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Hosted by:

Katya Allison

Director of Marketing
Content at GRIN

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GRIN Gets Real

About GRIN Gets Real

Welcome to the GRIN gets real podcast, the show for people who want to maximize their marketing potential. From influencer marketing to eCommerce strategy and everything in between, each episode will feature industry experts that share their insights and provide actionable tips to help you achieve your marketing goals. Subscribe and stay tuned!

Subscribe Customer Spotlight with Five Years Apart featured image

Customer Spotlight: FIVE Years Apart with Carolina Torrens, CEO, and Belen Torrens, COO

In this episode:

Carolina Torrens | Belen Torrens

CEO at FIVE Years Apart || / Belen Torrens, COO at FIVE Years Apart ||

The Torrens sisters know that knowledge is king when building a successful marketing strategy. In the early days of any campaign, they’re avid information gatherers, and FIVE Years Apart uses that information to foster mutually beneficial relationships between brands and influencers.

Customer Spotlight with Five Years Apart featured image

Full episode details

In today’s Customer Spotlight, host Katya Allison hears from FIVE Years Apart sisters Carolina Torrens, CEO, and Belen Torrens, COO, about their relational approach to connecting brands and influencers.
The Torrens sisters know that knowledge is king when building a successful marketing strategy. In the early days of any campaign, they’re avid information gatherers, and FIVE Years Apart uses that information to foster mutually beneficial relationships between brands and influencers.
Carolina and Belen build successful brand relationships through a holistic marketing philosophy that includes:

  • A concerted effort to provide exceptional customer service.
  • Amplifying brands’ and creators’ existing voices rather than changing them.
  • Building personal relationships with clients before beginning the actual marketing work. 
  • Targeting the whole marketing funnel to maximize ROI.
  • Appreciating the intangible word-of-mouth value of gifting campaigns.
  • Creating brand authenticity that feels trustworthy to potential customers.

Their metric-driven strategy, taken together with an emphasis on authenticity and collaboration, delivers a meaningful ROI while also cultivating healthy brand partnerships.

If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave a review and subscribe so you never miss an episode. For more information and links to all of the resources mentioned in today’s episode, visit Grin.co.
#Content #influencermarketing #ecommerce

Quotes from the episode

Belen Torrens quote and headshot

“We want to do our job so well that we work ourselves out of a job. That’s what a great agency does.” 

-Carolina Torrens

“If you can provide a mix that targets every single part of the marketing funnel, it’s inevitably really beneficial.”

-Belen Torrens

“If you’re tactical about who you’re sending things to and what you’re sending them, then that word of mouth is going to trickle.” 

-Carolina Torrens




Katya Allison (Host) (00:01):

The Customer Spotlight Series of the GRIN Gets Real podcast is really meant to highlight GRIN Brands who are successfully leveraging creators as part of their marketing strategy. Each brand shares their brand story and insight on how creators add value to that story. And in each episode, we dive into who the brand is, their customer creator program, and the impacts the creator economy has on their brand.

(00:26):

GRIN is the number one creator management platform designed for the next generation of brands who recognize that in the creator economy, authenticity is everything. To get insight on how GRIN can help you manage your creator strategy, visit grin.co, that’s grin.co. And on that note, today I am chatting with Carolina and Belen from FIVE Years Apart. FIVE Years Apart is an award-winning influencer marketing agency based out of Miami, Florida, and it specializes in influencer marketing with service offerings ranging from turnkey influencer marketing program strategy and management, PR gifting and fulfillment and shipping. Between the both of them, they share their story and strategy, and most importantly their passion for what they do and why they do it. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to listen to FIVE Years Apart, Story of Influencers and Creators as a Strategy.

(01:29):

Belen and Carolina, thank you for coming on to the GRIN Gets Real podcast. A very special customer spotlight series that we’re running here on the podcast itself. I’m excited because you guys are an agency so your point of view is going to be completely different, and you’ve got insights across all industries.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (01:50):

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having us, Katya. We love hanging out with the GRIN team, and all of the awesome things that we’ve done with you guys, and we’re thrilled to be here and honored. Thank you. Thank you for having us.

Katya Allison (Host) (02:00):

I’m going to keep signing you guys up, just be on the Watch app.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (02:04):

And I keep saying yes, so make sure you are careful what you wish for.

