Grin, Inc. : Ushering in Influencer Marketing 2.0

Brian Mechem, COO & Co-Founder
Great influencer marketing can only occur when there is an affinity between an influencer and a brand, and the brand’s product is highly relevant to the influencer’s audience. This allows the endorsement by the influencer to be genuine even if they have been compensated. In the past, examples of this were hard to find. Influencer marketing on social media sites like YouTube often felt inauthentic. Brands that wanted to find and work with influencers were left to do this by searching on the social sites themselves, or by posting to a few influencer marketplace job boards. The former strategy is inefficient, requiring too many person-hours, while the marketplace structure has problems of its own.

These include a lack of quality talent since good influencers often don’t check job boards, and a focus on one-off transactions instead of long-term relationships, resulting in inauthentic content and lost trust from audiences toward the influencers and brands. In response to this, leading brands have shifted their influencer marketing strategy over the past two years. Now they are proactively seeking out the right influencers, creating long-term business relationships with them, and measuring their return-on-investment.

Tapping this opportunity, Grin is a software solution that is helping brands (and agencies that represent them) do just that. In the wake of “influencer marketing 2.0,” Grin focuses on long-term relationships between brands and social media influencers, while optimizing the processes for their clients. From a high level, Grin’s software enables identification and recruitment of influencers, management of those relationships over time via a unique “influencer CRM,” workflow tools for getting content produced by influencers, and in-depth analytics on performance and ROI.

“Grin’s software powers some of the biggest influencer programs across the globe,” emphasizes Brian Mechem, COO and Co-founder of Grin.

Grin indexes social media influencers who it deems make the best content, vetting them through technology first.
If the influencers meet certain criteria, such as having high engagement rates on their content and a verifiable email, they become accessible to brands and agencies via Grin’s search engine. When it’s time to contact the influencers, the recruitment tools combine personalized email templates with automated follow ups, streamlining the process of initial communication.


Grin’s software powers some of the biggest influencer programs across the globe


One interesting problem with influencer marketing platforms is that influencers themselves don’t like signing up for them. To overcome this, Grin created a unique link system and automated content capturing tools to allow influencers to participate in brand marketing campaigns without ever signing up for Grin. Analytics reports that examine influencer performance are generated automatically.

Although Grin works with enterprise clients as well as small businesses, they identified mid-sized businesses with existing influencer programs as their ideal customer. Their software is best utilized by marketers with some base level knowledge of influencer marketing. However, no matter the size of the client, Grin’s value is shown through time and cost savings with optimization, the ability scale influencer programs, and transparency into the performance of those programs.

“You are our secret weapon,” said one of Grin’s clients, a leading beauty company in the U.S. Although they had an existing large-scale influencer program, the involvement of Grin in the process made it more efficient. Activating 50-150 influencers per day, this enterprise saw 150 percent faster workflow after integrating Grin.

Despite the recent growth of the influencer marketing industry, Grin sees this as the beginning. Amid the industry shifts, Grin can be expected to become the fastest growing company in the influencer marketing arena.

Company
Grin, Inc

Headquarters
Sacramento, CA

Management
Brian Mechem, COO & Co-Founder

Description
Grin’s software helps companies optimize and scale their influencer marketing programs

Grin, Inc