Fund manager Roger Montgomery recently spoke about his approach to creating content, inspiration and the moment he realised he was a digital influencer.
Montgomery is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Montgomery Investment Management, a fund which currently has over $1.4 billion in domestic and global equities under its management.
Montgomery believes the most reliable and authentic content is created inhouse, rather than copying it from somewhere else. When it comes to inspiration, Montgomery and his team look to thought leaders.
“We’re interested in those who are coming up with original thinking,” he told Lelde Smits. “Not necessarily those who are merely commentating on other people’s original thinking. So we’re not really following commentators, we’re following the people that those commentators would like to follow.”
Montgomery sees engagement as one of the key drivers of being a successful influencer.
“It’s about audience participation, and a crowd draws a crowd. So if there’s lots of people coming to your content, then there must be a reason people are coming for your content,” he said.
So when was Montgomery aware he had become a digital influencer?
“I think when I realised I was going home and we posted something on our blog, and there were then over five or six hundred comments waiting to be approved. ” he said. “And I had to go home and work the entire night to approve the comments. I realised then that we were saying some things that people were genuinely interested in. That was inspiring; it was also motivating.”
Although Montgomery is an influencer in the business world, recent years have also seen an explosion of influencers in marketing.
The phenomenon of digital influence has largely arisen from the ascension of social media. Many of today’s consumers – especially millennials – are distrustful of traditional advertising and are more likely to listen to their peers or those on their social channels. This has led to brands using people with significant social reach to communicate with their target audiences.
Influencer-based campaigns have the added advantages of being able to evade ad blockers, while providing a lower cost and offering a high return on investment (ROI). In one recent study, it was found that businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing.
Over $3 billion dollars per year is currently being spent on influencer marketing and this is expected to grow to between $5 and $10 billion by 2020.
Accessing the digital influencer space
Mobile technology and digital marketing company Crowd Mobile (ASX: CM8) is the only Australian listed company giving investors access to the growing digital influencers space.
Crowd Mobile is using its successful Q & A division to incubate Crowd Media, a new division which includes the Crowd Agency business. Currently, Crowd Agency is executing over 200 influencer campaigns every month and to date the agency has worked with over 6,000 influencers.
“We are very pleased with our record-breaking FY17 results and are excited by the momentum we are seeing in Crowd Agency, our digital influencer agency business,” Crowd Mobile CEO Domenic Carosa told Small Caps.
“We are continuing to build our Digital Influencer Commerce Platform and we are now working on the world’s first platform that will allow third-party brands to connect their own data sources and optimise influencer marketing campaigns.”
“We see social media as the new TV channel and digital influencers as the new TV commercial.” he added. ” This is why we will continue to make significant investment in this exciting new space.”