Katya Allison (Host) (02:08):

These are good problems to have. Well, let’s get started with having you both just give us an overview of who FIVE Years Apart is. Your why, just your values, what even drove you to start the agency, and even more focused on the creator and influencer side of things.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (02:28):

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So, I’ll start but Belen, just keep me honest here. So, FIVE Years Apart started two years ago in the middle of what was the thicker part of the lockdown I would say. More immediate part of the lockdown and spawning from my sister and I lived together during the pandemic or again I guess I should call it lockdown. And we were just such a great team, and we were both in an interesting career moment for both of us. Both looking to make a change, and I was an influencer marketing and I loved what I did so much, and I still today I was so lucky to have graduated college and gotten the opportunity to have so much responsibility in a company that has so much market share, and really got a lot of ownership over the influencer team.

(03:19):

So, tons of experience in a short amount of time, but I really felt like I could bring to more brands and more businesses rather than going from the brand side of things with influencers. I swapped over to agencies so, like you said, spanned the knowledge across a few different industries and whatnot, and went to school at Babson. Shout out Babson. So, the entrepreneurial bug was real, and again, given that Belen was in a similar situation as me looking to make a change, I just asked her if she would be willing to do that with me, and we did it.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (03:52):

I was in a totally different industry. I was in transportation logistics for years actually working in the family business with our dad and our older sister. Were four sisters all together. We love keeping it in the family, that was really rewarding. But I didn’t love transportation and logistics. It was a lot of time in the warehouse, not really my scene, and in watching Carol, and how much she loved influencer marketing and her previous position, I was very intrigued. So, when she asked me, it was a shot in the dark, but I said yes, and that’s just where it all grew from.

Katya Allison (Host) (04:32):

I love it. I love that you guys do keep it in the family as well too, and I totally have obviously a passion for influencers and influencer marketing, and just working with creators in general. And I know that there are a lot of agencies that are out there so, I’m really interested to hear how you guys tell other brands what your differentiator is, between what you guys are doing, and what other agencies that are doing that are also managing influencers for brands.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (05:01):

One of our biggest differentiators from other agencies is our FIVE Years Apart creator network. Our mission is really to bring together and to create a space for brands and influencers… Compatible brands and influencers to come together to have that space, and to be able to marry them together. So, that’s really a big differentiator, and then just a characteristic that we really pride ourselves on is customer service. Just because I feel like customer service has gone down across all industries really so, we really like to pay attention to detail, make sure our clients feel seen and heard in their needs. So, that’s another big one for us.

Katya Allison (Host) (05:48):

I love it. And who are the customers that you guys are shooting for, ultimately?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (05:54):

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for asking. We specialize in mid-market to enterprise, and if we’re getting specific about industries, of course we target those that are, I don’t want to say no brainers for influencer marketing, but that are definitely great fits for influencer marketing. So, beauty, health and wellness, fitness, fashion, those are just top of mind. And then qualifiers and some might call industries I would definitely agree, and some arguments would be E-comm, DTC, anybody who lives and sells online and is trying to reach a consumer that uses influencers as a way to make purchasing decisions and get informed about things that they’re looking for in the market.

Katya Allison (Host) (06:33):

So, who is, well not who, you’ve just described who, but I’m wondering ideally what state is the brand in, in their program when they look for you as a solution? Is it like, “I’m starting from scratch, help me build it.” It’s like, “I’m filling a need, I’m testing it out.” What stage is it ideal to reach out to you guys for creators and influencer marketing?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (07:00):

Yeah. In the most absolute ideal, it is a relative or a brand with a relative amount of brand recognition where influencers in their marketing mix would fit less at the top of the funnel and more a little bit into consideration phase. Typically, what their influencer marketing may look like today is that usually, they’ve already had some influencer marketing implemented. They probably have some historicals in that most ideal if we can pick and choose. They have either a team or an individual that’s overseeing this, and then they see FIVE Years Apart as a way to really scale and amplify something that they already started to test and learn for.

(07:38):

Not to say that especially with the mid-market and enterprise brands, we can’t start from scratch and that’s not something that we’re not able to fulfill as well, and that’s also really rewarding because that is ground up and returns a key with our solutions as well as ala carte. So, we can plug in as your makeshift influencer marketing department, or we can under the guise of a marketing director or an influencer marketing specialist that you have on staff. We can act as their extra hands and eyes, and ears.

