistant came about during Michael Diego’s travels, where he was inspired by influencers and their ability to motivate people to explore new places. Recognizing the potential of supporting influencers full-time, Michael decided to build tools specifically for hyper-local influencers.
Wise Assistant operates as a marketplace, bringing influencers and brands together for campaigns and collaborations.
Influencers can join the marketplace without a selection process, and the platform caters to micro-influencers passionate about food, events, and experiences. Wise Assistant also hosts community events to foster networking and education among influencers.
Through Wise Assistant, influencers can monetize their local expertise, while brands can tap into hyper-local influence to reach their target audience effectively.
Why Wise Assistant’s Features Set It Apart From the Rest
Michael explains that Wise Assistant stands out from other platforms because it focuses on experiential activations and hyper-local campaigns. He states, “We provide granular information down to the neighborhood level, connecting brands with influencers who resonate with specific local communities.”
Regarding key features, Michael mentions, “Brands can easily create and manage campaigns for multiple brands on our platform, while influencers can apply with just one click.” He also highlights Wise Assistant’s reporting and measurement tools for tracking the impact on same-store sales.
In terms of influencer features, Michael states, “We offer landing page creation and text messaging capabilities to engage followers.” He emphasizes the significance of text messaging in fostering communication within local communities.
Looking ahead, Michael expresses the company’s goals: “We aim to improve the matching process between influencers and brands while driving specific store sales and revenue in the hyper-local influencer marketing space.”
How Wise Assistant’s Matching Process Works
When it comes to matching influencers with brands, Michael clarifies that the brand has the final say. However, Wise Assistant employs a ranking system based on a match score, which considers several factors. Michael explains, “The match score takes into account location, campaign preferences, aesthetic match, and reputation score.”
The location factor includes both city and neighborhood levels, ensuring a hyper-local match. The campaign preferences align the influencers’ parameters with the brand’s requirements, such as being a foodie, outdoor travel blogger, or cocktail enthusiast. The aesthetic match evaluates how well the influencers’ content aligns with the brand’s content style. Lastly, the reputation score considers the influencers’ professionalism, punctuality, and ability to create content in a live business setting.
Most of the time, the influencers meet with the general manager or owner of the business to ensure a successful collaboration.
Wise Assistant’s Successful Campaigns
Michael shares some examples of successful campaigns run through Wise. One of them is with Upward Projects, a restaurant group based in Phoenix, Arizona. Wise assisted them in their expansion into Atlanta, facilitating the opening events of their new locations of the POS wine cafe.
Michael also mentions, “Today, we’re working with Dave’s Hot Chicken, which is the fastest-growing restaurant franchise in the United States. We’re collaborating with their groups in Illinois, Wisconsin, and San Diego.”
He adds, “Locust Wine, a Seattle-based wine cafe, is a big partner of ours. They’re opening another restaurant location, and we’re proud to support their expansion.”
These highlight Wise Assistant’s successful collaborations with Upward Projects, Dave’s Hot Chicken, and Locust Wine, showcasing the platform’s effectiveness in assisting brands with their marketing campaigns and growth initiatives.
Metrics Used to Measure the Success of Influencer Campaigns
Michael mentions, “At the end of the day, because we work with local businesses, the locations are more concerned with growing same-store sales. This is actually revenue at the location level, and that’s gonna be the number one metric that most of our partners care about.” He emphasizes that driving sales is the ultimate goal.
Additionally, he mentions the importance of local awareness and engagement, stating, “Working backward from that typically local awareness drives same-store sales. So there is a correlation there. And then obviously engagement. So shares, saves, and likes are all very important.”
Addressing Common Challenges in Influencer Marketing
According to Michael, one common challenge brands face in influencer marketing is attribution, being able to accurately attribute specific sales or results to a particular influencer. He mentions that Wise Assistant addresses this challenge by implementing tracking codes, integrations with point-of-sale systems, and QR codes to track and measure influencer-driven results.
He highlights the importance of demonstrating a return on investment for brands by stating, “Brands need to be able to show that influencer marketing is driving a return on their investment. So being able to continue to track that is gonna be important.” He also mentions that getting the campaign strategy and compliance right from the beginning is crucial for success.
Adapting to the Changes in Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has evolved significantly since Wise Assistant was founded, becoming more competitive and captivating. According to Michael, “There are a lot of platforms out there for influencers, but where I see a lot of these platforms staying away from is local partnerships… experiential in-store marketing.” Wise Assistant recognizes this gap and embraces it as part of their strategy.
While technology has made online connections easier, Michael emphasizes the enduring importance of in-person experiences, stating, “Because of this and because of COVID, many people are still craving in-person experiences… We believe that’s only gonna get more important.”
Wise Assistant has leveraged AI, particularly ChatGPT, to enhance its services. Michael explains, “We’re looking specifically at ChatGPT… helping influencers with writing solid captions,” allowing them to tailor their content to the local audience while maintaining a strong brand presence. Additionally, Wise Assistant utilizes AI to improve communication and support brands and influencers in various aspects, such as campaign briefs and email interactions.
When it comes to the rise of virtual influencers generated by AI, Michael highlights Wise Assistant’s commitment to authenticity, saying, “The influencers in our platform can’t be that… We can’t be fake because they actually have to go into stores.” This emphasis on genuine, physically present influencers sets Wise Assistant apart from its AI-generated counterparts.
