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Expect the unexpected at all times

hishare.that tech platform for the development, booking and support of influencer performance and branding campaigns

Please introduce yourself and the startup hi!share.that to our readers!

My name is Silvia Lange and I am the founder and CEO of hishare.that, Germany’s first influencer tech company. We offer our clients a tech platform for the development, booking and support of influencer performance and branding campaigns that ensure the economic success of influencer marketing. The impact and ROI of influencer campaigns are rarely clearly proven – we want to change that with our product and ensure that advertisers and influencers can meet on an equal footing. Our team now consists of over 40 brand, community and marketing professionals. Our clients include momox, OBI, Douglas, payback, idealo, Outletcity, and Docmorris.

How did you get the idea of hi!share.that?

My co-founder Tivadar Szegeny and I have known each other since childhood. We started a marketing agency called ‘medialabel’ together in 2016, with which we served many clients in mobile marketing. Back then, we experienced firsthand how unpredictable and opaque influencer marketing often is. It quickly became clear to us that certain rules were needed to turn the potential of influencer marketing into a truly measurable and successful marketing channel. To tackle this problem, we founded hi!share.that in 2018.

Why did you decide to start with hi!share.that?

My co-founder and I have worked both on the corporate and agency side in the past. So we have always had a good understanding of what is important for the respective parties when they work together, and what has been neglected in many agencies so far. As mentioned, we already successfully launched medialabel in 2016. Back then, the idea was to create a kind of boutique agency, where we take clients on board and advise them when it comes to the topics of performance and influencer marketing. Back then, there was no education about this marketing discipline. Many customers were left in ignorance and there was almost no transparency in the field.

With our business, we didn’t simply want to manage budgets, we wanted to be proactively and operationally involved. Our idea was to walk the journey together with our clients, sharing our knowledge and thus building a healthy foundation for a long-term partnership. When we built up the business in a healthy and sustainable way, there was only one thing missing – our own technology. We didn’t have a tech platform at the time, it was purely a service-based business. This was the starting point for hi!share.that as our second company. Our proprietary technology was supposed to differentiate us even more from existing competitors on the market. 

What is the vision behind hi!share.that?

Our vision is to become the ‘state of the art’ in influencer marketing. We combine the best of two worlds – people’s business and technology. We want to be the first choice for influencers and advertisers who want to measure and scale their joint success. With our so-called ‘hi!tech’ platform, we finally want to make the success of influencer collaborations measurable. Not with meaningless data such as likes, comments and shares, which tell us nothing about the actual success of a campaign, but with hard metrics like cost per mille (CPM) or cost per click (CPC).

Since we don’t just see the business as a brand awareness or storytelling channel, we also want to use the basics of performance marketing to boost sales figures and achieve directly visible, financial success. The actual impact, or the ROI (return on investment), of influencer campaigns is too rarely clearly proven – that’s what we want to offer with our product and ensure that advertisers and influencers can collaborate more effectively.

How difficult was the start and which challenges did you have to overcome so far?

On the one hand, we struggle daily with prejudices against influencer marketing, such as that this type of advertising is expensive, but its effects and success are not measurable. In short, many people think that  “it’s not even worth it.” We are still doing a lot of educational work with our company. Influencers are not yet very familiar with the topic of ‘performance marketing’ because influencer marketing has often been solely about storytelling and less about clear KPIs that also pay off on other business goals. On the influencer side, we have to do a lot of work to get them closer to the topic of ‘performance’. On top of that, we finance all of this ourselves. We don’t have any external funding, only income from the last few years when we already had a media presence on the market with medialabel – which is hi!share.that’s ‘parent agency’ after all.

Who is your target audience?

Our target group is B2C companies of all sizes and in very different segments that are interested in taking an unconventional approach to influencer marketing. We work with start-ups as well as well-known large companies such as PAYBACK, Bonial, momox, REWE or Outletcity.

What is the USP of your startup?

The core of our product and service offering is our hi!tech platform, which we developed ourselves. With our technology, you can easily upload campaign goals, including briefings, which our creators can then apply to. During an influencer marketing campaign, all relevant KPIs are transferred to our platform in real time so that everyone involved has access to them. We are integrated with all major tracking providers, whether in app marketing or even e-commerce solutions like Shopify, WooCommerce or Shopware. 

Still, numbers aren’t everything for us: while our product is based on a technical offering and heavily data-driven, it also has a human component: We carefully scout all influencers before they can register on our platform. At the same time, we support both clients in planning and implementing the campaign, and creators in creating content that performs well. Because our influencers receive variable compensation based on predefined KPIs, they are not only particularly motivated to create successful content – we also ensure that customers receive a good return on investment and that influencer marketing actually leads to economic success.

Not only are we very successful with this concept, but we can also reassure customers who are just getting started with influencer marketing. Many fear that they will automatically experience false indicators and fraud in influencer marketing. At the same time, there is sometimes an inexplicable fear of transparent data in Germany. With our proactive support, we prevent these worries and open invisible barriers in the mind. 

Can you describe your typical workday?

I start at 8 AM with an absolutely necessary morning coffee! Then I read about what’s happening in the world and what industry news is out there for about 15 minutes. One of my tricks is to make my to-do list for the day either the night before or in the morning. In fact, I always do it in a notebook and not digitally. Written on paper, I keep things in my head better. I usually use the morning to get an overview of currently running campaigns or projects and see if there are any difficulties somewhere or if everything is running smoothly. I go through my emails and bring myself up-to-date. 

Because there’s only one coffee in the morning and I don’t eat breakfast, I’m usually at lunch by 12 PM sharp. I keep my break quite short. I prefer to take more time for private enjoyment and eating after work. From 12:30 to 5 PM, I usually have customer meetings or update calls with the team. I have very high standards when it comes to account management. It’s important for me to spend a lot of time with my customers in order to get regular feedback, optimize processes, and be able to push future projects as early as possible. 

From 5 PM onwards, I’m back at processing emails. I look at what correspondence has come in and work through it. As it gets quieter in the office at the end of the day, I check which topics have been left over and which things I can prepare for the next day. These then end up back on my to-do list. I then usually start my well-deserved evening off around 6:30-7:00 PM.

Where do you see yourself and your startup hi!share.that in five years? 

We are in the process of conquering more markets, our expansion strategy is already being planned. We will also enter into more strategic partnerships in the future so that we not only work directly with customers, but are an interesting sparring partner for agencies or influencer management companies too. In the long-term, we see ourselves as a useful hub to partners and less as competition, as our approach is very different from everyone else in the market.

What 3 tips would you give to founders?

As a CEO, never give up! Keep going no matter how good or difficult situations present themselves. 

Expect the unexpected at all times. Always stay flexible as the market can change unexpectedly, which you can see now with growing inflation or the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years. Such situations can be a big game changer. 

Customers and employees are the be-all and end-all and their satisfaction should always be your highest priority.

More information you will find here

Thank you Silvia Lange for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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