Katya Allison (Host) (08:09):

Now, I assume that you guys go up against this type of feeling that people have in regards to agencies running influencer marketing or creator management. Because a lot of times what you remove from working with an agency is that personal relationship, and it’s definitely something that I have seen really help brands honestly with influencer marketing and working with creators and creator management in general is that relationship that you can build. So, what do you say when people are like, “Is this going to work, because I’m removed from it?” Typically, some of the friction points are, you’re not going to care as much, or you’re not able to pivot as quickly as I would be able to if I’m in-house. What are your thoughts on that?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (08:57):

That’s something that Belen and I preach. That’s the pillar of any of the strategies that we would put together for anybody. White labeling a service is always available, and in that case, there will be no indication that we are not a representative of whatever brand we’re coming to creators as. And in the cases where we’re not white labeling, we make it abundantly clear that we’ve been brought on board in order to act as a resource and liaison to amplify the relationship that these creators have with the brands because again, FIVE Years Apart recognizes just how important it is that these brands really feel like they’re being listened to, respected, catered to, that the brand is just as involved in the development for this creator and in their network and their growth and their success as a creator as they’re supposed to be for the brand that’s asking for their engagement to some capacity.

(09:46):

And that goes for gifting campaigns, something where there’s low to no expectations for some return and it especially goes for those high retainer macro influencer celebrity engagements so, which of course have different nuances and whatnot, but we’re on the brand side with that argument. So, when that is a question that comes up, it’s A, a valid one and B one that we meet with a lot of respect to what we know works in the industry, and more than once we’ve said at meetings and truthfully with clients, and still today that’s speaks to the customer service that Belen mentioned that has really brought us through is that we’ll tell a brand we want to do our job so well, we work ourselves out of a job.

(10:29):

That’s what a great agency does. They put systems in place, and they teach whomever needs to be taught whatever needs to be taught, and they’re honest and they’re transparent, and they bring all the information forward, and they know that creators really want great relationships with brands, and that your creator network is something that is going to thrive, and how involved and committed your creators feel to the brand is really going to ultimately be the difference between a good and a great program strategy campaign.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (10:59):

We’re already engaging with a prospect well before we’re even reaching out to them. So, whether we’re white labeling or not, whether it’s from the FIVE Years Apart socials or from the brand socials, we’re engaging with these creators that we want to activate well before reaching out to them. We want to make ourselves known ourselves being the agency or the brand to the influencer, and make it known that we like their content, genuinely like their content and we’re building that relationship before we even begin to engage so that we’re already at the front of their minds.

Katya Allison (Host) (11:35):

That totally makes sense. I also think that as an agency you guys bring a unique perspective when stepping in with almost these fresh eyes on either an existing program but also evaluating a program, but also potentially starting a new program as well too. So, I’m really curious, is this going to sound like I’m asking for your methodology on figuring out how to even get started with it? But the reason that I’m also asking that is because I think that your fresh eyes and your approach, and the questions that you ask a brand to get to know them can be applied to even a brand who is evaluating their state of their program and maybe even starting it as well too. So, day one of a relationship with the brand, how do you get to know them to the point where it is that you are part of that team?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (12:29):

That is such a good question, and such an important part of being the agency. The nature of the agency is we have to be able to toggle between a boutique fitness agency in Miami, Florida to a Fortune 500 company running something with a lot of parameters, red tape to a beauty brand with significant enough market share that what you’re doing is moving the needle by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars so, and those are all very different industries, and require very different approaches, and are a lot of things to remember, and if you’re not organized in your approach, which is something that Belen and I… Especially with Belen’s project management background, and Belen will never to her own horn on this, but that’s why it’s another benefit that we get to work together is that I get to do that. She was on two feet, 14 hours a day, black under her nails, moving boxes, closing that rip that you do. Nobody ever does a move exactly what tape sensor I’m talking about. Belen, I’m surprised doesn’t have carpal tunnel yet from how to box [inaudible 00:13:33]-

Belen Torrens (Guest) (13:33):

Probably do. Probably if not there yet, I need to mention long distance. But having her to have that background and then me with the tactical influencer stuff when we were first building the systems and the processes because we knew right away if we were going to be a scalable agency, if we were going to do this right for our clients, we need something really solid in place to get this to move along. And a big piece of that is how do we most optimally and with as few touch points as possible really get to know the client, and what is that we’re trying to do as a business.