Wise Assistant remains confident in their position within the market as Michael states, “We feel like we have got a strong place in the market just given that these technologies can’t easily make us obsolete.” By continuously adapting and innovating, Wise Assistant aims to stay relevant amidst the evolving landscape of influencer marketing.
Common Mistakes Michale Sees Brands Commit to Influencer Marketing
One of the common mistakes that brands make in influencer marketing, according to Michael, is not having a clear objective when launching a campaign. He explains, “A lot of what we do is we help brands win the internet for a night or for a week… creating a flash mob on Instagram.” It’s essential for brands to define their goals and target specific outcomes.
Another mistake is solely focusing on reach as the ultimate goal. Michael suggests that if the aim is to create sustained buzz over a week or two, utilizing a combination of smaller influencers may be a better approach. He advises, “Our customer success team likes to really understand what the objectives are… to advise and consult on what the strategy should be because that’s the biggest mistake. If you don’t have the right strategy, you’re not gonna get the results you’re looking for.”
Avoiding these mistakes requires a strategic approach that aligns with the desired outcomes. It’s crucial for brands to have a clear objective, consider different influencer sizes, and seek guidance from experts to maximize the effectiveness of their influencer marketing campaigns.
Adapting to Trends in Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing trends are evolving, and Michael sees the continued growth of generative AI and the emergence of influencer super apps. He explains, “We’re seeing exciting ways to make influencers’ jobs easier.”
To stay ahead, Wise Assistant focuses on hyper-local needs, maintains direct communication with users, and automates processes using AI. Michael says, “We’re committed to being an omnichannel platform and leveraging AI for scalability.”
Wise Assistant also aims to expand influencers’ roles beyond content creation, involving them in strategy, branding, and web development. Michael states, “We want to give them opportunities beyond influencing.”
By embracing these strategies and keeping up with market changes, Wise Assistant aims to remain a leading influencer marketing platform.
Supporting Brands New to Influencer Marketing
For brands new to influencer marketing, Wise Assistant offers support in their initial steps. Michael explains, “We have campaign strategists who understand influencer and digital marketing.” These experienced professionals guide brands through campaign setup and execution and even provide on-site management during events.
By opting for a campaign strategist, brands receive personalized assistance and someone who ensures the campaign aligns with objectives. Michael adds, “They act as event coordinators and make sure everyone is following the campaign’s goals.”
This support comes at an additional cost, but it’s a way for Wise Assistant to leverage its marketplace and provide opportunities that go beyond a simple post or shout-out. It’s an investment in successful influencer marketing campaigns.
On the Effectiveness of Micro-Influencers vs. Macro-Influencers
In response to the ongoing discussion about the effectiveness of micro-influencers versus macro-influencers, Michael emphasizes the importance of understanding the campaign’s objectives. He explains, “It all comes back to what business objectives you have with each specific campaign.”
For Wise Assistant, the majority of their work involves micro-influencers. Michael highlights the cost considerations, stating that while macro-influencers may be more expensive, covering the cost of one experience, working with multiple micro-influencers means comping meals and covering other small expenses for each individual.
His personal insight is to assess what the brand is trying to accomplish. If the goal is to access different neighborhoods, communities, ethnic groups, and age categories, a wave of influencers may be more effective. On the other hand, if the target audience is Gen Z and the focus is on infiltrating their preferred platforms, partnering with a popular Gen Z influencer might be the better approach.
Ultimately, the choice between micro and macro influencers depends on the campaign objectives and the specific audience the brand wants to reach.
Plans for the Future
Wise Assistant’s plan for the next five years is to be an easy-to-use platform for brands and influencers to connect. They aim to make it super easy for brands to set up campaigns and have influencers coming into their stores within a week.
They also plan to be an omnichannel marketing platform, supporting brands across influencer marketing and paid advertising. Wise Assistant envisions a multi-channel marketing platform for local business owners, going beyond onboarding and offering services like managing email newsletters and setting up advertising campaigns.
They are focused on solving attribution and tracking ROI, especially for franchise restaurant groups. Building widgets and tools for tracking attribution is a top priority as they continue to scale. Michael states, “Continuing to build widgets and tools and methods of tracking attribution is super important to us as we continue to scale.”
One Thing Michael Wished People Knew About Influencer Marketing and Wise Assistant
When it comes to influencer marketing, Michael wants people to recognize the positive impact it can have on communities and local businesses. He challenges the negative connotations associated with influencers, stating, “I just wanna highlight how impactful influencers can be, the power in saving these local businesses and in getting the word out about new things to do in your city.”
He shares a success story of a local business owner in Atlanta who relocated her shop and struggled to attract customers. By connecting her with seven influencers, her business went viral, generating millions of views and leading to lines wrapped around the door.
As for Wise Assistant, Michael believes in the platform’s potential to connect brands, influencers, and marketers seamlessly. Their objective is to be an easy-to-use platform that simplifies campaign setup and activation. They aim to provide a multi-channel marketing solution, supporting various marketing needs, including influencer marketing and paid advertising.
Michael explains, “We’ve got opportunities and campaigns for influencers, brands, marketers, and agencies.” He encourages anyone interested to reach out, saying, “If anybody’s curious, they can contact me.” This highlights Wise Assistant’s commitment to creating opportunities and facilitating successful collaborations in the influencer marketing space.