Influencer marketing platform Marketit has received 1.6 billion won (USD $1.42m) in funding from SoftBank Ventures, bringing its total Series A funding to 5.2 billion won ($4.6m).
Content marketing and product placement is huge in Korea, and advertisers have long done deals with “power bloggers” and social media influencers. Marketit aims to streamline the process of connecting advertising with influencers, removing the need to negotiate separate deals with each and every person. Likewise, popular social media figures can use the service to receive products from advertisers and earn income by featuring brands in their posts.
Over 5,200 influencers have signed up for Marketit since its launch 10 months ago, totaling an audience of over 67 million followers — not something to scoff at. At the moment, only users with over 1000 followers are accepted as influencers, and once signed up they can pick which products they’re interested in, receiving discounts depending on follower numbers, interests and advertisers. From there, all users need to do is incorporate products into their posts in some way.
To help monitor the activity of influencers, Marketit has developed its own automatic system which uses a bot to manage influencer sign ups and posts. Advertisers are able to use the same system to track posts and social media stats in real time. Discounts for a wide range of products including fashion, beauty and food, are also calculated according to each influencer’s reach.
The broad range of users means that Marketit can offer advertising campaigns that are 10 times more effective than standard promotional methods. In addition to this, the platform offers other ways for influencers to earn cash, such as selling the publishing rights to their photos or videos.
“We will extend our system, which is based on Instagram, to cover other platforms including Facebook and YouTube, as well as widen the scope of our service further by connecting influencers with legacy media such as TV and magazines,” says CEO of Marketit, Ryan Park. “In addition to this, we plan to add various languages to our service to target overseas influencers who wish to promote Korean companies in the international market.”