(14:07):

So, we actually start really macro, like what’s the big goal here? As much as they can tell us with mid-market and enterprise of course, and then what are your influence marketing goals, and then what are your marketing goals, and what are the other channels that you have active, and how are those channels being activated, and who’s in charge of those channels and can we speak with them, and what are the lead generation opportunities that you guys are exploring? How much money have you put into X, Y, and Z? What have you learned? Are there historicals?

(14:35):

So, we’re really just looking for as much information as possible at the beginning again as quickly as possible for that information dump at the beginning, so that we’re not making a strategy that lives separate. We’re making a strategy that’s within your marketing mix. That’s I think the big challenge of any agency is to really nail understanding the client but understanding the client from a macro enough level that you can make your micro contribution that’s going to really push the needle and bring you ROI in places that aren’t really specifically your influencer funnel. That’s not really a one to one, and that’s when you’re bringing value to the client. That’s when the hours that they pay, and we’re big on saving hours. We’re always trying to save our clients time because we just want these strategies to work.

(15:24):

We want the time to be able to be creative and tactical and agile to your point. And another part of the question is really, we’re a small but very mighty team, and I see our smaller team as a real advantage with that boutique agency feel. We’re a team of about 13 in total right now on a full-time support, and then you add the vendors on full-time, we’re a team of about 17, 18 so, we can move quickly and those teams break off into little pods and we do it that way so that first of all, things stay organized and it’s not too many cooks in the kitchen, so that the client also has their due staff and time and attention and hours and minds on the same one project so that we can really try and think of everything, and minimize risk and maximize return.

Katya Allison (Host) (16:09):

I am obsessed with this right now. I’m going to do a whole other content thing where we run through an intake like that because I think that so often influencer marketing is viewed as a siloed strategy within the overall marketing department to begin with, so we’re always pushing. I know I’m very specifically always pushing like, “All right, yes it’s influencer marketing, but it feeds and can feed the rest of the overall marketing strategy, and you’ve taken it to a totally other level as well too.” What’s the overall company strategy and can we tie that all back to it so that we’re all successful. I also think that that structure helps you showcase the return on investment on leveraging creators. If you can say, “Yes, I ran this campaign, but it supported all of these things that support this business initiative that we’re all going for,” is a much broader conversation.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (17:11):

Absolutely. Yep.

Katya Allison (Host) (17:13):

Now, because you work with multiple brands, are there consistent pitfalls that you see brands fall into when it comes to their influencer marketing that you’re like, “Hey these are some quick wins for you guys,” that are obvious misses, maybe?

Belen Torrens (Guest) (17:31):

Yeah. I would say especially with these brands who are a little less established come to us. Very top of the funnel are looking to build that brand awareness but are looking to do it by skipping a ton of steps. It’s been difficult trying to make clear to some of those brands that product seating, gifting, that’s how you’re going to build that brand awareness, that top of funnel activates those nano micro influencers. They just want to skip all that and go right to activate these macro influencers, and I want the top of the top, but I have no budget, and [inaudible 00:18:15], and I’m giving you an impossible scenario, but make it happen.

Katya Allison (Host) (18:21):

You can do it, right?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (18:23):

And I want a dollar-to-dollar ROI and I better be making what I’m paying in a retainer [inaudible 00:18:28].

Katya Allison (Host) (18:29):

I feel like that’s such a challenge, right?

Belen Torrens (Guest) (18:32):

It backfires because there is so much value, especially when you’re at the top of funnel, at the beginning of building your brand awareness in doing things like product seating, and literally just gifting and sending out your product. Even if those creators don’t actually post anything because it is purely a gift, it is at least one more person that your brand is getting in front of, so.

Katya Allison (Host) (18:56):

That’s true.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (18:58):

[inaudible 00:18:58] benefits there.

Katya Allison (Host) (18:59):

And it’s actually more than one person. Because I know that I’ve been gifted things, and the word of mouth that comes from this one gift that comes in is consistent. That’s the dark side of it, right? Where no one knows the brand, doesn’t know the brand. I got something from Natural Dog Company. It’s still sitting there because I want to open it up because I want to take a picture of it. I have told everybody about it, especially with 4th of July, right? That sounds probably really random when I say in regards to 4th of July, it’s calming stuff from your dogs, right?

