Dovetale founder Mike Schmidt noticed a need to simplify business-creator partnerships, though he didn’t initially set out with this goal in life. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering in 2012, but he soon focused on the digital space and even launched Listn, a music-sharing app. After learning more about the needs of users and making connections with other knowledgeable people, he felt he had to create something to help creators and influencers.
To that end, he founded Dovetale, and he has been able to connect Shopify merchants and digital creators and influencers. Businesses can discover content creators, offer affiliate links and codes, and track influencer marketing performance all in the app.
“A lot of the existing solutions in the market kind of feel like Windows 95, and we want to bring a new standard of design and simplicity.”
But Dovetale isn’t only a way for businesses to find greater success in their marketing efforts. It’s also a valuable source for creators to link up with brands and form lasting partnerships.
“We want to modernize everything. It became an obsession to solve problems for creators because it’s a big part of the internet’s middle class”
How Dovetale Gots Its Start
Mike and his team first began working on Dovetale in 2016. The business evolved over time from a search engine to a full set of tools used to manage relationships with creators.“We were really excited about building the Google for people. The New York Times featured our work in fraud detection and it attracted a lot of our early customers.”
Earlier this year, Dovetale partnered with Shopify and has been growing exponentially — so much so that Mike considers Dovetale to be a “brand new company with Shopify”.
“It feels like we’re a 1-year-old company in a 5-year-old body.”
How Dovetale Works and Why It’s Different
As Mike explained, Dovetale works because of four key tools: Community, Campaigns, Discover, and List. Community helps businesses keep track of their work and correspondence with creators and influencers. Campaigns is largely focused on content management. Discover allows businesses to search for influencers to work with, while Lists is a tool to organize information and contacts. Through these means, Mike is confident his business stands out from the rest.
“Our DNA is very different from the other influencer marketing platforms.They feel very old and antiquated”
Dovetale prioritizes making the software it provides extremely easy to use.
“You don’t have to open up Dovetale and read a 20-page manual in order to know how it works. You can just open it up, set up an account, and just get going.”
Mike offered up KontrolFreek as an example of Dovetale’s success. The gaming accessory brand was able to expand its community of influencers after joining the Dovetale family, using the app as a one-stop shop for recruitment, payment, and, ultimately, profit. By using affiliate codes, creators the business had partnered with made money, and KontrolFreek, as a result of the influencers’ engaging content, also made money — around $400,000 after a few months of using Dovetale.
“Real sales are coming from influencers and content creators. They’re posting incredible content on Twitch, Instagram and very compelling to want to purchase from people you trust”
The Dovetale Experience for Influencers
Mike and the Dovetale team want to provide greater brand deals for creators. That’s why, when participating content creators join, they’re presented with their own separate interface, where they can respond to brands’ interests in forming partnerships.
Dovetale is currently determined to optimize the brand interface so that businesses can locate,reach out to influencers, pay them easily, and on time. The team has plans to significantly enhance the creator experience on Dovetale.
“We’re trying to be very cognizant toward what a marketplace might look like, what a marketplace may not look like, but there’s so many opportunities, and if you think back to our main goal, it’s getting creators opportunities.”
With roughly 47 million creators looking for new brand deals (2 million being professional influencers), Dovetale provides a lot of potential revenue streams for creators and, of course, the companies who work with them.
“The market is huge, and I think if you’re going to open up a lot more economic opportunities at the intersection of e-commerce and content”.
Dovetale Sees Value in Creators with Small Followings
Many influencer marketing businesses today focus on the number of followers or subscribers a creator has, but Mike says this is not necessarily the way to go. Instead a business, according to him, should find creators who have strong “love for the brand.” And while it’s not a simple thing to analyze, the results are worth it.
Citing companies like makeup brand Glossier, Mike said the companies with some of the strongest influencer campaigns make it a point to connect with average people who like what they’re selling and who are already consumers, not just popular social media stars with huge followings.
“I think the best influencers are people that just love the brand(s) they are working with. They don’t need to have hundreds of thousands of followers. They just have to be people who are willing to authentically advocate.”
The Future of Influencer Marketing According to Mike Schmidt
While becoming a content creator wasn’t as popular of a decision years ago, these days, many people dream of being an influencer and strive to make brand deals. And while social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok are great ways to expand your audience, Mike sees Shopify as the ideal way to connect with brands.
“Shopify has a very unique ability to own this independent relationship. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.are amazing for distribution, but they don’t give control to creators. Whereas on Shopify, creators actually own their business and relationships with each customer.”
So, just where is influencer marketing headed? And what does that mean for creators?
“I think where it goes in the next five years is way more creator independence. Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc. are going to have to shell out way more money to creators. And I think there’s going to be way more financial solutions for them.”
Right now, Dovetale is determined to continue expanding the brands they work with and offering them the top resources in the market, which will allow Dovetale to further grow their creator base. In just the last few months, they’ve helped businesses pay creators millions, so it’s clear Dovetale values brand-creator partnerships.
“Right now, our main focus is building the best tools for merchants to ultimately get more creators opportunities. That’s pretty much as simple as it is.”