(19:34):

And because 4th of July had just come around the corner, it was such a topic of conversation, and I’ve mentioned this brand so many times to the people who came over to my house. So, the people who’ve come to my house since then see this box still, right? To me that word of mouth value is so tough to attribute in, actually I’d almost say impossible to attribute word of mouth, but it is so part of it. I view it as building out your brand equity by doing that product gifting.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (20:04):

Oh, yeah. That’s a great point, Katya.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (20:07):

Especially when you make a gift really valuable and then they start using it, and then that’s recognition through word of mouth. I love the Gopuff. In South Florida, you order it for the first time on Gopuff, and they send you a hat, and they send you a little card that says, “If we just become best friends,” and we all know what famous movie that line that is, and it’s all this recognizable thing, and now I wear that hat, and I love that hat, and I’m wearing a Gopuff hat all over just because I think it’s so cool, and they might not have made much on my little Ginger ale/like random things that I was filling out in my refrigerator that evening, whatever, but I’m definitely going to first of all order again through Gopuff, and then [inaudible 00:20:49] wear that hat. I’m going to wear the hat.

(20:53):

I might not be influential or influencing, but I’m definitely wearing a hat. And if you’re tactical about who you’re sending things to and what you’re sending them and you make it useful, cool, then 100% Katya that word of mouth is just going to trickle regardless of if you can capture that on your platform that you’re using to find your content and mentions and things.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (21:16):

You’re wearing the hat and now you’re blasting them on this. I

Katya Allison (Host) (21:19):

I know. Exactly. Exactly. They don’t even know. As a marketer, I want to tell them.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (21:30):

I’m going to email somebody.

Katya Allison (Host) (21:30):

Yeah, exactly. Like, “Hey, I just want you to know I’m [inaudible 00:21:35] so that I’m part of your attribution model. One, I feel like as an agency, my background is agency as well. I also feel this pain of having to prove to the brand that I did get a return on investment in this effort that I did. So, when we’re talking about all the things that we’re talking about with brand equity and also that word of mouth, if there is not an affiliate link or discount code, how are you proving this return on investment to a brand that leverages you as their agency for creator management?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (22:09):

Yeah, absolutely, and I know you know that I love this topic.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (22:14):

So, I’m going to let her take it away.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (22:18):

This is where the mountain I live and die on here is ROI with influencers. So, great question Katya, and it’s such a good one too, especially when you’re talking mid-market and enterprise businesses because they have so many, or ideally in a world where they have their marketing mix to work this way is that they have a few other channels active. So, you can really position influencer, and that’s why we take so much time in that intake piece to really understand what the goals are at a macro level business and marketing wise so that we can see influencer level, what goals should we be setting there, and are the ones that you’re coming into the agency, the expectations that you’re coming to the agency with realistic, or maybe are they even a little too low in comparison to some of the other things that you as a brand have going on, and really just making sure that the influencer piece is being looked at as something that can contribute to multiple funnels.

(23:10):

And then, finding those KPIs that are, as we call them, smart goals in life, smart KPIs. They’re specific, they’re measurable, they’re attributable, they’re relevant, and they’re time-based. Something that has a number to it. It makes sense the timeframe that you’re looking for. It’s a reasonable one to be comparing apples to apple’s that… Or no apples to Alabama.

(23:33):

So, in the same way that you’re looking for ROI in some of the other channels that you might be activating and paid search, or PPC, or social organic or otherwise, do that with influencers. And there are amazing tools, hot take or shameless plug, I should say. GRIN, I would say is the most important one to be keeping top of mind for those mid-market and enterprise that are managing several influencers because it’s one, especially with the ROI and measuring money in and money to, or money towards a campaign generated from a campaign, that’s one way to capture it. It’s right there for you. It’s in real time, it’s available to you. You can have somebody send you a Slack and say, “Hey, what’s up with this campaign right now?” And you have that information right then and there, and it’s valuable and amazing information. And it’s a great contributor to the other information that you guys or brands should be collecting from some of their other channels. So, as an example, are we seeing any lift and web? What’s going on with the web?

Katya Allison (Host) (24:32):

Yeah.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (24:32):

Does that correlate with a campaign that we just ran, and who posted on the day that we’re seeing this weird 3% lift that there’s a weird blip that happened at the end of the day that the dev team is like, “Hmm, must have been an ad or something.” And the paid team is like, “No, you know, whatever is this and that.” And then you do some digging and you realize that was the final posting day for the most recent campaign that you ran, and you had four, five, 600 influencers posting about you over the last week. And in that last little bit, you got a little 100% bump, and now you have 4% web traffic because of that little funnel from where they found you to where they ended up. And can you perfectly find every single dollar, as we just said, between the word of mouth and all the other things ancillary? No, and we can’t even do that digitally.

(25:22):

We can’t reset digitally, but tools like GRIN can really get you that in real time. What’s happening within this funnel and then being tactical and intentional with the rest of your marketing teams and coming up with a way that either Biz Dev, or any other kind of analyst or data person on your team can really be looking from ecosystem view and see if some of the things that are unexplainable and some of these other channels can be attributed back in some way, shape or form to something that influencers contributed to. And content repurposing is another thing that ROI comes in, but a little less, I guess, complicated than what I was just trying to describe.

Katya Allison (Host) (26:04):

Listen, I love that this is your hill, because I think that it should be everybody’s hill to die on. I think as marketers, we’re always challenged with, “Show me that it’s working, show me that it’s working or else we’re going to get rid of it,” right? Because you have to be able to tie it down. But again, just to reiterate what you had even said at the beginning when you were talking about your intake, the value that you guys are providing also is that you’re able to track what you’re doing with creators to a business initiative that affects the entire company, and I think that, that’s one of the biggest gaps that most people don’t identify. It’s very like, “Oh, this worked, this worked,” but what else are you doing for marketing? What else are you doing for the business?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (26:47):

Totally. Because honestly, Katya, frankly, brands don’t want to hear what’s the value that FIVE Years Apart is bringing. “Oh, you get so much more out of us because our systems are so great that we save you time. So, you get more retainer hours or whatever. It’s just more real tactical time.” Brands don’t want to hear that. They’re like, “You can’t measure ROI on how much more quickly you can get this free out or get 100 influencers on our roster, whatever. But that’s a part of it for sure. That’s mobility and that’s like that’s fuel to the fire for sure, but they want the dollar. And again, tools like GRIN, that’s the dollar in that moment on this funnel without a doubt, so.

Katya Allison (Host) (27:26):

I love it. Now I promise I’m almost done, but I cannot leave without asking you guys a very kind of creator type question. Because one of the topics of conversation has been like, “Do we just use micro? Do we just use nano? Do we just use macro?” What would you say in your experience is a good creator mix to have for any program, or is there even a good creator mix for any program? I’m assuming it’s like anything in marketing, it depends. It depends on your budget, your goals and all of that stuff, but what have you seen consistently successful from the creator type?

Belen Torrens (Guest) (28:08):

As you just said, it definitely depends on a lot of things. The brand, where they’re at in terms of their own business development, where they’re at with their social presence online already, what kind of budget they have. So, all of that depends, but really if you have a budget to work with, you have a solid product, and really wide parameters, it’s great to incorporate a mix of influence, nano, micro, macro. So, if you can provide a mix and target every single part of that marketing funnel, we’re getting every part of that funnel. So, it’s inevitably really beneficial.

Katya Allison (Host) (28:51):

And using those creators strategically too, right? That’s what you’re describing.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (28:55):

You have some at the top just helping with the brand recognition, and you have your others at the bottom helping you with the conversion. So, I would say definitely if you’re able to provide some kind of mix, it’s always really beneficial. But again, it really depends on what you’re working with, definitely case by case.

Katya Allison (Host) (29:16):

I love it. Testing is so important. I think I was describing influencer marketing as a little bit of a science and you have to be a scientist, right? You’re always kind of, “I did this based on the information that I have. But what are the outcomes and what do I need to tweak the next time to get better results or doing that back and forth.” I don’t know if you guys feel strongly in general with testing in programs or with influencers with brands that you work with.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (29:45):

100% a must. There are brands that we work with that will not engage in a paid activation with an influencer if they have not already tested them in some [inaudible 00:29:56] or organic engagement, imperative. I mean imperative. You have to be auditing your list, and like Belen said, she nailed it. It’s all about the mix and what’s going to be most important for the goals for influencer marketing, and again, on that macro level marketing and business goals. And the best way to make sure that you’re always optimizing that is to be taking a real look at it every month, and to using an analytical lens to grab that data and make some real decisions about how to keep on moving the needle in a positive direction.

Katya Allison (Host) (30:26):

I love it. Okay. I have a final question for both of you. So, I want an answer from both of you on this one. What would you say is the value of working with creators for brands right now, and actually for always?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (30:41):

Awesome.

Belen Torrens (Guest) (30:42):

So, hoo, so much value. So much value. I’m just going to throw one right out there, especially in a lot of the cases for our top of funnel, newer brands, they had, I’m thinking of a couple examples, they have somewhat of a presence on social, but it just doesn’t look legit. They’re reposting pictures from Pinterest. You can’t even really tell if it’s a real page. So, I feel the huge value from influencers is really just giving a brand that authenticity piece, which is so pivotal. Giving that brand a voice that people can actually trust and listen to and make purchasing decisions.

Katya Allison (Host) (31:30):

Absolutely. It sounds like you’re saying more that the social proof value behind creators for brand and also the exposure, it sounds like, right?

Belen Torrens (Guest) (31:39):

Social proof is huge.

Katya Allison (Host) (31:40):

I love it. Carolina, what value do you think creators bring?

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (31:45):

So, that was where my mind went first as well, and I think that’s just a testament to that being a really big and important piece of this. And then, if we want to add an added benefit and talk about the business application for creators is that they’re a great means to sell and they’re a phenomenal asset to your brand. And frankly, that’s made through being really authentic with how you’re engaging with them. And I think that’s an amazing relationship where it works when you do it with a lot of intention, and when you really care about the people that you’re working with, and when you’re working with people who care about what they do.

(32:22):

We find that the creators that are the best in what they do are the ones that genuinely care to be working with brands that they actually want to be promoting, and to be bringing their followers who they genuinely love, who they know are the reason that they are making the career of their dreams happen. They feel a responsibility to those people, and to the brands that are giving them the opportunity to be that person to that audience.

(32:48):

So, I think that the other thing I would add to the benefit of influencers is that they work, and the nature of it is that they work when you care. When you’re working with good people who also care and who want to bring something good forward and bring something honest to the interweb and to the people that are listening to them. So, the most rewarding part for watching it all kind of go down is seeing something really successful happen, and creators and brands loving being in an activation with one another and fostering a relationship with one another, that’s second to none. The best part of seeing these things reach their success.

Katya Allison (Host) (33:27):

I can’t thank both of you ladies enough. You have dropped so much information and knowledge. I’d love to hear about your agency, and what you guys are doing. And I can’t say this enough, I’m obsessed, and I love your approach to this. The personalization that you’re able to provide to brands while also seeing the creators value, I think really is such a winning combination, and thank you so much for coming on here and sharing a little bit of your story.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (33:58):

Thank you for having us. Hopefully you can decipher who’s who if you’re watching this without video. Sound the same.

Katya Allison (Host) (34:07):

You do sound the same. You do sound the same. It’s amazing. Thank you again so much.

Carolina Torrens (Guest) (34:14):

Thank you, Katya.

Katya Allison (Host) (34:18):

I hope that you found the FIVE Years Apart story just as insightful as I did. I always think that it’s incredibly valuable to hear people’s why behind what it is that they do, but especially like how that fits into the creator economy. It’s such a topic of conversation. Remember, you always get brand awareness, community revenue, and content from implementing a strategy with creators.

(34:43):

How much of each takes a strong relationship between creator and brand to achieve mutual success? So, remember, treat creators like your brand revolves around them. Because in the creator economy, it does. Now, be sure to subscribe to the GRIN Gets Real podcast for more customer spotlight stories, and marketing strategy.

(35:02):

Give us some stars and write a review. Tell me your favorite episode and connect with me on social Katya Allison. You can find me on LinkedIn. If you are interested in learning more about GRIN, visit our website @grin.co. That’s grin.co. Until next time, keep grinning.

All-in-one creator management platform helping ecommerce companies build more valuable brands through the power of creator partnerships.

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